Steam review changes have killed some indie games

Steam review changes have killed some indie games

When Valve announced that it was making big changes to the Steam review system, nobody was quite aware how big an impact it could have. However it has had just that. By stopping reviews by those who purchased the game outside of Steam, or were given a free key from contributing to the overall score, some indie games have seen their ratings crash in response.

Steam Spy looked at the games most affected by the change and found some that went from having 80+ positive user scores, to sub 20. This suggests that either there was a lot of goodwill from gamers who were given keys outside of Steam - say through Kickstarter - or that the game was artificially inflated.

Simple Ball: Extended Edition had a userscore of 88 before the change and now it's at 14. It lost close to 45 reviews in the change. Lands of Devastation was similar, going from 86, to 16, dropping over 150 reviews in the process.

Although there are no doubt a few games there which were inflating their scores through free keys and paid endorsements, there are some developers complaining that reviews from professionals they sent keys to are now no longer considered. On top of that, those who received more love outside of Steam for whatever reason, can now no longer benefit from that.

Developers have also complained that without fixing joke reviews first, Valve has left some games with only nonsense and one line reviews, which doesn't help them at all.

How do you guys feel about the changes to the Steam review system?