For many years, the Steam storefront has become infamous for asset flips. Lazily made games using game development ‘kits’ without any original material, these titles have made searching for great games far more difficult than it ever used to be.
Indeed, it’s become such a problem that YouTubers like SidAlpha and Jim Sterling devote large portions of their channel to talking about the endless clones.
But it seems things are now getting better on the asset flip front! Why? Because as the title suggests, Valve have now removed a developer notorious for the practice from the Steam service, along with all 200 of their poorly done games!
No, you didn’t hear that wrong. These guys released 200 terrible games on Steam.
That’s because the developers in question (aka Silicon Echo) was notorious for using sockpuppet accounts on Steam to trick people into buying them without knowing who was responsible for the things. Here’s a two-part video series about the company and their practices from SidAlpha:
So yeah, the company has now been booted off Steam. That’s at least a small victory for people sick of these lazy asset flip titles, and proof that Valve does at least occasionally listen to their users.
But it’s still a drop in the bucket. Remember, Silicon Echo is just one company of many here. And while their sockpuppet antics may have drawn attention, removing them is only the start of what needs to be done. Valve now needs to kick other asset flippers and lazy devs off the service too.
Yes, they’ll lose some sales. Yes, that’ll mean the number of games on Steam will decrease for a bit.
Yet at the same time, they’d make Steam much better by doing so. Moderation is not a bad thing. It’s what keeps a service’s quality control up. It’s what stops a community degrading into complete crap. There’s nothing wrong with a company like Valve enforcing quality control standards on games sold via their platform.
So it’s time Valve realised this. A good service cannot accept everything, no standards required. If Valve wants people to enjoy using Steam again, they’ll need to say ‘enough is enough’ where low quality trash is concerned. Their original standards were partly the reason why people used the service at all, and their removal of said standards is why Steam is seen as such a dumpster fire today.
Congrats on removing Silicon Echo and their quality games. But now Valve needs to follow suit for the other hundreds of asset flips on the service too.
Only then will Steam become great again.