Steam Officially Adds LGBTQ+ Tag and Hub Page For Games
After years of silence, Valve finally adds a LGBTQ+ tag to their Steam Store once a developer shined a light on the issue yet again.
Concerning the increased importance of the tag system to games published on Steam, it’s good to see that Valve finally added an official LGBTQ+ tag so users would be able to easily find such related content. This is especially true when developers are able to add those Steam-approved tags themselves and increase their discoverability, as Valve had recently removed hub page functionality from non-approved tags, which heavily affected developers who had previously custom-tagged their games “LGBT.”
This importance of Steam approved tags isn’t just for show either, as it’s been found that Steam now runs on a “global set of hundreds of approved tags” and that a game’s top 15 tags determine which tag pages games will appear on. Tags also affect algorithmic recommendations across Steam, which also tend to focus on grouping up games according to overlapping tags.
The change to the system can be credited to an independent developer named Yitz, creator of hand-drawn RPG Nepenthe and upcoming “visual poem” To The Dark Tower, after he brought up the issue on the Steam developer forums. He’d realized an LGBTQ+ tag would make perfect sense for To The Dark Tower, only to find that there wasn’t one.
When he contacted Steam, the email they sent back stated: “If you have something in mind that isn’t already a public tag, please let us know in the Steamworks Discussions.” He soon started a thread there and it triggered a huge discussion with plenty of mixed feedback, although plenty were in support of the tag and its importance to devs regardless of how it could be misused.
Soon after, a Valve employee responded to Yitz’s Steamworks thread and informed him that Valve had added “LGBTQ+” as a globally-approved tag, with a brand new hub page to boot:
While it’s currently a bit underpopulated, the fact that it exists is a positive step forward. Hopefully in the coming weeks and months more indie devs can have their own games classified under the new tag and increase their own visibility.
In other recent Steam news, Alpha Protocol was suddenly pulled from the Steam Store due to expired music rights. There was also a recently leaked work-in-progress Steam client update, and Age of Empires II: HD Edition was confirmed not to be taken off Steam when the Definitive Edition launches.