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Update: Valve returns Hatred to Greenlight after removal

Controversial game returns to Steam, despite Valve's initial objections over its content

Update: Hatred has been restored to Steam Greenlight. Developer Destructive Creations has posted a message to its Facebook page which claims to be an email from Gabe Newell.

"Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight," the statement reads. "Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. lt turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers.

"Good luck with your game, Gabe."

Original Story: Valve has made the decision to remove Hatred from Steam on the same day that its developers began a Greenlight campaign, indicating that it found the content so distasteful that it wouldn't want to distribute it.

Hatred is being developed by Polish studio Destructive Creations, which describes the game as possessing a "disturbing atmosphere of mass killing, where player takes the role of a cold blood antagonist, who is full of hatred for humanity." On initial release, the game's trailer attracted both attention and criticism for its graphic portrayal of the murder and execution of civilians as the player character engages in a shooting spree.

In its short time on the Greenlight system, Hatred garnered a great deal of support, receiving 13,148 up votes and ending up at number 7 in the Greenlight charts before being pulled. Destructive Creations took the step of publishing the statement received by Valve by way of an explanation to its supporters.

"Dear Hatred Fans, as you know today we've launched our Steam Greenlight campaign for Hatred. Unfortunately after couple of hours Steam shut it down giving the below as reasons behind their decision:

"We wanted you guys to know that based on what we see on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam. As such we'll be taking it down."

"Even though games like Manhunt or Postal are still available on Steam we of course fully respect Valve's decision, as they have the right to do so. In the same time we want to assure you that this won't in any way impact the game's development, game's vision or gameplay features we're aiming for. The game is still to be released in Q2 2015 as planned.

"Moreover we don't treat this as a failure because yet again this showed us a huge community support we're totally overwhelmed with. After only a couple of hours Greenlight campaign being live, Hatred gathered 13,148 up votes and ended up on a #7 on Top 100 list.

"This is the best proof for us that there are diehard Hatred fans out there, waiting for this game to be released. And that we need to keep going to deliver them a game that offers exciting and challenging gameplay.

"The whole situation only pushes us forward to go against any adversity and not to give up. It also makes us want to provide our fans Hatred pre-orders sooner, as many of you have asked for them.

"At the end of the day you, gamers will judge if we were able to do a game that's simply fun to play."

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Latest comments (52)

Andreia Quinta Photographer, Studio52 London4 years ago
A game called Hatred with a human race loathing antagonist developed by a studio called destructive creations, sounds promissing...
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
Just claim all the humans in the video were alien bodysnatchers who hate our freedom, killed the protagonist's dog and now the player is humanity's last hope. Add tentacles to close-up executions, put a Resident Evil sticker on it and wait for Valve to want it back.
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Casper Wermuth Environment Artist, Ubisoft Blue Byte4 years ago
Im glad it didnt get greenlit. From what I saw, it was quite insane. I cant imagining having to work on that game.
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Show all comments (52)
Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship4 years ago
Asking Valve to host this on Steam is tantamount to asking them to take a willing share of the PR hit the next time there is a spree killing. Why would they do that?
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Ruben Monteiro Engineer 4 years ago
Good decision, and I wish the developers will turn their creative urges towards something that promotes sane behaviors.

A question remains unanswered though: why is garbage like Manhunt or Postal still available on Steam?
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Shane Sweeney Academic 4 years ago
This is just Postal for today's youth. Alice Cooper leading to Marilyn Manson.

It's completely unsurprising to me that Steam won't stock this game. Can we have our specialty online retailer that specialises in obscene content?
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Craig Burkey Software Engineer 4 years ago
I wouldn't call it obscene, extreme maybe but not obscene, I think for it to appeal to me, they need to have a bit of humor in there to balance out the violence, but that's just my taste
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 4 years ago
A question remains unanswered though: why is garbage like Manhunt or Postal still available on Steam?
I suppose it's because Postal doesn't take itself seriously. While i'd agree that the humor is just as poor taste as the game concept, it a least makes the action too surreal to be that disturbing (it still reminds you that, after all, it's just a game). Manhunt, on the other hand, puts the player to murder very unlikable victims which are far from being poor innocents. The gore and graphics of the violence might be disturbing but the game is still about killing bad guys like a bazillion others.

