Steam users can now be blocked from individual games by their developers.
Steam has always supported multiplayer bans for disruptive users, but a newly-implemented system allows developers to ban users from individual games using their own anti-cheat systems.
Game Bans are enforced by Valve, but are enacted at the developer’s request and discretion.
This change has a couple of consequences. Firstly, it allows developers to police their own games in ways which Valve cannot, accounting for the individual foibles of specific titles and communities. An individual developer is also likely to have the time and resources to devote to its own title, whereas it’s impossible for Valve to be appropriately reactive across the entire Steam catalogue.
Additionally, it takes the burden of ban appeals off Valve’s support team, and puts it onto the shoulders of developers; a Steam Community post detailing the feature directs affected users to developer support.
Both of those changes could have positive and negative effect, depending on how the developer implements the system. There are some fair questions and concerns though, especially as some developers have an, ah ha ha, erratic history of community management on Steam. Discuss.