Valve reveals why Steam key policies are changing

This is to crack down on Steam Trading Card farming and fake games

Valve reveals why Steam key policies are changing

Valve reveals why Steam key policies are changing

Valve has responded to the recent confirmation that the company would stop issuing certain developers from obtaining large batches of Steam keys for their games, revealing that this move is targeted at games that are used for "Steam Trading Card Farming".  
This means that Steam is not targeting developers that sell their games on 3rd party storefronts, which means that places like Humble Bundle and GMG will be unaffected by this change but fake games, what Valve calls "game-shaped objects" will be targeted to prevent mass Steam trading card farming.  
Steam/Valve hopes that this move, when combined with Steam's other recent changes, will continue to make Steam Trading Card farming less profitable and prevent as many low-quality products from entering the Steam Storefront. To be clear this new policy will only target extreme examples, so 3rd party OC gaming storefronts will be unaffected. 

Below is Valve's full statement on the matter, which was originally issued to Gamasutra


Steam keys have always been available for free to our partners to help them sell PC games at physical retail and on other digital stores. In return, we've asked that partners offer Steam customers a fair deal, similar to what they're offering on other stores. None of that is changing.

But over the last few years, new features and additions to Steam have changed the way Steam keys were being used, for instance as a means for game-shaped objects to monetize on Steam through methods other than actually selling fun games to customers. Most notably, this meant farming Steam Trading Cards. We shared a lot of info about that issue, and our response to it, here.

While our changes did impact the economics of trading card farming for new products coming to Steam, there are still a lot of games and game-shaped objects using Steam keys as a way to manipulate Steam systems. As a result, we're trying to look more closely at extreme examples of products on Steam that don't seem to be providing actual value as playable games-for instance, when a game has sold 100 units, has mostly negative reviews, but requests 500,000 Steam keys. We're not interested in supporting trading card farming or bot networks at the expense of being able to provide value and service for players.  

It's completely OK for partners to sell their games on other sites via Steam keys, and run discounts or bundles on other stores, and we'll continue granting free keys to help partners do those things. But it's not OK to negatively impact our customers by manipulating our store and features.


Valve reveals why Steam key policies are changing  

 You can join the discussion on Steam's recent game key policy changes on the OC3D Forums


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