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Steam is an online platform for PC games owned by Valve Corporation. It is currently the largest platform for PC games.
- The store is full of exploitable systems that attract countless scam artists and toxic developers.
- Valve completely neglects Steam's problems since the platform has nearly monopolized PC gaming; while other PC Launchers exist, most are eclipsed by Steam forcing PC gamers to tolerate Steam's horrible problems that Valve doesn't bother to fix.
- Whenever Valve "fixes" a problem by Steam, it is through weak attempts that do little to improve anything and in some cases it only worsens the problems.
- Since their demand is most inelastic, Valve completely refuses to put any form of quality control on Steam, instead it relies on cheap excuses of "quality control" in Steam Direct (and formerly Steam Greenlight), that instead of doing proper curation allows literally anyone to release anything or even scam gamers, especially with Steam Direct.
- Valve has little customer support and poor moderation, and tends to ignore problems going on Steam. This has resulted in Steam becoming infamous for having no quality control, being flooded with tons of shovelware, scam attempts, porn/hentai games (some of which even sexualize things like rape and other questionable, disgusting and amoral things), a community filled with various nasty people and problematic content, and bad developers, such as Digital Homicide. Some of the "games" are even actual malware.
- Despite claiming that Valve wants to get rid of "fake and problematic games", it is common knowledge that they make money from every single "fake and problematic game" released on the store so they keep allowing them to run rampant while pretending they want to remove them.
- Rather than applying proper moderation for Steam done by actual people, Valve continues to rely on automated algorithms that bad developers have a very easy time bypassing).
- Valve's excuse for not putting quality control is that they want to give all indie developers a chance to get exposure on Steam and curation would shun many of them. While technically this is true, letting anyone release anything still hurts real indie developers because their games get buried under piles of shovelware which completely kill their chance of exposure anyways. Steam Direct simply allows Valve to make more money for less work and let the countless scam artists run rampant unhindered.
- Because of the sheer amount of shovelware and other problematic games released every day without any regulation, Indie developers have been abandoning Steam in favor of the other platforms. Several developers have gone on record that Steam is no longer a viable platform for indie games because they get absolutely no chance for exposure due to more than 50 shovelware games being released daily. Some of the other platforms are flawed (like GameJolt) so indie developers have no other choice but to rely on Steam until something else takes over.
- Restrictive DRM. This was done to increase the difficulty in creating pirated versions of the games since the game files are not encrypted inside of the Steam program.
- Despite Valve's claims that curators would make sure that games run properly before releasing them, there have been several instances of games without ".exe" files being released. An example for this was Shadow: Treachery cannot be tolerated.
- Users with curation tools have claimed that the tools are completely inefficient because they get flooded by requests to recommend shovelware.
- The trading system is problematic since trade scammers exist around Steam. It is common knowledge that trading cards can be made into actual money through black market loopholes, allowing developers to produce more money from trading card farming (often with bots) than from actual sales.
- At one point, the trading card farming schemes effectively turned Steam into a borderline illegal money laundering site.
- It has a region-locking system, preventing users from gifting games they have purchased to someone elsewhere in the world.
- Due to Valve's virtual monopoly on PC gaming, almost all PC games are digital, and most physical versions are just a box with a code to download the game instead of discs, which has effectively destroyed the used games market for PC games and has made collecting physical PC games recently somewhat pointless.
- You have to worry about games being compatible with your PC since Steam doesn't check your system performance even if the games have system requirements.
- Steam censors almost every URL posted in forums, chat, and even game reviews for "to prevent phishing and malware". Even links to Steam services and websites are censored.
- Due to Steam monopolizing PC gaming and popularizing digital games, it technically killed physical games on PC, most physical games on PC (if it got one at all) nowadays are pretty much just a disc case with a code to download the game.
- Publishers of old games sometimes don't bother to patch their games with already existing patches. And in general, when it comes to old games, Steam is far inferior to AGW.