Hatred, based on what I've seen, takes what the two games above do worst (from a moral/social standpoint) and goes a few steps further after crossing the line: it is about murdering innocent civilians, it is gory, takes itself quite seriously and indulges on the killing of helpless people (they're down, wounded and begging for mercy).

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Paolo Giunti on 16th December 2014 1:53pm

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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard4 years ago
But what if I want to play "Emo Trenchcoat Revenge Fantasy: The Game"?

This game looks totally pants anyway, the writing is dire even by crap video game standards, it is thriving on the "ban this sick filth" narrative which is fuelling a bunch of "I'll defend peoples' right to make dumb crap" folk claim that they want it, even though they don't.

It will come out, it will suck, its greatest claim to fame will be appearing on the wikipedia page listing games that got banned in Australia and Germany.
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John Kauderer Associate Creative Director, Atari4 years ago
Who could have seen that coming?
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Sergio Rosa4 years ago
For what I've read around the web people seem mostly mad that the guy is some misanthrope who hates all humanity so he goes on a killing spree, so I wonder if he was some freedom loving dude killing terrorists, bad guys and whatnot, would have caused people to accept or even like this game...

Just wondering...
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David Canela Game & Audio Designer 4 years ago
I'm a bit conflicted about this one. On one hand I find what I've seen of it utterly disgusting and am glad it won't get the kind of exposure steam can give. On the other hand, I'm a bit uncomfortable because of how quickly it's being judged without anyone actually having played the game yet, as well as by the fact that it differs from a great many gmaes only in the in-game fiction. Mechanically, there's plenty of games that are about butchering masses of more or less helpless victims, and some of them have received the highest praises lately ( e.g. while I love the nemesis system of Shadows of Mordor, I'm not sure I'll ever play that game because of how violent it is).

I totally get why Valve don't want to have it on their store, I'm just not sure the moral reasoning why we tolerate or even laud some games and then denounce others is completely sound. It might depend on the players, too, for some it's all window-dressing and they're really playing the mechanics, for others the fiction is an integral part of the experience...
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Rashad Foux Character Artist, Hi-Rez Studios, Inc.4 years ago
I think the thing that got Hatred banned from the Steam store and that sets it apart from other titles like Manhunt and Postal, and GTA isn't just the narrative conceit, it's the way in which they depict the violence.

Hatred depict's violence uniquely in that it personalizes the suffering of specific helpless characters.
And (since I think it's safe to assume that Hatred lacks the self-awareness or maturity to be or do anything ironically given the trailer and gameplay we've seen), the reason for personalized suffering is because the suffering, the begging, and then the violent murder scene are meant to be enjoyed for their own sake. The fact that the ultimate goal (based on the trailer and gameplay shown) is the enjoyment of the debasement and killing of characters is what sets it apart from other games.

It's a masturbatory experience. It seems to exists for no other reason than to enjoy watching brutal murders. And the fact that it's themed after the paranoid, violent, schizophrenic ramblings of folks like Elliot Rodgers does not help it's case.

Now, I'd never make this, and I'd never play this. But it has a right to exist. I also think Valve could be more consistent in their publishing of products, as Manhunt and Postal are an uncomfortable stones throw away from being Hatred, bar the narrative and next-gen graphics.
But Steam has no obligation to enable the publication of what strongly appears to be nothing more or less than a Murder-Fantasy. If Hatred wants to be on the platform they can change it to fit Valve's requirements for voluntarily opting in to the use of their distribution platform. Otherwise they can publish their game on their own terms elsewhere

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Rashad Foux on 16th December 2014 5:49pm

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Charles Herold Wii Games Guide, about.com4 years ago
At first I had mixed feelings about this. After all, I thought, there's nothing new about games that allow or even encourage players to mow down civilians. So just reading about the game, one tends to wonder why this is where the line is drawn.

Then I watched the trailer. Well, I started watching the trailer. It makes Manhunt look like a Disney cartoon. I couldn't watch it all. I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

Of course, the developers have a perfect right to make it, and people have a perfect right to buy it, but I can understand why Valve would want to wash the filth of that game from their hands.

