It’s easy to forget, but Valve actually used to be hated by the majority of the gaming public, before Half-Life: Alyx
was announced and the Epic Game Store decided to bring some (much needed, if ruthless) competition to the PC games market. And one of the reasons they were hated was because they did no functional curation of their games market: as long as you could pay your fees (and maybe bribe some people into vouching for you), you could post your unplayable mess of an asset-swap on the storefront and crowd and already swamped market with crap.
Steam has, occasionally, tried to purge its 30K+ library of this drivel with waves of bans, but this most recent attempt – which has seen about a thousand games removed from the library – seems far more directed. As rather than banning “troll” games, as Valve had described them earlier, Valve was banning games from developers who were caught “abusing Steamwork tools”
.They did not elaborate on what exactly that means.
Of the games that were banned, a good chunk of them were, of course, the usual waste-of-space asset-swapped games. But interestingly, not all of them were: for example, Electric Highways got removed, and that game had been around since 2015 and had over 1,300 positive reviews. It also seems that many of the developers who got their libraries banned, such as Idalgame, who shared an email they received from Steam, are now unable to sell any games on Steam at all.
It’s impossible to know how justified these bans are considering Valve has not elaborated either on the offenses, or the metrics they used to find the abusive developers in question. But while I’d like to assume the best of them, their now well-recorded love of automation does make me question how many of these are legit.