Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Battlechili

Rant: Steam doesn't need quality control

Recommended Posts

Every week or so there's someone  complaining  about  some asset flip meme game being uploaded onto the Steam store. And every time it happens, a bunch of people start yelling at Valve for them to curate their store.

Let me give a few examples of some of the random awful games on Steam:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/791750/President_Trump_The_Way_In_Uganda/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/743110/Shit_Storm/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/712810/Fallen_Times/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/585780/Miner_Ultra_Adventures/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/512430/Make_America_Great_Again/

People want Valve to disallow and remove terrible games like these from being on the Steam store. A popular youtuber by the name of Jim Sterling (who I personally find extremely unbearable but that's a discussion for another time) regularly does videos complaining about the various terrible games on Steam, constantly asking for their removal. And people typically agree with these people saying this. And it infuriates me.

Now, there's a certain degree of understanding I have with regards to these complaints. Steam is cluttered as a store and that makes exposure to true gems or perhaps just interesting niche's get hidden and thus results in less exposure. From a consumer standpoint, if you use the store to find out about games, this can limit what you know of and keep you from playing what might be good. From a developer/publisher standpoint, this may result in receiving less sales in games. Steamspy, a tool for viewing how many people own a particular game, as well as statements from publishers with regards to game releases on Steam, have  confirmed this to some degree.

That said, the constant complaining about the need for curation is driving me insane. Its bugs me to no end and also scares me a little. I absolutely believe Steam needs to improve, but I don't believe curation itself is the answer.

From a personal standpoint, its difficult for me to see any gain from Valve doing such a thing and only seems to threaten what's possibly made available to me. I primarily get my game news from Gematsu, which I visit daily. Otherwise, I hear about games through hear-say and word of mouth on internet forums and the like. Websites like 4chan, Tumblr, and Twitter give me plenty of exposure to games I might not have otherwise noticed. I do not use Steam to find out about games. I see Steam as a store in the way I do most stores; I go into them to get the things I already know I want, and then leave. So a lack of exposure isn't really an issue. And as Steam has a refund system, game reviews, and requires in-game screenshots, and as gameplay videos for games are very easy to find, there are so many protections in place to ensure that one can avoid scams that being scammed isn't even an issue in this regard. Since one doesn't have to buy anything that's put on Steam, and since all these protections are in place, its hard for me to see how any form of curation would benefit me.

On the other side of things, there are ways curation can be harmful. I do not believe for one second that Valve is well equipped to properly curate games. Sure, its easy for people to look at games like Deus Ex and the Witcher or even Final Fantasy and say "Yes, this is something that should be on Steam" generally speaking. However, when it comes to niche titles, I'm not so confident. What makes anyone think that, in the hypothetical instance that Valve curates games, they would be able to tell a low effort visual novel from a good one? Or perhaps tell the difference between any other number of highly niche titles. The average person wouldn't see value in the majority of smaller niche games. If a person were to hypothetically look at LiEat, Corpse Party, World End Economica, or perhaps even Criminal Girls, would they actually be able to consider them as games of value? They're games that have the appearance of (or in the case of LiEat, actually are) small RPGMaker games or games with still images, with Criminal Girls looking like something that's just this + waifu pandering for weeb bucks. Its already been done on other websites with stronger curation processes; GOG, another digital distribution site dedicated to releasing games DRM free, rejected the CAVE shmup Mushihimesama on the basis of it looking like a game that they didn't think would be very successful on their platform. CAVE is a renowned developer among fans of shmups, although the actual genre itself is extremely niche. As a result, the game is not available anywhere DRM free. The crime of this and hypocritical nature of it is that GOG hosts a few other shmups on their platform that, according to Steamspy numbers, are significantly less popular and less successful games. For example, the game Raiden Legacy has around 2300 owners on Steam. Mushihimesama? 41000. GOG basically did not have members among their curation staff that actually knew anything about the niche, and as a result could not properly curate their own storefront. So who's to say that Valve can on Steam?

This is what scares me. As it currently stands, should curation become a thing, games that I might like and otherwise enjoy might be put into a position where I cannot purcahse them. Steam is such a monopoly in the PC gaming market that some games only exist in the West translated and/or only get ported to PC because of Steam. If curation threatens these games from being on Steam, it could result in games these games no longer being made available to the niche markets interested in them. That's what makes the idea of curation horrifying.

I think, if anything, Valve should find a way to simply hide unproven bad games from the eye while still hosting them on the storefront. For example, if some new publisher who has never published a game before comes and puts something on Steam, it shouldn't show up on the front of the store. Perhaps Steam could be split into sections based on proven and unproven publishers and let people who want to go visit the unproven section, find the good games, and wind up getting them popular enough and successful enough to move into the "proven" section. Perhaps this idea has some flaws; the main point is that I think Steam shouldn't curate games out, but simply make bad low effort games not as noticeable so that way those who actually do use Steam to find out about games can still find them.

Nonetheless, for the time being, every other week I suffer these complaints and I get scared that one of these days, Valve is going to actually do it.

Please.

