Valve is cleaning Steam up. Over the past 24 hours, the company has removed 982 games from its store. The official reason is that the affected developers abused the Steamworks tools.
It’s not clear what kind of violations the purge targeted specifically. All a Valve spokesperson told PC Gamer is that the company “recently discovered a handful of partners that were abusing some Steamworks tools.”
There are no big projects among those removed. These are mostly unknown indie games. The quality of many of them leaves much to be desired.
The cleanup began with Bloodbath Kavkaz, released by Russian publisher Dagestan Technology back in 2015. As Developer Alexandra Frock points out on Twitter, a “solid chunk” of removed programs is linked to Dagestan Technology. According to her, Dagestan Technology launched games on Steam under different names. And many of these titles got axed by Valve.
Frock cites the service called Steam Tools, which tracks the deletions from the store. Theoretically, the service does allows you to see how banned games are related. But, in our opinion, it is not entirely reliable. For example, it shows that Destiny 2 is linked to 2452 games, including Age of Empires II and Batman: Arkham City.
Therefore, it maybe inaccurate to assume, based on the Steam Tools data, that most of the removed games were connected with Dagestan Technology. Whatever the case, as of now, there are no more games by this publisher on Steam.
Similar purges have happened before, but never on such a scale. According to Steam Tools, this is an unprecedented event for the site. For comparison, in the last two years prior to this latest cleanup, a total of 1900 games were removed.