[Steam Direct] Valve Isn’t Doing Basic Checks On Marketplace Items For Scams

Actions speak louder than words, and for Valve and Steam nothing furthers the allegations that the company doesn’t put much stock in the quality of its services than the repeated instances of outright fraud that have occurred on the Steam platform over the past few years. We’ve seen meme games, troll games, asset flips, abusive developers, Greenlight vote fraud, a developer taking critics to court, and of course the repeated return of Ata Berdiyev who Valve repeatedly ignore until whatever latest game he is involved with starts bringing embarrassing attention to the Steam store.

Our latest controversy comes to us in the form of scam artist indie developers and Steam items. Valve has opened up the floodgates allowing developers to give their games inventories with tradeable items on the Steam market and, as usual, they have put absolutely zero effort into quality control and as a result, some shady developers have come out of the woodwork to start exploiting the unchecked system. Reports are popping up from numerous communities of developers uploading items that are visually identical to items in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and Team Fortress 2, in order to con unsuspecting players into making trades.

This type of scam is different than what we’ve seen in the past, although it has been spotted before, because it directly implicates that game developers themselves are knowingly taking part and likely even perpetuating the scams. In addition, it shows that Valve is doing next to nothing in regards to checking against its sellers shenanigans. Are they vetting logos? No. Are they vetting tradeable items? No.

In the case of Abstractism, that includes tradeable items like the Team Fortress 2 rocket launcher knockoff shown above, the game has shown that Valve isn’t even properly vetting their games for viruses or other malicious programming. Abstractism has numerous negative reviews noting that the game is being flagged by several anti-virus programs as containing a trojan horse virus, uses a shady looking steam services executable that may or may not be authentic, and thanks to the work of several sleuths on the net, has more or less been shown to be a cryptocurrency mining operation.

Both games we’ve shown in this article, Abstractism and Climber, have been removed from Steam and their developers presumably banned from selling further titles. It does show, however, that Valve’s commitment to dealing with troll or illegal games is hollow, if not mostly fabricated.

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