Alleged game developer Silicon Echo Studios has been given the boot off of Steam – and they seem to agree with the decision.
For all of their apparent meandering and wishy-washy policing, Valve has earned credit where credit is due. The video game company turned market owner has been accused of not taking a strong enough stance on the business practices of some of its indie developers in the past – mainly those that asset flip or upload tutorials as “games” on the worldwide digital distribution platform.
1% of Steam's total library got removed. Bye bye Zonitron. pic.twitter.com/RSD0FZiWrz
— Mellow_Online1 (@MellowOnline1) September 25, 2017
One “developer” in particular, has now served as the canary in the coalmine for the rest of the unscrupulous pack of would-be indie devs looking to scam their customers out of their hard-earned money.
Valve booted roughly 170 games off their platform last week, all belonging to Silicon Echo Studios and Zonitron Productions. Although initial impressions may lead one to believe that multiple agencies were involved, a Valve spokesperson has claimed that they are instead two entities puppeted by the same individuals:
“…the bad actors were all the same person operating under different accounts.” – Valve Spokesperson
Silicon Echo offered a statement in response to the entire debacle, and it could not have been more fitting for a company that seemed to have as tenuous a grasp on their moral code as they did the concept of public-facing statements:
“We are no heroes, we have indeed sometimes been conducting our business with some practices people may call shady.
For example, creating more developer names even though they were on the same account and listed under the same publisher.” – Silicon Echo
The mere fact that any developer could publish 170 “games” within three months should be enough cause for alarm. Yet, Valve has famously come under fire time and again for the manner in which they curated their platform – oscillating between a laissez-faire attitude to rigorous policing of content submitted.
Regardless of what the past looks like, the future of steam has already begun to brighten as Valve have publicly lanced the boil that threatened to become a malignant infestation of the platform. As for the “studio” themselves, they have reportedly been “forced” to exit game development as their reputation has been “destroyed beyond repair”:
“Mainly because our reputation is destroyed beyond repair, but also for financial reasons.
We wish we have been warned about this before, in that case we would focus on a different business plan of development.” – Silicon Echo
Valve's response to Zonitron's removal. pic.twitter.com/1LerMK3hRd
— Mellow_Online1 (@MellowOnline1) September 26, 2017
One would think that republishing bare-bones “games” in the form of cobbled together assets and tutorial projects meant to educate budding developers would be a fairly big obvious misstep for anyone wishing to get involved in legitimate game development – but hey, sometimes you need to make an example out of someone to get the point across.