Steam’s New Review Policy Causes More Problems Than It Solves

Today, Steam did something. That alone is a monumental occasion. But unfortunately, as is too often, Steam either didn’t think very hard about what it did or didn’t care very much about the developers on its platform when it did it.

You see, Steam decided to unilaterally demote all reviews posted by anyone who activated a product on Steam via a Steam Key. Some people think this is good. Since I wrote an article and I’m already sounding snippy, you can probably tell I do not think it was good.

There’s cries that people who paid money have “less biased” opinions, cries that Kickstarter backers are like “investors” and shouldn’t have a say, that review copies are “free keys” and shouldn’t be eligible for, erm, review. All of these are incorrect or downright stupid and I’ll cover them one by one. But first, let’s account for who can actually get a Steam Key and why.

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Steam Had The Tool to Fight G2A Scammers—And They Threw It Away

Scam Artists

At this point most of us are aware that G2A.com is a scam website that profits from stolen credit cards. They allow resellers to sell Steam keys (and others) at below retail prices, often because…they’re stolen! They also have an offensive Dark Pattern for unsubscribing from “G2A Shield“, €2 a month insurance that protects you from the very stolen keys G2A knows they’re selling you. Rimworld recently stopped selling steam keys on other markets because Fraud levels on G2A were too high. G2A’s persistent refrain is simply an elaborate “Not our problem”.

All these things are objective facts, so your lawyers can kiss my spiky metal ass, G2A. Please pay $5000 a month for TapTap Shield™ to protect your website from articles like this. (I shouldn’t joke, they’ll probably take me up on it: G2a already offered to make game devs accessories to stolen credit cards before!)

But the point of this article isn’t to explain why G2A is bad; if you’re not sold on that, click one of the many sources I’ve already provided. Lars Doucet recently did particularly good roundup article on why G2A is literally worse than piracy: “G2A, Piracy, and the Four Currencies”. I strongly recommend you read it before continuing if you are not yet aware of the depth of the problem G2A poses.

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The Hell of Returning a Steam Controller

Welcome to Hell

So you bought a Steam Controller. We all make mistakes. And it has an issue? Bad luck. And you bought it directly from steam? Oh child.

This isn’t going to be fun, but here’s how to return a Steam Controller. This piece serves both as help, and a healthy dose of criticism of the extremely terrible return process. The process has pretty much been intricately designed to make it not worth returning, and frankly I would recommend selling your hardware on Ebay or something instead.

If you have not purchased a Steam Controller yet, do NOT buy it directly from Steam under and circumstance! Buy it from Amazon, a company with competent support and return services. Though, in my opinion, you shouldn’t buy a Steam Controller at all.

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