Valve is making an unprecedented transfer to curtail the variety of Steam recreation gross sales taking place outdoors of Steam itself.
According to a put up on Steam’s developer-only board, the corporate will now not robotically fulfil key requests by builders who promote video games on Steam.
The put up is written by Sean Jenkin, one of many folks at Valve who help Steam builders. A screenshot of it was shared on-line by Steamspy’s Sergey Galyonkin.
Instead, Valve will now “take a deeper look” at a recreation’s Steam gross sales and different components every time a developer asks for a variety of keys that doesn’t align with how nicely the sport is doing on Steam.
The instance given was that of a developer whose recreation sells within the few hundreds on Steam, however has nonetheless requested 500,000 keys.
The thought is to chop down on the gross sales of Steam keys outdoors of Steam, since builders who ask for these disproportionate quantities of keys are sometimes doing so to promote them less expensive to bundle websites. What finally ends up taking place is that Steam bears the bandwidth prices and different bills related to the service, with out taking a reduce of the sale.
For these unfamiliar, any developer with entry to Steamworks – Steam’s developer API – is ready to generate keys for his or her video games at will. Some of those keys are given to the press, buddies and many others. however they usually go to bundle websites. That’s the way you get a batch of high-quality indie video games in a bundle for the worth of 1, and all keys redeem on Steam. In these instances, and so they’re many, Valve makes no cash from these gross sales, which the corporate sees as an issue.
Presumably, that is being carried out to fight the development of shovelware and low-effort video games that use Steam as a showroom whereas providing bundle websites lots of of hundreds of keys at extremely low costs in order that these websites can in flip supply ten-game bundles for $four. This is one other method so known as asset flippers can generate profits from their video games, and so they’re doubtless the goal right here.
However, the potential for this affecting smaller, real builders who depend on bundle gross sales to outlive makes this a harmful precedent. The solely possibility for these builders, if their key requests are denied, is to decrease the costs of their video games on Steam, which in flip reduces their income due to Valve’s 30% reduce.