The Steam Discovery Update released in the fall of 2014 as a huge benefit for indie developers who saw their games fall in the wake of big-budget titles. Now Valve expects users to submit details for being paid to write a glowing review for a title.
Back in October, the online store made a change to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, requiring curators to disclose if they accepted money or other compensation for product reviews or recommendations.
“If you use Steam services (e.g. the Steam Curators’ Lists or the Steam Broadcasting service) to promote or endorse a product, service or event in return for any kind of consideration from a third party (including non-monetary rewards such as free games), you must clearly indicate the source of such consideration to your audience,” the new subscriber agreement stated.
Steam seems to be taking the change to what is a more user-driven system, changes that are going to be more necessary as the storefront grows. Valve also asked developers via Twitter to stop giving away game keys for votes for their game on Steam Greenlight. Rightfully so, this would indeed put the whole Greenlight system “in a really uncomfortable position.”
Hopefully this new policy will alleviate what seems like some shady practices. Considering the amount of games being added to Steam on a weekly basis, Valve faces a challenge to keep game quality up and business practices with developers in a better state.