Valve has officially added an LGBTQ+ tag to Steam to help gamers discover games with LGBTQ+ themes. Valve has also added a new hub for games tagged as LGBTQ+, which should help indie developers get their titles noticed in a crowded market.
Steam is the marketplace for games used by the majority of PC gamers. There are thousands of games available on Steam, making it difficult for smaller developers to get their titles noticed. Which is what makes tags and tagging so useful.
Steam’s Tagging System, Explained
Steam uses approved tags and non-approved tags. Approved tags can be added by developers, allowing Steam’s algorithms to surface and recommend games. Whereas non-approved tags let individual users sort their games without affecting discoverability.
Steam has never had an official, globally approved tag for the LGBTQ+ community. However, with indie developers increasingly catering to LGBTQ+ gamers, the lack of an official tag has prevented some solid games from finding a wider (but targeted) audience.
Valve Adds an Approved LGBTQ+ Tag
As first reported by Kotaku, an indie developer named Yitz raised this issue with Valve. And after a discussion where other developers expressed their (admittedly mixed) opinions on the matter, Valve added LGBTQ+ as a globally approved tag.
— Kotaku (@Kotaku) June 20, 2019
The new LGBTQ+ tag means there’s also an LGBTQ+ hub page allowing you to “browse the newest, top selling and discounted LGBTQ+ products on Steam”. This is currently pretty sparse, but that should change as more developers add the LGBTQ+ tag to their titles.
Discover Games You Want to Play
This tag gives games with LGBTQ+ themes their own space on Steam. Which is obviously good for gamers who want to be able to discover those games quickly and easily. And people who aren’t interested in LGBTQ+ games can just as easily ignore them.
Tech companies are slowly seeking to be more inclusive. And in the same way that adding your sexual orientation to Tinder can help you match with the right people, this new tag should help gamers identify games they’re interested (or not interested) in playing.
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