I'm also not sure how much fun it is. It looked like it was more about the "pleasure" of holding someone down, sticking a gun in their mouth and pulling the trigger than about any sort of challenging gameplay. But to be fair, I can't judge the gameplay based on a few seconds of a disturbing trailer, I can only judge its ability to make me regret watching any of that trailer at all.
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I had the same overall reaction to the trailer everybody else did - basically "wow these are some desperate, grasping devs right here!". But I also had the gnawing feeling this game was more important than most of the games I'd seen all year. It did not look badly made, in fact it looked gruesomely well made for what otherwise appears a shoddy and cheap angle. They've clearly watched horrible real-life videos of actual murders and shooting sprees that Youtube, lest we forget, serves up on the regular to tens if not hundreds of millions of people every day. I got the impression the makers are tapping into the worst of internet video and mixing it with the worst of our own industry's output - you know, the stuff we call our best.
By the time the trailer was over I realised the horror in my belly was not the shock but the familiarity. Maybe they put a veneer of tastelessness over what we do every day. Or maybe we put a veneer of tastefulness over what they are doing right now?
We'd do well to consider whether we believe an average person playing games might mistake that game world for real life. If not, this game is tasteless but harmless. If so, we have many many games to talk about, and a less dramatic and arguably less interesting future in video games. The shit at the margins of our freedoms helps keep them fertilised. It's not supposed to be a nice place there.
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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada4 years ago
Valve certainly has the right to not stock it, but I think it's unfortunate that they're doing so. The game is tasteless, pandering to stuff I have no interest in interacting with - just like a helluva lot of other games. Like others have said, call the innocents terrorists or Orcs of Mordor, and the violence is suddenly not out of place. Shadows of Mordor was equally vicious in the ways you killed enemies, so the objection here seems to be the moral context, not the depiction of murder. I find it objectionable too, but it's legal, and if there's a market for it, fair enough that there's devs catering to it.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 4 years ago
The difference is Manhunt and Postal 2 have an ESRB rating of M17+

Whereas Hatred has an expected rating of ESRB 18+ and unless some one corrects me Steam do not sell ESRB 18+ games.

Again, America desperately needs a specialty retail path for adult video games just as they do for unrated film and controversial books. There is a business model.
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Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios4 years ago
So many questions about this game
-can other characters hurt you? Where is the challenge, if the citizens are cannon fodder waiting to be slaughtered
-what is the goal of the game? What am i striving for, what happens at the end, is there a reward at the end?

I can't decide, if this game is a good thing or a bad thing. There are arguments for both sides.

Also, the isometric viewpoint serves to 'distance' the player somewhat from the violence (imagine if it was 1st person, or a 1st person VR game) There are people who want to play this, so the audience wants it. If the audience wants it, what can we do?

If the developers just made 1 tweak, like the characters are clones, or its a fantasy world, or a dream, or anything. Just something to mitigate the violence.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
I don't think the game should be censored, and taken of steam. I will be first to admit, it certainly does depict very brutal and realistic violence, but I really don't think that is any reason to really pull it.

The issue I have with it, is that other media portrayed this sort of stuff all the time. Why can't games? They are both entertainment and story telling mediums. Is it that games are interactive? Since you are playing the character you feel more like you are the one actually doing it? If that is the case, what about every other violent video game out there? How does this differ?

Personally, I really don't understand people. To me .. it's no more violent than many other games already out there. The only difference here is the objectives in the game and story.
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Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios4 years ago
Apparently, its back on Steam.
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David Canela Game & Audio Designer 4 years ago
Well, looks like best possible outcome for destructive creations, attention over getting pulled AND being on Steam...
I think the thing that got Hatred banned from the Steam store and that sets it apart from other titles like Manhunt and Postal, and GTA isn't just the narrative conceit, it's the way in which they depict the violence.
I really don't enjoy defending Hatred, but plenty of games depict violence in a pornographic way ( Mortal Combat, Sniper's kill-cam, God of War 3 (my personal view... I loved the first two, but the demo for GoW 3 put me off). Many others sugar-coat the mass murdering with in-game world/story justifications. The key question is, does story matter? Do players play because they want to save the world yet again, or simply because they want a nice little round of shooting people in the face? Or is that not really the point and what they REALLY want is celebrate their hand-eye coordination while clicking on moving things and navigating a virtual space (or in the case of console shooters, duck behind cover)?

We don't get many abstract shooters, yet tons of military scenarios, which would suggest the fantasy matters, as do most people's initial spontaneous reactions to Hatred. But to which degree, if one can even make a universal statement about that, I don't know.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development4 years ago
Oooh, with that updated news I can feel a disturbance in the force.
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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard4 years ago
I'm glad it's back on Steam. Now when it sucks and tanks the developer can't blame Valve, the Christian right, the Christian left, the Christian middle, Christian Bale or anyone else.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
It's great they put it back up on steam. I always imagined valve being against censorship to begin with, so I was surprised when they took it down.

