Valve’s only public statement makes is seem that they are removing it due to negative feedback on the game. “Based on what we've seen on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam” is the statement that we have so far. Of course this could also be a comment on the game itself, which appears to be pretty brutal in terms of the context of the game. It is not just the violence in the game, there are plenty of games on the market that are very violent and put you in a situation where you are killing multiple “enemies”. In fact many of the most popular games include this type of content (COD, Battlefield, etc.) so the simple fact that it is a violent game is probably not the issue.
What is much more likely is that the actual context of the game which seems to glorify and promote a specific type of violence is what got the game removed. We are talking about the fact that the game is all about a lone person killing multiple “innocent” people. In the game you are the lone killer and you execute your massacre against the people in the game world. Supporters of the game claim that games like Postal and Grand Theft Auto (GTA) are the same and should be banned too. In many ways these are very valid claims and there is some truth to the fact the GTA and Postal are games that should not be available, but there is also a lot of evidence to suggest that playing these games does not lead to someone committing those types of crimes. When Postal came out it was during a time when there were a number of mass shootings involving postal workers and it created a storm of criticism in the same way that Hatred is right now.
So what is the right answer? Do we allow games just for the sake of having them? There are games that are much worse than Hatred on the underground market and I am sure that others will pop up to fill that need even if Hatred was not made available. The game (and games like it) are in very poor taste and I doubt that I would play something like this. Valve and other publishing companies do have the right not to sell it though and it has nothing to do with the “free speech” argument that I saw in comments on the issue. Valve is not the government and is no bound by the First Amendment. They can choose the games they do or do not want to sell and there is nothing anyone can do about it except get the public involved and put community pressure on them. In the end this appears to have worked and Valve has put Hatred back in project green light according to a few reports.
what do you think?