Last week, Valve wiped nearly 200 games from Steam, later alleging that they were the work of a developer who was abusing the storefront and its tools. Now, the developer in question claims they've been forced to leave the game industry.
Assuming they stay gone, their departure highlights what so many devs already know so well: that Steam (and therefore Valve) can make or break careers in the game industry.
While the ~173 games Valve removed from Steam last week were tied to at least two different developers, Silicon Echo Studios and Zonitron Productions, a Valve representative later told Polygon that "the bad actors were all the same person operating under different accounts."
Today, Polygon republished an email Silicon Echo Studios reportedly sent to Valve in the wake of last week's purge, in which a representative of the studio complains that Valve gave no warning and thus no opportunity for the dev to mend its ways.
Along with the email, the representative acknowledged to Polygon that "we are no heroes, we have indeed sometimes been conducting our business with some practices people may call shady," including creating multiple developer names "for easier statistical tracking."
"This situation has completely destroyed everything we have been working for in the past 3 years and we are forced to give up game development at this point for more that [sic] one reason," the Silicon Echo rep continued. "Mainly because our reputation is destroyed beyond repair, but also for financial reasons. We wish we have been warned about this before, in that case we would focus on a different business plan of development.”
All of this comes months after Valve made an explicit promise to make things harder for "fake developers" to succeed on Steam by, among other things, nerfing Steam's Trading Cards system and updating the platform's algorithms to separate "legitimate games and players from fake games and bots."