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Posts tagged “Steam”

Valve to remove “off topic” review bombs from Steam user scores

Valve have finally admitted that 'review bombing' on Steam (leaving swarms of negative reviews for questionable reasons) is a big enough problem to have a human clean things up from time to time. According to today's store blog post, when a large, anomalous cluster of score-demolishing reviews happens, Valve will have "a team of people" investigate. If they decide that the reasons stated during that…

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Valve extend Steam Link out of the home and networking API to all developers

As part of their warm-up for the Game Developers Conference, Valve have rolled out two new features on Steam today, one for players and one for developers. For those playing games instead of making them, Steam Link is now officially usable outside of home networks, albeit in open beta. Anyone with home streaming set up from their PC and either a Steam Link box or…

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British MPs turn their attention to Steam after Rape Day debacle

Valve's "reactionary" approach to moderating Steam and their handling of visual novel Rape Day has now earned them the ire of Scottish National Party MP Hannah Bardell. Backed by MSP Shona Robison, she has called for a full review in how platforms such as Steam "are able to get away with this kind of stupidity", as reported by Gameindustry.biz here. Being an American storefront, I'm unsure what…

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Valve decide not to allow Rape Day on Steam

There are limits, content-wise, to what Valve will allow to be sold on Steam. In a rare (if short) public statement, Valve announced that the visual novel Rape Day (previously covered here) will not ship on Steam. Still, they're not making any change to their policies, and took the opportunity to expound on that, briefly. Valve state that Rape Day "poses unknown costs and risks",…

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Rape Day puts Steam’s minimal moderation in the spotlight again

Valve's lasseiz-faire attitude towards moderation has earned Steam a place in the headlines once again, thanks to the listing of upcoming game Rape Day. First covered by Polygon's Patricia Hernandez, the less said about the game itself, the better - it's a pointlessly edgy visual novel filled with awkward, too-shiny 3D character models. Its very place on the store highlights that people are going to keep…

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Feature: More of the best indie games on Steam

Unknown Pleasures: a fully phlegmatic rifle

It is the season for what the hell is going on out there? Do I plant my garden now? Are we going back to normal late-winter murderfrost or what? Lord, we're all doomed. If I didn't have a cold I'd have no tether to normality at all. Unknown Pleasures is, you may be aware, our round up of the best indie games on Steam that,…

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Steam stepping back from selling films

Steam's experiment in selling plain ol' non-games-related films, shows, and videos is ending, as Valve say they're refocusing on, y'know, stuff to do with video games. Which is no surprise, because games are why people use Steam. They've removed the 'Video' section from the Steam Store menu and plan to stop selling a number of non-games vids, though folks who bought them will still be…

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Take-Two not planning to open own games store

Starting your own digital distribution store is the hot trend amongst big developers and publishers, so I was genuinely surprised to see Take-Two Interactive say that they don't intend to open one. I mean, it would be a bit daft but... that hasn't stopped anyone else so far. No, the parent company of publishers 2K, Grand Theft Auto devs Rockstar, and Civilization crew Firaxis (among…

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The Steam Awards show was short and to the point

While last year's Steam Awards were just a poll on the store, Valve are stepping up their game this year. Starting in a few minutes (at the time of writing) is the Steam Awards 2018 show, broadcasting live on the company's own Steam TV site. While I doubt there'll be anything as surprising as Epic's coup at the Game Awards before the holidays, there's still…

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Steam Lunar New Year sale offers extra discounts for big spenders

Another day, another big Steam sale, but this one is a little more straightforward. To celebrate the Chinese year of the pig, prices are slashed on many games until February 11th, 6pm GMT, and spending £30 gets you a one-time £5 discount. More convoluted is the sale rewards booth page here. You're awarded virtual pig-tokens based on how much you've spent on Steam in the…

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Valve deem sudden Epic exclusivity of Metro Exodus “unfair to customers”