Whether or not the game will suck, is going to be up entirely to the game itself. It has not released yet, so I will not judge it till then. I don't have any issues with violent video games. The question is, will the game even be fun. I hope they put more thought into it then what is seen in the trailer. That will get boring fast.
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Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Engineer, Anticto4 years ago
1) Post outraged messages on the internet about a videogame that depicts torture, violence and cold-blood murders.
2) Vote your country's goverment that actually does that in real life.
3) Go to sleep with peace of mind.

We may need to focus our energy in the right direction.
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Andres Bordeu Game Designer / Cofounder, ACE Team4 years ago
@Brook, if Valve is against censorship why did they take down 'Seduce Me' a couple of years ago? That one didn't get a second chance and I think it was a lot less offensive than Hatred.

When is this industry going to get past the double standard that sex is more offensive than extreme violence?
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@Andres
You would be correct if it wasn't for the fact that Valve doesn't allow ANY erotic materiel on steam.
Here is a quote a pulled by Doug Lombardi pertaining to it.

"Steam has never been a leading destination for erotic material, Greenlight doesn't aim to change that."

While 'Hatred' is very different in the fact they allow fairly violent videos games already. AKA 'Seduce Me' was removed due to their policy. I really wouldn't consider that the same thing.

With that said, I don't disagree with you. I think Valve should also allow erotic material. I really don't see the issue with it.

This is sort of inline with the whole Target discussion. Them removing GTAV from their shelves would have been absolutely fine if they don't sell any of those kind of games and that is their policy. All stores have their own policies when it comes to these things, and that to me isn't censorship.
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 4 years ago
This is sort of inline with the whole Target discussion.
Not exactly, at least, not from my point of view. The consistency to their policies isn't really a factor that i'm concerned about.
The difference i see is between a retailer that chooses independently to distance themselves from a product they dislike and a retailer giving in to the pressure of a vocal group which wishes to limit the distribution of a product they dislike. While the result is the same, the intent behind isn't.
Which is why I'm totally unfazed by Valve's decision to either ban or keep Hatred, but i find the whole petition business very irksome. It reeks of "book burning" and I can't see it as the morally right course of action. Despite having a strongly negative opinion of the game itself, I'd be very upset if Valve was to re-ban Haterd, not because of an internal decision, but because several thousand people signed a petition to have it removed.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@Paolo
You seriously need to learn to read. We where talking about 'Seduce Me'.

Edit:
Maybe you should read the comments in the whole chain from now on. Since now all I can do is facepalm here since you totally misunderstood my comment.

I was talking hypothetically when I mentioned target to compare it with 'Seduce Me'. That is why I said it would have been fine IF .. .the if there is extremely important for you to understand what I meant.

It honestly irritates me to no end when people don't read my comments right. I realize sometimes things can be misunderstood, but I hate it when someone tries to correct me on something that they themselves misunderstood. -.-

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 17th December 2014 3:10pm

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Andres Bordeu Game Designer / Cofounder, ACE Team4 years ago
@Brook
Yes, I saw that quote from Doug Lombardi, but the actual Greenlight guidelines do not reflect this. As far as I know the rules only say this regarding restrictions:

"Your game must not contain offensive material or violate copyright or intellectual property rights".

Anyways, my post was more about questioning the current line of reasoning where extreme violence has generally been considered more acceptable than sexual content, (which in my opinion is just wrong). But I do understand that because of how these topics are perceived in today's culture Valve doesn't want to allow some games on Steam yet.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andres Bordeu on 17th December 2014 3:30pm

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@Andres
Ya, their policy isn't very exact, but it is pretty clear they don't have any erotic materiel on steam, so you can pretty much just take their word for it lol, as it is their policy after all.

Personally though, to me, violence and sexual content are 2 entirely different things and shouldn't be compared to each other. Violence tends to be more acceptable simply because that is the way society tends to be. Why that is the case? I have no clue. As I said, I agree.

