Valve are apparently about to take action on another blight on the Steam platform. In this case, the games that exist solely for users to farm Steam achievements are about to be targeted for “limiting”.
In a brief message posted to the private developer group (which we can read via SteamDB and Reddit), Valve says that these achievement farming games aren’t being used by many people, but that they confuse algorithms and users.
Valve has devised new metrics to gauge whether games meet quality standards in regards to achievements. This new system will identify and mark these games on the Steam store. Those games identified to be low-quality. will be limited to 1,000 achievements, and those achievements won’t count toward a player’s global achievement count or be displayable on their profile. The game also won’t count toward the number of games they own, and won’t be eligible for coupons. Basically, the game won’t exist outside the user library.
“We don’t believe these constraints will negatively impact real games in any way,” said Valve, “and the removal of fake games should improve the Store experience for everyone.”
Steam have been under fire recently for a new plan to abandon quality control on Steam, but even that policy clearly has limits. Valve previously took action against games that hand out significant trading cards to players. This was accomplished using a confidence metric that determined if real users were actually playing the games, instead of just idling to collect Steam trading cards.