Polish developer and publisher SimFabric has seen almost all of its games removed from Steam. Valve also blocked the company’s account due to the massive wave of positive reviews that turned out to be fake.
- It all started with the prologue to SimFabric’s upcoming game Cthulhu: Books of Ancients, according to a GRY-OnLine report. Despite peaking at only 14 concurrent players (via SteamDB), the title’s Steam page was later flooded with many positive reviews.
- They all appeared on November 28 and were written by new accounts. So some players suspected that these reviews were fake.
- As detailed by PolskiGamedev.pl, all these accounts have only one review — for the Cthulhu: Books of Ancients prologue. These users also didn’t play the game for even an hour, but still left positive reviews.
- SimFabric later started banning people for posting information about fake reviews on the Steam forums dedicated to the game. User Kantal shared a couple of screenshots on Twitter.
— kantal (@kantallive) November 29, 2022
- On November 29, Valve eventually addressed the issue by blocking SimFabric’s account and removing almost all of its games from the store.
- The list includes dozens of titles like Mushrooms: Forest Walker, Saboteur SiO, Flip Mechanic, and Gardenia.
- This also affected some third-party games, including My Demon Wife, because SimFabric serves as their publisher.
How did SimFabric react to the ban?
- In a filing to the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the studio said it was informed by Valve and is now in the process of investigating the issue.
- SimFabric also stated on Twitter that it has nothing to do with fake reviews for Cthulhu: Books of Ancients. The company plans to determine the origin of these comments and remove them right after.
- “We are extremely sorry that such a situation took place and, as a result, the company’s Steam page was blocked,” the statement reads. “We will do our best to clarify the situation and restore the Steam page as soon as possible.”
- At the moment of writing, SimFabric games remain unavailable on Steam. The only exception is House Designer, which is co-published by PlayWay.
As reported by Bankier.pl, the studio’s shares fell 17% following the news.