Valve has allegedly refused to allow Fortune’s Run, a new boomer shooter with shades of Quake, Doom, and Turok, to be listed on Steam. This is reportedly owing to a disagreement regarding a scene that the game’s developer says is designed to be “disgusting.” Originally scheduled for release on Wednesday, September 27, developer Team Fortune claims that Fortune’s Run has been “rejected” by Valve but hopes the company will eventually decide that the shooter can launch on Steam after all.
Between Doom, Quake, System Shock, Blood, Deus Ex, and many more, Fortune’s Run is a retro-style FPS game that feels like a love letter to the ‘90s and early ‘00s boomer shooter era. Team Fortune claims this is the third time that Fortune’s Run has been rejected by Valve. Also according to Team Fortune, the game has this time been rejected due to two issues that Valve testers encountered during the submissions review process.
According to a statement from Team Fortune, the first issue arose after Valve testers were unable to find an exit to the game’s tutorial, and access the “huge combat level” meant to be featured in the game. This, Team Fortune says, was resolved when the developer provided Valve with console commands so that they could go to Fortune’s Run’s other sections.
The second issue that contributed to the game’s alleged rejection from Steam relates to a particular scene that provides the central protagonist’s back story.
Content warning: the remainder of this article makes recurrent references to sexual assault
“Our protagonist’s journey is motivated by a past traumatic event involving sexual assault,” Team Fortune says. “For this reason, we chose to disclose both in-game and on the store page that there was mature content, and that the player would be allowed to opt out of direct references. Direct references include, in the current EA [early access] build, a sequence where the player views one of their attackers doing the deed from the first-person perspective.
“We were disappointed by how many games depict sexual assault as being gratifying and arousing, so we chose to depict is [sic] as simply disgusting and revolting. The sequence involves an emaciated, wrinkled alien creature bobbing up and down while licking the camera. This, to us, is so disgusting that it required advance warning and an option to disable the content.
“Well,” Team Fortune continues, “according to Valve, this is not sufficiently explicit to be a reference to sexual assault So they rejected our build again. Currently we are removing the content warning, which we feel is very wrong.”
Team Fortune says there is a “very good chance” Fortune’s Run will not pass the review process before its scheduled launch day, but hopes players and fans “will still be with us once Valve decides we can finally be available on the store.”
PCGamesN has contacted Valve regarding the claims made by Team Fortune and will update this story with any further information or comment.