Steam: Valve Bans Chinese Shovelware

Mass ban? I don’t know.

It’s November and that generally means the ban hammer on Steam is going to get a workout. Technically this ban happened on October 31, but I’m writing the article on November 1 so it still counts. Yesterday Valve took the hammer and smashed out a decent number of shovelware Chinese titles, the kind of cookie cutter browser ARPG games and mobile ports that come out of China at a rate of roughly three thousand every hour.

I suppose it’s worth noting that most of these games weren’t really doing anything on Steam, given a majority had no players or community activity whatsoever, were free to play, didn’t have any reviews, and weren’t using the Steam item system. Now my theory is that in addition to many of these games being alts of the same sweatshop company pumping out virtually the same game over and over on the chances that one gets players, I theorize that these games are circumventing Valve’s system to take payment without giving Valve their cut.

I made a mural of the full list of Chinese games banned:

Meanwhile also caught up in the ban was developer Chubby Pixel who has already been banned from Steam once before but managed to get a few titles relisted. I have little doubt that Chubby Pixel will attempt to get its games back on Steam under a new publisher name at some point over the next year.

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