Steam Scales Back Achievements In An Effort To Weed Out Fake Games
Valve's Steam platform has been in the spotlight a lot lately, for good, bad, or simply odd reasons. The company has just overhauled its Steam chat client, which is hugely appreciated, and perhaps long overdue. At the same time, the company has deemed it appropriate to let the community decide what content should or shouldn't be available on the platform - as long as it's not straight-up trolling, content will remain on Steam.
Based on the decision made a couple of weeks ago, school shooter FPS games, and those rife with anime porn, are not a problem - as long as no trolling is going on. What's not OK, on the other hand, are games which have a ridiculous number of achievements built in. We're not talking about 100-250, but those with thousands. It's not hard to find such titles, either, but that's part of the problem.
Ultimately, these games are clearly made just for the sake of having achievement hunters purchase them, when achievements are meant to be about flaunting your skill, not the amount of time you're willing to sink into fly-by-night games built around achievements just to boost your profile.
Valve admits that the number of games guilty of this are few, as are the number of users taking advantage, but despite all of that, this is a bigger beef to the company than what some might find as offensive content. If you were an achievement hunter, all you'd have to do is go here and see every single game listed on Steam, ordered by number of achievements.
If you don't think this kind of design is a problem, or that games are not just designed with achievements in mind, take a look at Achievement Clicker 2018, complete with 5,000 achievements. Clear that out? Achievement Clicker 2019 is only a click away. Most of the games with thousands of achievements cost only one dollar, so their true purpose is obvious even if their name isn't. But, there are many that don't hide their reason for existence.
Another game sampling includes Achievement Hunter, Achievement Hunter: Spinner Edition (yes, it involves fidget spinners), Achievement Hunter: Punk, and... if there seems to be a theme going on, you'd be right. There are dozens of titles part of the Achievement Hunter series alone - up to 5,000 achievements for each $1 title.
It's obvious why Valve wants to crack down on these titles, but what's not clear is why the company has begun to care so much about it now. These games are not new. It's not even clear if the games mentioned above would even be considered an issue here, because we're not sure what Valve constitutes as "fake". What's also not clear is if games like those just mentioned will be forced to be updated to reflect more modest achievement lists. Whether that even matters is hard to say - if someone has a profile with an unrealistic number of achievements, you can guess why.