There were shocked faces all round when Metro Exodus was suddenly declared to be exclusive to Epic's increasingly pugnacious new store yesterday. The Fortnite bunch have been making a play to turn their store into a serious Steam rival for a few weeks now, but the much-anticipated third Metro game was a hell of a scalp to take from Valve. More startling was that it…

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Feature: Epic Flail

It’s great that Epic is trying to compete with Steam, but they’re going about it in the worst way

Steam, unquestionably, needs a sizeable competitor. With a significant monopoly on the PC games market, such that present rivals like GOG and Humble barely take a dent out of its audience, Valve is able to take an infuriatingly lackadaisical approach to many aspects of Steam. Something to scare them into action would be marvellous. And while not optimistic, I'd hoped that maybe Epic, with their…

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Feature: The best indie games on Steam this year

Unknown Pleasures: A Chinese New Year

Strange things are afoot in steamgamesland. A powerful new force has begun to show its face on Western shores. Hailing from the tiny island nation of China, a wave of intrepid indie developers are shaking off a variety of undeserved reputations and delivering a solid fifth* of the shortlist of games we consider for Unknown Pleasures, the roundup of the best new games too few…

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Half of all games on Steam came out since 2017

An explosion in PC games is A Thing That Has Happened And Was Always Going To Happen, due to more accessible development tools and the removal of physical barriers to distribution. There's been much discussion about the e'er-rising tide of new Steam releases, but recently we got to put an actual number on it. The current total of games - i.e. complete, individual games, DLC…

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Steam in review for 2018 and Valve’s plans for 2019

A lot happened with Steam in 2018, for better or worse. While unsurprisingly skirting around the worst of their problems, Valve's Steam Blog breakdown of 2018 here makes for an interesting read. The company are clearly proud of the enormous tonnage of data they've distributed (15.39 exabytes), and go on to further chart the growth of gamepad usage on PC. Valve also showcase some of…

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Feature: The best Steam games you missed over Christmas

Unknown Pleasures: The Last Gasp of 2018

We're back! Did you have a good Christmas break? Get into that backlog, did you? Yeah, me neither. Not to worry! Due to the awkward way the games industry and linear time interact, this week's selection is technically of 2018 vintage, so you're allowed to try them all without any anxiety or apologies to the other 73 unplayed games you'll totally get round to sometime…

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Steam may have flagged Wandersong and others as ‘fake’ for months

Valve's attempts to identify 'fake' games on Steam through automated metrics may have backfired, hurting the developers of some excellent games in the process. As brought up by Wandersong developer Greg Lobanov on Twitter yesterday, the well-reviewed, multi-award-winning game was flagged as an unknown quantity on the store. Until Steam somehow learnt more about the game through users interactions with it, it wouldn't be eligible…

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Feature: Hello, it's me

Steam Charts: The tail of the Winter Sale

Ho ho ho! John still hasn't returned after Christmas, missing presumed drowned in egg nog, so I'm filling in today. Valve have already blarbed about 2018's best-selling games so we're back on the weekly charts. Last week's top ten was largely familiar, though catching the tail end of the Steam Winter Sale has introduced a few surprises.

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Lego Lord Of The Rings & Hobbit vanish from sale

As is becoming disappointingly common with games based on movie licenses and whatnot, Lego The Lord Of The Rings and Lego The Hobbit seem to have been pulled from sale on digital stores including Steam without warning or explanation. Folks who already own them can continue to download and play them on Steam, but newcomers will need to track down a boxed copy or download…

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Steam’s “Best Of 2018” lists paint an interesting picture in numbers

2018 was the year I accepted that nothing in the games industry makes much sense, and Steam's official best-of roundup makes me even more convinced that it's all entirely arbitrary. Valve have assembled five lists here, breaking down the best-sellers of the year, the biggest releases of each month, 2018's top grossing VR games, the best-performing early access graduates, and what actually got played most. While…

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