Steam Adds Permanent, Official LGBTQ+ Tag For All Games On Their Online Marketplace

Steam Adds Permanent, Official LGBTQ+ Tag For All Games On Their Online Marketplace
Credit: PlayStation via YouTube

Steam officially added a new LGBTQ+ tag to its online marketplace this week. ‘Tags’ are textual markers that help categorize games on the storefront. Steam distinguishes between official and custom tags for its games. Previously, the LGBTQ+ tag had only existed as a non-recognized, custom tag added by developers. Before its approval, Steam did not have any other official tag even resembling the new label.

Now that it has become official, games using the tag will be conferred special benefits that had been previously unavailable under the previous custom tag. Those benefits will be helpful to both fans and developers alike.

Although the news comes in the middle of Gay Pride Month, the decision was actually made only after a developer had requested the tag be made official for their new game. As reported by Kotaku, developer Yitz petitioned Valve (Steam’s parent company) to make the tag officially recognized. Yitz felt it fit perfectly for their upcoming visual-novel game, To The Dark Tower.

Valve took the request seriously but asked Yitz to bring it up before the Steam community for further discussion. The community was generally supportive of the creation of the new tag; some did worry, however, that the creation of the tag would bring uninvited vitriol and trolling from bigots. But ultimately, the community decided such attention was unavoidable anyway.

Steam then approved the official tag. The creation of the tag is good news during Pride Month.

An official tag brings plenty of perks for both developers and fans of LGBTQ+ games or games that explore LGBTQ+ themes. For developers, one major advantage is access to a unique hub page that lists similar games found under the same or similar tags. This allows gamers interested in LGBTQ+ to find dozens of games published on Steam sharing the same tag. An official hub page is essentially free marketing for developers.

The advantages for gamers could possibly be even greater than those given to developers. Like most things on the internet, data drives Steam’s online marketplace. The gamer’s interests and recent searches inform the games they end up getting shown.

So having tags like ‘action-adventure’ in your library will have Steam display more action-adventure games on the front-page. Now the same will happen for fans of games with LGBTQ+ content.

Currently, only 100 games have used the new tag on Steam. Keep an eye out as this marketplace continues to grow.