Hot on the heels of doing away with its popular gamer-populated forums, the team over at Valve has announced that it’s about to make changes to Steam’s trading card system, mostly in the hopes of doing away with those tied to “fake games”.
The company detailed what it intends to do with the card system in a new blog post, explaining how some of the cards were being made based on games that didn’t exist, allowing some of those to make a profit by selling them – and that’s something Valve isn’t fond of.
Basically, Steam gives developers a certain level of allowance that allows for the generation of thousands of keys for their forthcoming releases. But some of these developers have less-than-favorable means with these, using bots to enable their fake games to continue running idle, while in turn enabling the ability to collect trading cards that in turn can be sold. So, yep, it’s a scam.
But there’s a problem. It’s not just costing some people money in terms of getting useless cards. It’s also wreaking havoc on the Steam Store’s algorithm. By making certain cards popular on the market, the store could accidentally recommend games that aren’t there – and that could prove to be a problem for legitimacy’s sake.
So Steam is overhauling the system, only offering the ability to make trading cards once certain titles reach a confidence level in its metric. That means genuine users have to be tracked buying and playing the game (instead of just feigning bot interest) before cards can be issued. Once a game can reach that certain level, then cards will become readily available for users to collect.
This should do away with the scammers that are taking advantage of the system, while keeping Steam as a legitimate place to collect cards that are based on actual games – and of course, offering the games themselves. Whether it will have a long-term effect has yet to be seen, as some developers may possibly find a way around this as well, since they’ve taken advantage of the system before. We’ll see what the next few months bring.
In the meantime, here’s hoping it’s a move on Steam for the better – as well as the developers that want their games to shine.