Atomic Heart, Escape from Tarkov, and Wagner Groups: how Steam tolerates the war sympathizers

Valve Corporation, the owner of Steam, is currently facing the community backlash as several groups were found on the platform named after the Wagner Group, an internationally-recognized and banned terrorist organization rooted in Russia. However, the company doesn’t seem to care about countless terrorist sympathizers on its platform, as no actions were taken and no official comments were made. It is not the first case of Steam tolerating Russia’s sympathizers and supporters of the war Russians have launched. AIN.Capital tells the details.

  • On March 12, 2023, the Twitter user @the_Latis posted a screenshot of a Steam group named PMC Wagner Group, which had over 1,700 members at the time. Many of the members were active, having posted 12 pages worth of Ruscist symbols and messages of support for the terrorist group.
  • Furthermore, this community of active war supporters is not unique. Several other groups with similar “interests” were found across the Steam platform. One of them has nearly 14,000 participants as of the time of the publication.
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  • Despite many appeals and reports, the Steam Support doesn’t seem to want to react properly. So far, Steam has neither acknowledged the situation, nor responded to the users who are disturbed by such communities freely existing on the platform.

There are more cases of Steam tolerating pro-Kremlin users

  • Such offensive behavior is pretty common among Steam’s Russian community. In March 2022, Russian players started review bombing the cult Ukrainian game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. on Steam after its developers, GSC Game World, took their games down from the Russian store segment.
  • And later, in April 2022, Valve has completely stopped making payments for games to Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian developers. Back then, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine called on Valve to resume payments to Ukrainian game developers or provide a clear explanation of why the company can not make these payments.
  • Earlier this year, Steam also didn’t pull from its platform Russian-made game Atomic Heart, created on the money from the US-sanctioned companies and individuals. The company didn’t anyhow react to the facts that the game was actively mocking the nation, that the Russian army was committing war crimes against. Another similar gaming experience, Escape from Tarkov, can also still be freely bought on the platform.