- Bad developers that harass customers and delete criticism of their games always go completely unpunished, even when those developers blatantly break Steam's Terms of Service right in front of Valve. The only time Valve will do anything about bad developers is when they get Valve into legal problems or when the developers post fake positive reviews for their own games.
- Even then Valve only bans those developers after they already caused a scandal, never before.
- Steam's "Early Access" feature gets abused too easily so shovelware developers can put out unfinished cash-grab games full of bugs promising that "it'll be fixed later", make a quick buck, then never properly finish them. There are countless shovelware games that never get out of Early Access because of this.
- You can only refund games that you've played for less than two hours or owned for less than 14 days, whichever occurs first, while on paper this sounds great, but then you realize that this isn't enough time for real games to determine whether a game is good enough or not. The two-hour playtime limit only works with obvious garbage that shouldn't be on the store if there was any curation, on top of that, many companies (even AAA ones) can avoid the refund time by adding long and unskippable cutscenes to pass the 2 hour time, 2K games is famous for doing this with the NBA games.
- Steam does absolutely nothing about pornographic content getting on the Steam store and community, despite it violating the ToS (on top of that, as mentioned above, some of them even contain and sexualize things like rape, paedophilia and so on).
- Evidence of this being Winged Cloud's Sakura series, which used "adult content patch" method to get around Valve's policy which later widely used by many hentai game developers, and TeamShuriken's Uncraft World workshop, which features uncensored NSFW content.
- Valve attempted to remove every single visual novel game (mostly anime ones) on the storefront in the adult game purge of June 2018, claiming that they were doing so to remove NSFW content from the store (which were against their ToS), even though many visual novels don't have any or have softcore erotic content. This move would've destroyed countless developers of visual novels who didn't do anything against the rules.
- As of August 2018, Valve announced that they will get rid of "censorship" on Steam and allow basically anything to be uploaded on Steam, as long as it is legal and no "troll" content. This, in turn, makes it absolutely clear that they do not care about curation, and that Steam will get bombarded with even more games of the kind described in this page.
- Some very obvious "troll" games still get onto the store despite this statement, with one example being Social Justice Rogue’s Black Lives Matter, which is nothing more than eight minutes of trolling on a single black screen before it kicks you out.
- The sheer hypocrisy of that statement is that Valve themselves attempted to censor an entire genre shortly before the announcement.
- After the adult game purge in June 2018, several NSFW contents (including uncensored ones) still managed to get published on the Steam store. However, Valve later allowed adult games to be published on their platforms in September 2018. This can be described that Valve tried to silence critism about their contradictions on their previous version of ToS (that didn't allowed pornographic content to be published) from various agencies, such as when the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) criticized Valve for allowing Eek Games' House Party to be published on the store despite ToS violations in December 2017.
- User reviews are barely being moderated, for that matter. This can even lead to review bombing and allowing developers to post fake reviews of their bad games.
- Ironically, despite Valve basically giving up on Steam store's moderation (sometimes even stating that they do respect developers, even if they are behind infamous games like Rape Day), the words that "have caused problems with spam, being used excessively, or used with the sole reason of being used in a bad way" are still being censored on forums and in user reviews, including cursing. In fact, even the word "4chan" is still being censored.
- Extremely strict community moderation. It's really easy to get a warning or get banned by Steam support moderators for things like "disrespectful behavior". Even a slight mention of porn may result in a warning or ban. On top of that, their moderation is really selective. Serious offenders may stay active long enough before receiving a warning/ban or not receive one at all, while someone may receive a ban/warning without even actually being problematic. This problem is also often abused to silence someone on the forums. Also, arguing with Steam support about issued bans is useless, since they will always be repeating the same thing and put the blame on you.
- Steam has been repeatedly caught banning games they claim are “legally grey” or feature “child exploitation” in “high school” settings, even though some of the games that have been banned don’t feature characters under the age of 18 and some of them don’t even take place in high school. In addition, some of the games that have been banned were neither hentai nor contained any pornography.
- The store used to be good, and today, It is at least superior to other ripoff launchers, such as the Epic Store. AGW