Steam employees speak out against Valve

Alex Darbyshire reports on indie developers speaking out against a long-quiet issue on Valve's platform.

Alex Darbyshire
5th November 2018
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It’s easy to upload a game to Steam. However, the algorithm in place that determines what is featured, and therefore supported by Valve is not as easy to navigate. And so, many developers struggle.

Most developers show animosity particularly for the review system Steam has had in place for the last five years. According to sources within the industry, this system has a recommendation threshold of 70%, after which a dev’s game receives either a ‘Positive’ reception, wrapped in a comely blue marker, or a ‘mixed’ score, with a much more unbecoming brown marker.

This remarkable threshold is the problem for developers, who are afraid of revealing to gamers that they have “much more power than they think”

It appears that Steam, on the other hand, are happy to go on allowing larger games to flourish...

Developers have also been critical of the lack of support tools, as most users simply use the review system itself as a technical support forum as Steam offers no ticketing service. This further frustrates developers, who would be more than happy to support their players.

In addition, removing negative reviews is said to be a tiresome process, even to developers, and they want Valve to take greater measures in supporting developers regarding the culling of troll and ‘support’ reviews. Furthermore, while Steam may be the biggest platform on PC by far, developers feel mistreated on Steam compared to the Microsoft Sony stores (both of which take 30% of profit), who provide industry connections and healthy support systems.

Gamers have “much more power than they think”

It appears that Steam, on the other hand, are happy to go on allowing larger games to flourish, while also profiting from the many failing, un-helped, smaller indie titles.

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AUTHOR: Alex Darbyshire
Gaming Editor, part-time human.

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