The founder of SteamSpy says that Valve’s attempt to protect freedom of speech on its Steam platform is “noble,” but doesn’t allow players enough flexibility to control what they see. Sergey Galyonkin says that Valve could do more to let its customers filter their experience on Steam.
In an interview, Galyonkin said that Valve’s decision to allow any developer to put anything they like on the platform – which has drawn criticism from sections of the community – isn’t necessarily a problem. Instead, issues arise because people don’t have the ability to state what games they do (and do not) want to see.
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Speaking to PCGamesInsider.biz, Galyonkin said that “in the case of Steam, I, as a gamer, don’t have enough tools to be able to filter out the front page.” Saying that he would not personally allow any game onto the platform, Galyonkin explains that “I understand where they are coming from and it is a noble goal.”
Drawing on his experiences of living in the Soviet Union, however, Galyonkin, who now works for Epic Games, says that in his former country, “there was no freedom of speech because you were constantly bombarded with propaganda and you could not turn it off.” That means that “unless [Steam] can provide gamers with the tools to filter, it is not really a good deal for everyone – not for developers, not for gamers.”
Valve has recently drawn ire for a variety of reasons, primarily around the way in which they police their platform, stating that it would open up Steam to anything that wasn’t illegal or deemed outright trolling. However, the company has also begun shutting down tools used to track Steam sales – including SteamSpy. Valve says it’s planning to replace SteamSpy with “something better,” but there’s no word on exactly when that will appear. It’s also worth noting that it’ll be controlled by Valve itself, rather than an unpaid third-party.