PLEASE

Stop complaining about how the storefront is littered with bad games and asking Valve to remove them for your own sensabilities. I don't want Valve to start deciding for me what games I want to play.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the Steam store IS curated. Just put a pair of naked boobies in a game and you'll find it doesn't last long.

It's a good thing that violence isn't as immoral and reprehensible as the human body or there'd be no games on there at all.

-F

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of had a feeling this thread was going to devolve into whiny bitch rants about violence versus sex in games, like the second it was put up.
And lo and behold, it only took an hour.

Good job, team. We did it.

9_funny_jesus_thumbs_up.jpg.60044f2ab8b11234494cc27d836797bf.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Valve is extremely relaxed when it comes to games containing nudity and/or pornographic content when its all said and done. There are tons of porn VNs on Steam, and plenty other games in general that contain nudity of some sort. Granted, most of them are censored, but they almost always have official uncensor patches so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Its extremely infrequent for games to be removed on this basis (although it does happen, and it too annoys me. Especially when people complain about porn VNs being on Steam)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Battlechili said:

Valve is extremely relaxed when it comes to games containing nudity and/or pornographic content when its all said and done. There are tons of porn VNs on Steam, and plenty other games in general that contain nudity of some sort. Granted, most of them are censored, but they almost always have official uncensor patches so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Well, 'censored' kind of means 'all the dirty bits removed' in Steam's case, and the censor patches have to be distributed off-site, and there again they do distribute the PC version of Witcher 3, which is well known for its sex scenes - which makes me wonder two things:

1) Why do they bother in the first place
2) Why the double-standard for so-called triple-A titles?

Not that the answer isn't obvious. 1) to fend off the 'moral majority' (ha ha) and 2) because nobody kicks a big lump of gold out of bed.

But returning to the topic more closely, in all honesty you can see why some people make these requests for curation. Some of those games are really awful. And then on the other, other hand, there is a free ranking system that they clearly don't censor, so it's not like bad games don't get flagged up (although I do think the simple like / dislike ranking system lacks granularity, clarity and sometimes fairness.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who is getting ready to launch a game on Steam, I disagree with you. There should be more quality control than "is this actually a virus pretending to be a product?"

I'm stuck competing with a ton of shitass asset flips, single-level games hoping for a quick buck, and buggy nonsense because Steam has no quality control. Niche market or not, you can tell when a team/person put work into something and when a team/person bought assets, stuck them together with some public-domain sound loops, and then put it up on the store.

Because there's a middle ground between quality control and "that niche shoot-em-up is going to get rejected because it's niche."

Quote

For example, if some new publisher who has never published a game before comes and puts something on Steam, it shouldn't show up on the front of the store

I'm already unlikely to make money, but that would cripple me. It also greatly benefits asset flippers and people with no quality control standards. Guy buys a brick-break pack, posts it as game one, changes the background, posts it as game two, changes the background, posts it as game three, etc. That's actually happened. Before Digital Homicide killed themselves by being absolutely insane, they were doing that exact practice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh that reminds me of the early days of the Apple iPhone store. The so-called 'top ten apps' didn't change for years at a time because it was based on download figures, and being in the top ten was really good advertising. Once you got in there, you stayed there more or less forever. And that's how Angry Birds was born.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2018 at 11:18 AM, Battlechili said:

Valve is extremely relaxed when it comes to games containing nudity and/or pornographic content when its all said and done. There are tons of porn VNs on Steam, and plenty other games in general that contain nudity of some sort. Granted, most of them are censored, but they almost always have official uncensor patches so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Its extremely infrequent for games to be removed on this basis (although it does happen, and it too annoys me. Especially when people complain about porn VNs being on Steam)

Did'nt we go through this before in my thread about the death of steam greenlight. Even so you forget that you won't be able to stream such games on streaming sites such as twitch. https://phoenix.corvidae.org/topic/5260-the-end-of-steam-greenlight/?do=findComment&comment=202800

Those complaints about porn vn on steam is legitimate, as well as assetflips. It makes finding games that are good a lot harder and eventually it's going to get to the point that steam reputation will suffer even more for it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RTDragon said:

 It makes finding games that are good a lot harder and eventually it's going to get to the point that steam reputation will suffer even more for it.

 

This was basically what I was going to say. I can't see how telling people they need to do better if they want to put games on Steam is such a terrible idea

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tl;dr

 

But I will say, people who actually enjoy Jim Sterling are people you don't ever want to associate with.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Toshabi said:

tl;dr

 

But I will say, people who actually enjoy Jim Sterling are people you don't ever want to associate with.

I had no idea who that was and had to look it up...

...and from a quick glance at his channel, without even loading a video, just... something about it told me he would be really fucking annoying.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/9/2018 at 11:43 PM, Victor-933 said:

I had no idea who that was and had to look it up...

...and from a quick glance at his channel, without even loading a video, just... something about it told me he would be really fucking annoying.

Hes retarded. Says incredibly cretinous nonsense. Hes not as bad as "Mr. Framerate Police" TotalBiscuit. Though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×