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Valve pulls game from Steam for marketing fabrications
Valve pulls game from Steam for marketing fabrications
May 6, 2014 | By Mike Rose

May 6, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Valve has been forced to remove another game from Steam, following claims that the developer had lied about the features of the game and altered Steam forum posts to paint the game in a better light.

Earth: Year 2066 launched on Steam as an early access game last month, and was described as "a first person sci-fi apocalyptic open-world game where your main aim is to survive." The game reached Steam via Greenlight voting.

But players allegedly found that the game had stolen artwork, and that the developers were altering negative comments left on the game's Steam forum to sound more positive. A group of Redditors have been cataloguing the debacle for a couple of weeks now.

Now Valve's Chris Douglass has posted on the Steam forums with the news that Earth: Year 2066 has been removed from the Steam store, and that anyone who purchased the game will receive a refund if they so choose.

"On Steam, developers make their own decisions about promotion, features, pricing and publication," he says. "However, Steam does require honesty from developers in the marketing of their games."

It's a very similar story to what happened with The War Z at the end of 2012, when Valve removed that game for misrepresenting its features.

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Benjy Davo
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One of the more obvious attempts at a cash grab in recent history. Wonder had Jim Sterling not made such a fuss about it on Twitter would this have been pulled?

Michael G
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Probably not. Meanwhile the rest of the media was too busy covering 20 year old games being pulled out of a dump.

Chris Book
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So are they going to be removing garbage like this next?

Probably not.

Calvin Lindfors
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It's clear from the trailer and screen shots that it's an absurdist/parody game, even if it does look like a really bad one. A game being kind of shit is a lot different from misleading marketing.

Shea Rutsatz
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Holy cr*p, I get parody, but that's just painful to look at.

Alan Barton
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@"allegedly found that the game had stolen artwork, and that the developers were altering negative comments left on the game's Steam forum to sound more positive."

Sounds like an inexperienced developer badly trying to damage limit after having released a demo game way too early with placeholder graphics in it?

Changing the forum is completely wrong and very counter productive as they are now finding out and as for stolen artwork, is it stolen or is it placeholders that shouldn't have ever been used in the first place?. (If they used solid purple placeholders, its much easiler to see what needs to be taken out before shipping even an early demo, but they should never have used other people's artwork even as a placeholder, if that is what has happened?).

From the video, it looks like they have put some work into it, so I'm wondering if its just an inexperienced developer?

John Wallace
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A developer with any sense of sanity would never charge 20.00$ and place this in early access. It's production value wouldn't even make it worth a pitch document.

It looks like a map in UDK that someone spent maybe a day on, and Redditors said they reproduced a better version in Unity in about an hour.

There is no sense of honest developer work here.

Alan Barton
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I'm just not jumping to judge so harshly without knowing all the facts. Even the idea they tried to ask $20 for this very incomplete game, shows how inexperienced the developer is likely to be.

The Internet has way too many people who set out to crucify others in a mob. Maybe I'm becoming more pragmatic the older I get.

Oh what the hell, pass a burning touch and pitch fork, Lynch mob hangings have been a spectator sport for many hundreds of years around the world. Why hope any part of the human race has improved and so much for hoping professional games developers would be more open minded. ;)

And here comes my Lynching in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... ;)

Kevin Fishburne
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I'm of the opinion "no harm no foul" when it comes to placeholder assets. But yeah, if you forget to replace them with original or legally licensed assets you're definitely going to get your ass handed to you. If they knew what they were doing and tried to get away with it, that deserves the full Hannibal Lecter treatment.

Dane MacMahon
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Valve have opened the floodgates on Steam but have not yet implemented the user-curated models they've hinted at. The result is a real clusterf#!k. They need to tone down the former or finally roll out the latter before the whole thing turns into a swamp.

Kyle Redd
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The altering of the forums by the developer had nothing to do with the game being pulled from the store. Valve gives developers free reign to edit/delete content and ban users at their discretion, and this will not change. Dozens of other devs have been doing this for months now.

Marvin Papin
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AHAHAHA! in the video, he put "oculus rift support". but it's only a dual viewport without lens deformation. I hope this is a joke or this is the kind of person who should be sued for fraud.