Valve Corp. has notified developers that some games available over the Steam marketplace will now be restricted to 100 achievements, and that feature will be subject to other constraints, as part of efforts to thwart “fake games” on the platform.
It’s probably not going to affect many, or even any, games most players are familiar with — Valve said “an insignificant number of users were taking advantage” of inflated achievements and game counts. But it’s a step the company has taken to police content in its marketplace, even after a week after it formalized a broadly permissive content policy that many (including us) criticized as an abdication of responsibility.
Under the changes (uncovered via Reddit and noticed yesterday by Kotaku) Valve will apply the “confidence metric” it introduced last year when it made changes to Steam Trading Cards to also stop dodgy game makers from exploiting the feature. Games short of the “confidence metric” will be subject to the 100-achievement limit. Further, they won’t be displayed in a user’s achievement showcase and won’t contribute to a global achievement count.
“As you can guess,” Valve told developers, “fake games were inflating achievement and game counts for users to display on their profiles.” While the number who were doing so was small, “these fake games still confuses our algorithms and users.”
Notably, “for those who still want to buy products for the purpose of increasing their game or achievement counts, we now show whether or not a game is under those constraints on its [Steam] Store page.” This may not satisfy those who disdain achievements altogether on the platform, and in some games badges are given out for menial or meaningless “accomplishments.” But Valve seems to have signaled that it has to do a better job of certifying that this is stuff worth bragging about.