Valve recently introduced a new policy that allowed any and all games to be released on Steam as long as the game was not blatantly trolling or was illegal. It was a controversial move for the company as they decided to rather open the floodgates than try to do any sort of curation. It felt like the lazy way out to a complex issue and it was especially surprising coming from the number one distributor of PC games. With this lax approach, the games have been pouring in, no matter how sleazy they look and now it seems they can just be straight up viruses.
According to a report by Eurogamer, a game with the name of Abstractism was installing cryptocurrency mining programs on people’s PCs. The game’s launcher and executable were flagged by multiple anti-viruses as containing malware and trojan horse style viruses that were consistent with a cryptocurrency miner and players reported abnormal GPU and CPU usage. Also in the report, the game was accused of selling scam items on its item storefront, specifically a rocket launcher that was identical to a Team Fortress 2 rare rocket launcher.
It’s one thing to allow a game that glorifies school shootings, but it’s another to have actively malicious software on your store. The game was thankfully removed by Valve amidst these allegations, but the fact that it was there for so long is a harrowing tale. I’m somewhat fine with allowing edgy games on the platform, but viruses to be installed on computers? That’s an entirely different level.