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8th July 2021

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Valve "really uncomfortable" with devs giving away game keys

The studio has told its Greenlight community that it would like to see devs stop trading away keys to gain votes

If you're a developer on Steam Greenlight, Valve would like you to consider other forms of marketing than simply giving away game keys. In an announcement to the developer community (the page is locked but was captured in a tweet by Steam Database), Valve told developers that trading game keys to secure votes from players is a bad practice that needs to stop.

"When you give away copies of your game in exchange for votes, you put us in a really uncomfortable position," Valve said. "We do not think these votes accurately reflect customer interest and it makes our job harder in deciding which games customers would actually buy and play on Steam."

Valve continued, noting that developers who do give away game keys are setting a bad precedent and it's not healthy for the Steam ecosystem.

"We understand that running contests or giving away copies of your game can be viewed as a form of marketing," Valve noted. "But for the purposes of Greenlight, we don't think that giving away copies of your game in exchange for votes accurately reflects genuine customer interest."

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Latest comments (1)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Yeah, well... that should have been thought about and laid down as law from the get-go.

At this point, some users new to very frequent account holders on Steam who "EXPECT" to get freebies from Greenlight devs are probably frothing mad that the code train may wreck. When that sort of trading for votes stops cold, I bet the knives come out and it turns into a mess from the greedy ones who now feel since they're not getting those game codes at all, it's fine to hate on a developer's work all over the internet. Mark my words, this is going to get ugly in some circles of that particular hell...
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