Valve Addresses Steam’s “Fake Games” Issue – Talks New System to Promote Quality
Everyone, at one time or another, has had the displeasure of downloading a promising title only to discover it’s another one of Steam’s low-quality games slipping through the cracks. It can be hard for users to determine what games in the never ending list are worth the coin or the download time. To combat this, Valve is instituting a new system to weed out the rough amidst the diamonds.
The new program will ask users they’re dubbing “Steam Explorers” to play through queues of games. While doing this they will “flag” any games they think are worthwhile. This will hopefully help Valve identify Steam’s low-quality games and make more promising ones visible on the platform. This video from Jim Sterling, who spent time at Valve, shares some of the information about about the changes coming from Steam:
The program is intent on focusing on games that aren’t selling well. Valve hopes this will reveal titles of interest that may have been overlooked in the wave of games being released. Any user can join the program and help find some of Steam’s low-quality games, and each will get a forum to discuss their experiences.
There are concerns with this program, however. As was the case with Greenlight, some are worried that pressure from creators could see games flagged that don’t deserve the rating. This, coupled with groups on the platform that are strongly against less violent games like Firewatch and Gone Home, may find that they no longer have a home if those people can shift the tide. Valve has yet to determine what to do about this problem.
This change is also bringing new features to the already present Steam Curator feature. While Curators have always been able to list their top games, they will now be able to add videos, create small discrete lists, and allow users to sort selections by various metrics. Curators will also be able to see how lists impact sales and may even earn incentives from Valve. Though the hows of this are still under wraps, it was noted that game keys would arrive via Steam instead of through e-mail. Similar concerns exist with the Curator program, as those individuals may be able to discretely charge game publishers for list slots. This would mean that revenue could buy ratings instead of quality. The one certain thing in all of this is that it seems Valve has their work cut out for them.
Beyond these changes also comes the shift from Greenlight to Steam Direct. This would put developers in a position where they would need to register with Valve and pay an application fee before they could get their game on the platform. Valve is still deciding the figure on this, somewhere between $100 and $5,000 dollars.
Steam Direct is another answer to the flood of “fake games”, as they have been called by the company, that they hope will help curb the influx of titles passing through their previous voting system. This is also bringing heavy changes in the trading card system as well. With many games making most of their capital from percentages on card trading, they hope to change the system to help weed out yet more trouble.
Individuals that use the platform are hopeful that Explorers and Curators will mean a more varied reflection of Steam users’ interests. These two will allow for a wide range of options, and with markers that gamers can use in order to find the kinds of games they like. With Valve hinting that they want varied views, they may already have some methods in mind to help steer these programs in the right direction. This lengthy video from YouTuber TotalBiscuit details all of the changes and goings on from his visit with Valve:
No confirmation is available as of yet for Steam Direct, only that they are shooting for Spring of this year. As is often the case with Valve, this target may change as it gets closer to release. Uncertainty still shrouds the launch date for Explorers, though it may be part of the launch for Direct. One thing is for certain, however, in that these changes may help make Steam a better place for players and developers.
Will the Explorer and Curator programs help weed out Steam’s low-quality games, or will politics continue to rule the platform? Join in on the conversation in the comments section below or start one on Disqus! As always, don’t forget to follow DFTG on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7!
Charles Douglas734 Posts
Deep in the mountains of the south west lives a man who writes game editorials, makes YouTube Videos, and is an overall mega nerd. An avid believer in Unicorns, and your new all star line backer, Number 34, CHARLES DOUGLAAAAAAASSSS!!!!