Last week, it was reported that Valve blocked 173 games from Silicon Echo Studio. While removing the game last week, Valve stated that most of the titles are asset flipping games, which according to them are in the category of fake games. Now, the studio has hit back, saying its games were pulled out of the Steam without any prior notice. Further, the game maker said that Valve’s decision has ‘completely destroyed’ their business.
In its statement to Polygon, Silicon Echo Studio said, “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.” Further, the statement read that their reputation has been tarnished ‘beyond repair’ now, and they are hurt financially as well. The studio admitted that they would have focused on a different plan if they had been informed earlier.
Polygon also shared an email between Silicon Echo and Valve, where the former insists on not getting any intimation regarding the removal of their games and defend their business model. The developer stated that everyone who ever bought their game has done so with their own choice and know exactly what they are buying. Further, the game developer said that they do not fully come into the category of asset flippers because for creating any levels they used the basic assets provided in the basic asset kit, which is licensed for commercial use.
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“We have all the required bills to confirm our purchases on the Unity Asset Store,” Silicon Echo Studio said. Silicon said if their games were fake, they shouldn’t have been approved in the first place by the systems in place. Further, the game maker admitted that many might call their business model shady, but they are confident that none of the games were falsely advertised and all the assets have been legally purchased.
At the time when Valve trashed the 173 games, Polygon noted that pre-made Unity Assets helped Silicon Echo to design the games quickly, and that some of the games were published under the name Zonitron Productions. Also, Valve alleged that the developer was using the Valve’s Steam Direct system to earn profits for the games that were not even played. As per the system, the developer gets a small commission when a trading card is traded. Although, the commission is just a few cents, when the bot accounts play nearly 200 titles, a few cents become a big amount. Further, Silicon Echo skipped paying the standard $100 per title fee by launching the game via the Steam Direct Program.
Customers have not been very satisfied with the Steam Greenlight program and the earlier version – Steam Direct, for having a weak set of approval processes that is too easy to exploit. Over the years, there have been strings of games on the platform that are made with low-quality or questionable software, notes Polygon. So, the core problem of fake games won’t just go away by blocking a few games. To ensure that such games don’t even reach the platform, Valve will have to strengthen its approval process, something which it has already promised to do.