Back in March 2017, Valve began tightening up its rules on Steam in an effort to reduce the number of ‘fake games' on the platform and stop developers from exploiting Steam's systems in order to turn a profit. This started off with restrictions to trading card eligibility, and now, it is spreading to other areas too.
In an updated post on the private Steamworks group, Valve explains that since restricting access to trading cards, the team has “seen fake games move to exploiting other Steam systems”. As a result, some further changes are being made, making it harder for low effort asset flips to reach Steam's ‘confidence metric'.
Steam has announced more changes to address fake games. This was posted in the private Steamworks group (via @reddit) pic.twitter.com/AJxk49TJND
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) June 15, 2018
From now on, games that don't reach Valve's confidence metric will be limited to 100 achievements, and those achievements won't contribute to global achievement count, nor can they be shown on a Steam profile as part of an achievement showcase.
These games also won't contribute to a user's game library count, not can it be shown as part of a profile's ‘collector showcase'. Finally, these games won't be eligible for sale coupons either.
The post goes on to explain that “fake games were inflating achievement and game counts for users to display on their profiles”. According to Valve's own research, an insignificant number users were taking advantage of this, but the existence of these fake games still causes confusion for the Steam algorithm. In case users are buying games on purpose to boost achievement counts, they will now be informed of these restrictions on the store page.
Of course, these changes should not have a negative impact on any real, legitimate games.
KitGuru Says: I would be interested in seeing Valve's ‘confidence metric' displayed publicly on Steam store pages, though that could invite unnecessary scrutiny over legitimate titles. Do you guys think Valve needs to continue being tougher on low-effort titles flooding Steam?