The way I see it though is you wouldn't expect a normal store to carry porn, so to me it's the same idea as that. Steam doesn't want to have erotic content in their store. If you want erotic content, you should probably get it from a place that sells that sort of stuff.
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Andres Bordeu Game Designer / Cofounder, ACE Team4 years ago
@Brook
I'm also clueless as to why western society considers violence more acceptable than sexual content. I'm just amazed how as the years pass the level of toleration towards extreme violence keeps on rising. Where does it stop? If the Hatred videos showed the character killing little children, would that be enough to cross the line?

Anyways, regarding society being more permissive towards violence, I don't think it's necessarily a global thing. My impression is that in many European countries it's actually the other way around (more tolerance towards sexual content and less towards violence).
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 4 years ago
@Brook
I know you were talking about "Seduce Me", but you also pointed that the reason between Valve's and Target's behavior being more or less acceptable is based on their consistency with their own policies. I disagree with that particular notion and stated where i draw the line instead, simple as that.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@Paolo
-.- Again . .you don't get what I meant. It's clear you continually misunderstand me.

Valve's behavior on "Seduce Me" is perfectly acceptable because they don't sell that sort of stuff. It's part of their policy. Why wouldn't you find that acceptable? Do you think all stores should sell porn then? If they don't it's not acceptable? I really don't see where you are coming from in this.

Valve's behavior on Hatred to me was wrong. they sell violent video games all the time and hatred should be no exception.

Targets behavior was also wrong because they should not have listened to a stupid petition and should just stick to their policies. They sell other violent games, so there is no reason they should take GTAV off the shelves.

Again .. for the most part I think you still misunderstood my comment. If you still think you understand me, then we have very very different opinions on the matter.

Why you think a store should always sell erotic and violent content is beyond me. Telling a store they must sell that kind of content isn't freedom in the least bit. You are essentially forcing it on others which is just as wrong as censorship. It shouldn't be taken away from people who want to view it, and it shouldn't be forced on stores that don't want to sell it.

The only time it's wrong is when a store singles out 1 game like target did with GTAV.
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 4 years ago
I was not commenting on "Seduce Me", i was commenting on your very last paragraph (which i now regret not having quoted in full for clarity). I assure you that i understood you alright the first time, as confirmed by this part i quote now:
Valve's behavior on Hatred to me was wrong. they sell violent video games all the time and hatred should be no exception.

Targets behavior was also wrong because they should not have listened to a stupid petition and should just stick to their policies. They sell other violent games, so there is no reason they should take GTAV off the shelves.
I totally understand what you're trying to say, I just disagree with it.
"Sticking to their policies" is not the criteria under which i determine if their behavior is right or wrong. As unfair as it may sound, a retailer may have a lot of legitimate reasons for saying "NO" to one game while they give the OK to many other very similar ones.
It don't consider the "stick to the policies" a principle that must be followed under any circumstance.
The problem of the Target incident is that a group of people deliberately tried to limit the distribution of a game. Now, THAT is wrong.
Target respecting or not their own policies is a completely irrelevant matter to me.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paolo Giunti on 17th December 2014 7:33pm

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Ruben Monteiro Engineer 4 years ago
If the Hatred videos showed the character killing little children, would that be enough to cross the line?
Today, maybe it would. But after seeing this garbage getting approved on Steam, I'm willing to bet that images of killing children will be A-Ok in the very near future.
After the recent attacks in Pakistan, they were showing blood-covered floors in the 1pm tv news, without even a viewer discretion warning. This would be totally unacceptable a few years ago.
I'm also clueless as to why western society considers violence more acceptable than sexual content.
The human ego derives it's sense of existence from drama. Violence is dramatic, it has shock and stories attached to it. Sex is just a pleasurable activity, therefore very uninteresting to the ego.
That's the state most humans are in. Insane, but normal.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@Paolo
Ok .. ok I think I understand what you mean. Sort of.

You are saying that you feel it's ok for a company to not sell a game if they want, even if it does fit in with their policy. So you think it's ok for Valve to choose not to sell hatred if they so choose even if they allow other violent video games.

At least that is what it sounds like you are saying.

See .. the reason I disagree and I say it should be based on their policies is because if it is not, then they are pulling a double standard which is not very fair to both the developers and customers. They still have the right to do that sort of thing if they so choose. I just don't agree with it.
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I just dont want games to be like talk shows or radio commentators, or pundits where you have to say and do incredible stupid and outrageous things just to get noticed.
Crap like hatred should not be on steam when there are tons of other games that are much more deserving to be on steam.

