Fake reviews force Valve to remove game from Steam
There are often times where one can forget that Steam is an actual storefront instead of the free-for-all flea market. In a refreshing change, however, it seems that Valve, the company behind Steam, has taken action to do some clean-up work.
Yesterday, Valve released a statement with regards to Art of Stealth. The game will be removed from the Steam store following evidence that the reviews for the game were created by the developers themselves.
Art of Stealth is, unfortunately, a by the numbers shoved out indie game on the Steam store. A broken, horrible mess that becomes more insulting by the virtue that it is sold to you as a piece of entertainment.
By all accounts, it would have been another drop in an already drowning marketplace. That is until the glorious Jim Sterling covered the game in his series, Jimpressions. While not the only YouTuber to tackle the game, the prominence of Sterling in the community made him a target by the Developer of Art of Stealth, Matan Cohen. After a DMCA takedown was issued on the video and the threat of legal action, it seemed like another case of a shameful developer unable to take criticism for an awful game. Reddit user Benben516 chronicled the events in this Reddit post.
Find the video below and see the real doozy Jim had to go through:
While it does seem nice on the surface that Valve stepped in, this is only cleaning a speck of dust. Art of Stealth and the actions of the developer are in no way unique to the service. Valve’s poor quality control has led to an influx of similar quality of games flooding the market.
To put this into perspective of the current issue, independent organisation Steam Spy which tracks the Steam data, revealed that nearly 40% of all available Steam games released in 2016. This is shocking by any metric, only made worse once you realise Steam has been around for over 10 years. Find below the chart made by Steam Spy:
Hopefully this indicates some form of new quality assurance in order to stop developers abusing a flimsily moderated system. With so many examples of fake reviews and developer melt-downs, maybe this can send a strong message. Although knowing Valves dedication to essentially any new idea released to the public, expect this to be the standard.