Valve has decided to remove over 170 games from the Steam platform after they were deemed to be created by asset flippers.
What are asset flippers I hear you ask? Well, they’re basically game creators who use other devs assets in their own games and barely create anything on their own. This allows them to create cheap games and make a healthy profit from Steam Direct.
Polygon has reported that Valve has removed a total of 173 games from their library. The majority of those games were developed by one studio; namely, Silicon echo Studios. It also has an alias called Zonitron Productions. It is believed that Studio Echo has released over 80 games in the last two months alone.
By releasing multiple games under one Steam Direct Application, they were able to avoid paying the $100 fee required for every individual title. According to Youtuber SidAlpha, games from Silicon Echo Studios accounted for at least 10% of games released on Steam in July and August.
Valve released the following statement to polygon confirming that they have removed games published by Silicon Echo, Zonitron amongst others.
“Yes, we have a full-time team monitoring reports and they identified an issue that lead to the removal of some titles from a few different Steamworks accounts. These accounts were generating a lot of reports and frustration from customers and other developers. It turns out that the bad actors were all the same person operating under different accounts.
What we found was a set of extreme actions by this person that was negatively impacting the functionality of the store and our tools. For example, this person was mass-shipping nearly-identical products on Steam that were impacting the store’s functionality and making it harder for players interested in finding fun games to play. This developer was also abusing Steam keys and misrepresenting themselves on the Steam store.
As a result, we have removed those games from the Steam Store and ended our business relationship with them.
The Steam platform is open, but we do ask developers to respect our customers and our policies. Spamming cloned games or manipulating our store tools isn’t something we will tolerate. Our priority is helping players find games they will enjoy playing.”