Lets not get into rewarding stupidity, society as whole already does that way too much already.
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Charles Herold Wii Games Guide, about.com4 years ago
Andrew, I've thought about trying to bring home the horror of violence in a video game, and I'm not sure it can be done. For example, one thing I thought of was trying to make each death distinct. So if you were playing a strategy game and one of your tanks was damaged, instead of hearing a stoic voice saying something like "tank taking damage," you'd hear someone screaming, "oh my god, we're on fire." If someone is shot, you could watch them slowly attempt to crawl behind a barrier, muttering and weeping. You could have someone get their arm shot off and (this a story I heard from a vietnam vet years ago) stand up and scream for someone to shoot him).

You could think of every possible horrible way for soldiers to die. You could have them say, "tell my wife I love her" and then silence. You could have someone scream "I'm blind." You could have medics desperate fighting to keep a soldier alive. What would happen? The main purpose of the game would become, try and see every possible death scene. Because it's a game, and the gaminess distances you.

I would love to see a game that made you feel every death you cause, but personally I can't think of any way to take players out of game-mind so that could happen.
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I would love to see a game that made you feel every death you cause, but personally I can't think of any way to take players out of game-mind so that could happen.

Talk honestly to soldiers who have seen battle. Death and killing rips at your soul. Why not create a game where death tears apart your soul. You can kill, but there are consequences for it, you become weaker for it, not stronger, just like in real life.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 17th December 2014 9:41pm

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Andrew, I've thought about trying to bring home the horror of violence in a video game, and I'm not sure it can be done.

Not yet, at some point though, but what is really needed is the ability to put smell into a game because war has a smell. A deep penetrating stench of gunpowder, gasoline, shit, and blood. You would also need to turn the players volume of the game to 10 and not allow them to adjust it. So loud it hurts and disorients. That would be where you start.
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K. Al-Hurby Producer/Designer 4 years ago
Talk honestly to soldiers who have seen battle. Death and killing rips at your soul. Why not create a game where death tears apart your soul. You can kill, but there are consequences for it, you become weaker for it, not stronger, just like in real life.
Because that wouldn't be fun.

Real life isn't fun. Isn't the whole point of video games is for entertainment and painless escapism? Or am I missing something here?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by K. Al-Hurby on 17th December 2014 10:36pm

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Isn't the whole point of video games is for entertainment and painless escapism? Or am I missing something here?
You are missing something. Games can be mindless entertainment and escapism, but they also hold the ability to be so much more. Isnt it about time we tap into that potential. Its like saying Movies should only be mindless comedies or action films. Its a very myopic way to look at the games.
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 4 years ago
You are saying that you feel it's ok for a company to not sell a game if they want, even if it does fit in with their policy. So you think it's ok for Valve to choose not to sell hatred if they so choose even if they allow other violent video games.
Yes, that's exactly what i am saying.
Valve remains under no moral obligation to either ban or allow Hatred, regardless of what else they have in store: Even if equally violent, two games are still different in their content and other elements can be factored in when making the decision.

I honestly prefer a case-by-case evaluation. Adhering too strictly to some set guidelines can bring to absurdly silly scenarios like the Apple vs Papers Please incident.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paolo Giunti on 18th December 2014 12:04am

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Shane Sweeney Academic 4 years ago
People are over reacting to the news that the game is "back on steam". The game isn't even built or rated, it would be premature to ban it from Greenlight now.

However once the game gets rated as ESRB 18+, Valve will have a decision to make. Will Hatred be the first ESRB 18+ game Steam sells? Will this mean it opens the flood gates for other 18+ games like Man Hunt 2 which are not stocked by Steam?

Or will Hatred get pulled because steam does not sell 18+ content suffering the radicalized eye of this new wave gamer community. I hope Hatred goes onto being sold by Steam if only to open the flood gate for other 18+ games.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 18th December 2014 12:09am

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
Plus, as we know, mainstream media would rip it apart because video games can't do serious takes on topics in their eyes. Only film and books can do that apparently.
This is usually due to mainstream media still being stuck in a time loop thinking that only kids play video games but over the last few years I've heard more and more critics complain because of the interactive nature of video games, which to them make video games much worst than other forms of media.

