Valve bans developer from Steam for using game update notes to share transphobic rant

Steam logo on trans flag

The developer of the game Domina, Nicholas Gorissen, has received a permanent ban from Valve's Steam platform after publishing an anti trans diatribe in the notes accompanying a game update.

Gorissen, also known as Bignic, used the release notes for an update to his Roman gladiator sim Domina to attack the transgender community. In addition to a general anti-trans rant, he also personally attacked a prominent transgender game streamer. In response, Valve has removed all titles published by his company, Dolphin Barn Incorporated.

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Details of Gorissen's game being delisted from Steam by Valve, as well as his permanent ban from his own gaming forum, was shared on resetera by forum poster Zoop.

Zoop points out that "it's unfortunately not even the first time that he's used his patch notes to spread transphobia and I feel that it really shouldn't have taken this long to shitcan him".

A screenshot of the ban notice from Valve informs Gorissen that:

You have been permanently banned from the Domina Hub

You were banned by a member of Steam Support.

Reason: "A recent announcement posted to the Domina community hub includes insults targeting another person. We also notice that you are clearing a number of reported posts in your hub containing various rule violation. We made it clear in our last communication that future violations of our Rules and Guidelines like this would jeopardize our future relationship -- with that in mind, we are ending out business relationship with 'Dolphin Barn Incorporated' and removing all associated products from sale."

News of the ban was first shared by Ars Technica which notes that the anti-trans messages are not the first time Gorissen has caused controversy with notes included with a game patch. Earlier in the year he encouraged people to ignore COVID-19 rules and to ditch masks.

A personal note:

As a trans woman, I have been on the receiving end of transphobia. It is, of course, hurtful, but also -- in an age of doxxing -- potentially dangerous. While I'm opposed to the idea of censorship, the balance between freedom of speech and the violation of the rights of others needs to be struck. I welcome Valve's decision to enforce the rules that Gorissen agreed to when choosing to use the platform, and note that he has numerous other ways to sell his games.

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