With the introduction of paid community DLC and mods coming to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim this week it was only a matter of time before some modder ran headlong into controversy, resulting in the whole thing being taken down. The first mod to secure this dubious distinction is the "Fishing Mod" according to this Destructoid report.
Bethesda's hit role-playing game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, will be free to download and play on Steam all weekend. The free weekend coincides with the launch of paid mods on the service. From now until Sunday April 26th at 1PM Pacific you can download the game on Steam and play it for free. After that deadline if you want to continue playing the game you'll have to buy it.
Valve is going after those nasty spammers and phishing schemers by limiting various Steam services to accounts that have spent at least $5.
"Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do," says Valve's support page.
If you haven't spent at least $5 on Steam for something then you will lose access to a number of services on Valve's digital distribution platform. According to this support page the new requirement is part of a new initiative to combat spam and phishing schemes - because accounts that engage in these sorts of activities typically are throw-away accounts that don't spend money on anything, according to Valve.
These con artists upload publicly viewable images via Steam's artwork service and give them descriptions and external links that lead to fake online video streaming services like OfficialStreamTV or to a second launch pad on one of the several free blogging platforms.
The Steam release of Grand Theft Auto V set a new record for concurrent users on Valve's platform yesterday, pulling in just over 300,000 players at its peak, according to Valve. The record is for games not developed by Valve (such as Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, etc.).
Grand Theft V beat out Skyrim's record for concurrent users set way back in 2011; Bethesda's popular RPG had 280,000 Steam players after selling more than 3.5 million units across PC and console in its first two days.
On April 7th The Fine Young Capitalists (TFYC) and Bogota, Colombia-based developer Autobotika launched Afterlife Empire on Steam Greenlight, along with a 15-second teaser video from the game (which appears to be the opening cinematic), a handful of screenshots, and lots of information about what players can expect when the game gets released in the second quarter of this year.
According to a tweet from Daybreak Game Studio president John Smedley, over one million copies of H1Z1 have been sold to date on Steam Early Access. The online open-world zombie survival game for PC hit Steam 'Early Access' program on January 15.
It had a rocky start at launch, but Daybreak (or the artist formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment) seems to have fixed a lot of the game's early quirks, bugs, and general shortcomings.
Killing Floor is a first-person cooperative survival shooter that supports up to six players at once. It offers single, multiplayer, and cross platform play.
Tropico 5 is the latest game in the political strategy simulation series from developer Haemimont Games.
Beginning today, Steam users in countries under the banner of the European Union can get a refund for digital purchases. For up to 14 days from the date of the original purchase of an item, Steam users are entitled to a refund under European law and Valve officially announced via its Steam Subscriber Agreement that it is following that law:
Valve has added a new clause to its Steam Subscriber Agreement requiring individuals who receive some kind of compensation (free game key, money, or physical goods) to disclose it when using the Steam Curators' List or Steam Broadcasting Service to review or promote a game.
The clause is found in Section 6, Paragraph C of the agreement and states the following:
Valve claims that it has hit several new milestones on Steam - including the number of active users that platform has an concurrent users on the service at one time. According to Valve's internal user data, Steam has over 125 million active users worldwide.
Valve also noted that Steam now offers 4,500 games and 400 million bits of user-generated content. How many of those are incomplete "early access" games was not revealed.
Yesterday we reported that the version of the popular indie game Darkest Dungeon being sold on the Windows Game Store was a fake and was not put there by developer Red Hook or its founder Chris Bourassa. Bourassa tweeted a warning yesterday that the Windows Game Store version was not from his company and that he was reaching out to Microsoft to get the game removed.
It looks like Valve is getting into the virtual reality game with everyone else. The Steam, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, Portal, and Counter-Strike owners announced this morning its own entry into the space called "SteamVR." Valve describes SteamVR as a "previously unannounced hardware system," which will make its formal debut at the Game Developers Conference in early March.
Valve also plans to show the reworked Steam controller gamepad, and a series of new living room devices (what it used to call Steam Machines) at the event.
Indie developer Code Avarice has sold the rights to Paranautical Activity to PC and console game publisher Digerati, which in turn has brought the game back to Steam.
You may recall that the game was pulled from Steam late last year after one of Code Avirice's co-founders made a death threat to Valve founder Gabe Newell.
"Just sold PC rights for Paranautical Activity to @DigeratiDM," Tweeted Code Avarice.
Valve Software is quietly telling developers that using Steam keys to bribe people to vote for their game(s) while it is going through the Steam Greenlight process is a big no-no. Buying votes is an unacceptable practice by anyone's standards, but apparently some developers desperate to get on Steam are handing them out like candy.
Late last week Steam officially made its inventory system available to all game developers on Steam via a freshly released Steamworks SDK update. The Steam Inventory System - popularized by Valve's games like Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 - is a "set of new Steamworks APIs and tools that allow a game to enable persistent items that have been purchase or unlocked by individual users without having to run special servers to keep track of these user's inventory." In other words, you can enable community sales of virtual items for your games if you are a game developer.
Early Access title Under the Ocean has been pulled from Steam voluntarily by its developer Paul Hart - the last man standing after the co-creator of the game, programmer Michael Reitzenstein, left the project due to “differences in opinion about the future direction” with him (thanks MCV). The project ran out of money last year and now Hart - while he refuses to give up on completing the game - is pulling the project from Early Access and providing refunds.
Yesterday we reported that Ubisoft was deactivating codes bought at code resellers for use on digital distribution platforms like Steam and EA's Origin. Well, the reason that the publisher is doing this is because - it claims - these codes were bought with fraudulent or stolen credit cards. Consumers who bought codes for games like Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed Unity were not happy when Ubisoft did this for obvious reasons.
Valve has released a new update for its Steam client that finally makes Steam Broadcasting available to all users. The game streaming feature was added in to a beta Steam client back in December.
Steam Broadcasting is a new feature that lets users live stream content to the Steam community. Likewise, Steam users can watch other people stream their games using the new 'Watch Game' option within their friends list or on friends' profile pages to instantly pull up gameplay live streams.
Valve has decided to add an extra layer of protection to those human-to-human Steam Trading Card transactions this week with a simple Captcha rolled into the mix to keep the robots away. The goal is to also stop Malware from making trades (should a person get infected) on someone's behalf. If you don't know, Captcha is used to make sure the people on the other end of the screen are real live human beings and not automated computer programs.
Valve Software says it won't be hosting a Steam Dev Days event like it did last year. Speaking to Gamasutra, the company said that the event is meant to highlight important things the company is working on. Last year the company revealed its Steam Machines and more details on its Steam OS and Steam controller. Apparently the company has nothing to show off this year.
Some eagle-eyed commenters on Reddit have noted that several games have been removed from Steam... and from other digital distribution platforms in the new year. According to the Reddit thread, both Aliens: Colonial Marines and the 2010 version of Aliens vs. Predator have been removed from the Steam catalog.
Over the weekend - and in the midst of Steam's Holiday Sale - Valve's digital distribution platform managed to reach a milestone of over 8 million concurrent players online using the service at one time. On Sunday, December 28, a peak of 8,357,541 players were online at once at one point, according to the Steam Game and Player Statistics page.
Creative Destruction's ultra violent action game Hatred has been approved on Steam Greenlight by the Steam community. The road to getting on Greenlight has been an interesting one for Creative Destruction. Earlier this month Creative Destruction managed to get its "mass shooter" action game on Steam Greenlight only to have it pulled by Valve after only a few hours. At the time Valve's Doug Lombardi said that Hatred wasn't a good fit for Steam.