This also somewhat explains their attitudes towards any sexual themes in video games. Because even though there are sex scenes or scenes of violence in daytime soaps and prime time tv shows apparently you can't interact with those like you can in video games. Unless you masturbate or throw punches in tune with the on screen fist fights.

As for literature, some of us are old enough to remember "choose your own adventure" books but those are now a distant relic of history.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 18th December 2014 2:49am

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K. Al-Hurby Producer/Designer 4 years ago
Isnt it about time we tap into that potential. Its like saying Movies should only be mindless comedies or action films.
That's such a black and white way to look at, Todd. And you've taken my point completely out of context. Of course games can mean something more than 'mindless fun'. Serious themed recent games like The Last Of Us, Heavy Rain or The Walking Dead (to name a few), have shown that games can be so much more. They were a voyage of pain, suffering and sacrifice that left us emotionally drained and satisfied. These games exhibited unethical acts that slapped you in the face, but they were necessary. In no way, shape or form, that these games were like 'real life' or needed to be real life - they got the point across fine, and more importantly, they were fun. Hell, the reason I joined this industry was my experience with Silent Hill 2 - That showed me that games can be art and taken seriously as a medium.

Sure, to your film comment; there are films out there with serious themes and real life stories. But I doubt, watching Oscar Schindler doing his tax returns, eating breakfast or going for groceries would have enhanced Schindler's list as an experience.

Or perhaps, in the games context, CoD4: Modern warfare needed that mission where we staked out a building in a ditch, for 16 hours in real-time, watering, feeding our self, and killing the odd passerby while we waited for Zakhaev's return.

Yes, these examples might be seen as 'extreme' but it's what they encompass when you throw around the 'real-life' term. Films and games do not exhibit realism to that degree, for the simple reason that: they wont be fun.

Perhaps our definition to 'real life' holds a different context to us in this medium. To which case, it's the internet, we're probably not going to change each other's mind :)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by K. Al-Hurby on 18th December 2014 5:07am

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@Paolo
I suppose you do have a point but the issue comes about when the game in question is no different than many others already in the store. If hatred had some certain aspect that really made it different, then I would entirely agree. Hatred though has no difference at all besides the goal itself in the game. The violence isn't anymore gruesome or over the top than some other violent games.

But as you said it's all going to be case by case bases .. so in the end I guess I do agree with you there.
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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 4 years ago
My guess is that the reason for the pull-down was the timing - it has been a bad year or so for hate crimes and there are a lot of atrocities still fresh in people's memories, like Elliot Rodger's spree-killing or Anders Brevik's. There are a lot of people out there who only just buried loved ones killed in school shootings and it must feel simply awful for them to find out that 13 thousand plus individuals want to fantasize about being the guy that killed them.

As for Steam returning it to Greenlight, I have no idea how I feel about that. Freedom of speech is important but Hatred doesn't strike me as a game with much to say. It's not even made yet, though, so maybe I'll be wrong. In the end, even reprinting Mein Kampf gives insight into the mind of a racist dictator so even wholly negative products can have value.
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Paolo Giunti Narrative Designer 4 years ago
@Brook
In my very first comment (#8) I speculated on why Hatred could be deemed worse that other games like Postal and Manhunt.
Besides, what is actually disturbing in violence is very subjective.

I personally have no problems with a gruesome and brutal depiction of the killing. Between games and movies I've seen such a good share of guts and blood that, at worst, my reaction is along the lines of "ugh, that really really gotta hurt".
The context of the killing, the WHO you kill and WHY, is what can make me feel sick.
Killing harmless random people for no reason has a different impact than killing hostiles who are trying to kill me in the first place.

I could probably play trough Manhunt without feeling particularly upset by it, while i would quit after 5 minutes in Postal. Yet, objectively, Manhunt is more violent and brutal than Postal.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paolo Giunti on 18th December 2014 1:22pm

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Mariusz Szlanta Producer, SEGA Europe4 years ago
Good decision to bring this project back. There should be no structural censorship in any form in entertainment and final judgement should be saved for customers.

Will game turn out botched effort, then it'll fade away in no time.
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K. Al-Hurby Producer/Designer 4 years ago
Good decision to bring this project back. There should be no structural censorship in any form in entertainment and final judgement should be saved for customers.
Exactly Mariusz. Games are art and should enjoy the freedom of expression as do books and movies have. If you have a problem with it, simply don't buy it or give it attention. I'm relived that Gabe overruled the decision to have it removed
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