Valve is working on a new Steam feature that will let you hide all those weird sex games from your friends

Horny Housewives Booty Call Blackmail screenshot from Steam
(Image credit: Miel)

Valve appears to be working on a new feature for Steam that will let you mark individual games as "private," which will let you keep your profile public while preventing all your friends from knowing just how much time you spend playing Horny Housewives Booty Call Blackmail. (Or, you know, whatever.)

Currently, the privacy options on Steam are limited: You can set your profile, or individual parts of it (game details, friends list, and inventory), to public, friends only, or private. That provides some control over what the rest of the Steam universe can know about you, but it's an all-or-nothing solution that lacks flexibility.

The addition of a per-game privacy option, spotted and shared on Twitter by SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik, promises to go a long way toward addressing that shortcoming. Steam users will be able to mark individual games as "private," which will keep other Steam users—even their friends—from seeing it.

Let's be honest with each other here: It's not hard to put together why Steam users would want this feature. Yes, you might want to keep quiet the fact that you've poured 2,960 hours into Destiny 2: That's the kind of commitment that might give concern to friends and health care professionals, after all. 

But I would suspect that Valve's embrace of hardcore sex games is likely a larger factor. It's great to have the freedom to indulge as you like (as long as you're of appropriate age, of course) but it's not necessarily something you want advertised to the world at large—or even your online gaming pals.

(Image credit: Pavel Djundik (Twitter))

In my case, for instance, I sometimes recall that I have a game called Boobs Battleground in my Steam library and think, yeah, maybe I should do something about that. I don't mind bringing it up here because, believe it or not, I acquired it years ago for work purposes (I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true) but a new Steam pal who doesn't know that might notice it and have second thoughts about adding me to their friends list.

Yes, I own Boobs Battleground on Steam. It was for work.

Seriously mom, it's for work! (Image credit: Future)

The "mark as private" option isn't currently available in the Steam client beta, and it's not a sure thing it will be released at all. But being able to keep your profile public, to take advantage of Steam services like trading or social features, while excluding individual games (of any sort!) from public view seems to me like a no-brainer, especially now that the platform is open to adult content. I've reached out to Valve for comment and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.