Valve changes policy on Steam item trading

June 29, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Steam will no longer make those getting scammed when trading virtual items "whole" anymore. An update to its scams policy - as noted in its "Scam FAQ," reveals that Valve will no longer restore items lost during shady virtual item transactions.

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Report: 'ARK' and 'Total War: ATILLA' top Steam Monster Summer Sale

June 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to data collected by Steamspy, ARK: Survival Evolved, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Total War: ATTILA sold the most games and generated the most income during the Steam Monster Summer Sale which ended on June 21.

In terms of unit sales, Steamspy put ARK, two Total War games Counter-Strike Global, and Castle Crashers in the top five. In terms of actual revenue, Total War ATILLA topped the list with $14.7 million in sales.

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Hidden Path shuts down 'Early Access' for 'Windborne'

June 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

In a new update on the Steam page for Early Access game Windborne, developer Hidden Path Entertainment announces that it is shutting down its game's inclusion in the program due to a lack of funding. You may known Hidden Path better as the game studio that the popular Defense Grid games for PC and consoles.

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'GTA V' inclusion in 'Steam Monster Summer Sale' takes heat

June 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Some gamers are a little bit upset that Grand Theft Auto V is being prominently displayed as a part of the Steam Monster Summer Sale, despite the game not actually getting a discount. There is a discounted version of the game that comes with $.25 million in in-game currency, but the virtual greenbacks don't appear to be covered under Steam's brand new refund policy.

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The Jimquisition takes on Steam Refunds

June 8, 2015 - James Fudge

The latest episode of Jim Sterling's The Jimquisition tackles Steam Refunds, which he mostly sees as a great thing for consumers, while providing a small bit of sympathy to indie developers who make smaller or shorter games that could hypothetically run afoul of Steam two-hour window of play-time to be eligible for a refund.

He also pokes fun at Hatred in the intro, which I thought was pretty amusing - mileage may vary on that joke.

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Valve details 'Steam Machines' release dates

June 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve announced this morning that the first batch of Steam Machines - computers designed to be more like consoles and be used in the living room - will starting hitting retail on Nov. 10. Pre-order customers of certain brands could have machines as soon as October 16, according to Valve. The Steam Controller and Steam Link will be released on Nov. 10.

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Valve expands refund policy to cover nearly anything you buy

June 2, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve Software has updated the refund policy for Steam making it a little bit easier to get refunds for some purchases. Under the new terms, you can basically request a refund for anything you buy on Steam for any reason. Users can request a refund "for any reason" if the request is made within a fourteen day of purchase, and the item has been played for less than two hours.

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'Hatred' now available on Steam

June 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Destructive Creations' first game, Hatred, is now available on Steam under an "adults only" rating by the ESRB. The game is described by its creators as a mass shooting simulator, though most reviews we've read so far suggest that - besides the death animations (which can be a little over the top in the violence department) - the game is your average run-of-the-mill run and gun game.

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Microsoft 'not looking to directly compete with Steam'

May 21, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft says that the digital store it is deploying with Windows 10, Window 10 phones and devices, and Xbox platforms isn't trying to cut into Steam's business - even though it's kind of trying to cut into Steam's business. Ahem. GamesBeat, who was in attendance at the recent Casual Connect Asia in Singapore, has the dirty little details on Microsoft's digital storefront plans.

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Steam Greenlight highlights hate-crime game, 'Kill the F*ggot'

May 4, 2015 - James Fudge

In a new video, Jim Sterling highlights a game that is actually hate speech.  Some people often claim a game is inappropriate or sends the wrong message, but a game called Kill The Faggot -- currently on Steam Greenlight -- has a pretty clear and concise message: LGBTQ+ individuals are different, weird and deserve to die.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 141

May 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

If you missed Saturday's live broadcast of Super Podcast Action Committee (Episode 141), you can watch the video replay on YouTube, to your left, or download it below. On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E.

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Valve gives Steam developers control of the banhammer

April 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve has made it easier for developers with games on Steam to ban players. Under a newly deployed system, developers have the full authority to ban players, ultimately taking the burden off Steam. The new system gives developers oversight and responsibility to ban cheating or disruptive players as they see fit.

This also means that any player appeals of bans will have to be directed at the people who make the game and not Steam/Valve.

Here's more from the Steam community announcement:

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'Hatred' gets a release date

April 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Today Creative Destruction released a new trailer for its mass murder game Hatred and revealed an official release date for the game.

"We wish to announce Hatred's release date, it's set for June 1st, this year of course. ;)," the company wrote in the description for its latest trailer (which you can watch to your left).

"Fun fact is that we wanted to release it on May 19th, but our team will be occupied with playing The Witcher 3 at the time. :D," the post adds.

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Valve abandons paid 'Skyrim' mods on Steam

April 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve has apparently backed off of having paid mods for Bethesda's RPG Skyrim on Steam - at least for the time being, according to this Gamasutra report. The company announced that it is taking paid mods for the game offline and giving refunds to anyone who may have purchased a Skyrim mod.

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First paid 'Skyrim' mod pulled from Steam marketplace

April 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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PSA: 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim' free to play on Steam all weekend

April 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Poll: Will limiting Steam services to paying accounts eliminate spammers?

April 23, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

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.

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Valve puts limits on customers who haven't spent $5 on Steam to fight spamming and phishing schemes

April 20, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Malwarebytes: scammers using Steam's artwork gallery to trick users

April 17, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Security research firm and antivirus software maker Malwarebytes has identified a new scam tied to Steam's artwork service.

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.

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'GTA V' breaks concurrent user record on Steam for non-Valve game

April 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Why 'GamerGate' and 'Vivian James' appear in the opening cinematic for 'Afterlife Empire'

April 9, 2015 - James Fudge

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.

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Daybreak moves one million units of 'H1Z1' on Steam Early Access

March 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Play 'Tropico 5' and 'Killing Floor' for free on Steam this weekend

March 20, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

This weekend on Steam you can play Killing Floor and Tropico 5 for free. And if you like either game you can purchase them at a deep discount - 75 percent off its normal price.

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.

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Digital refund policy now in effect for European Steam customers

March 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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:

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Steam users must now disclose paid endorsements

March 17, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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:

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Valve Lists Steam Machines and Steam Controller on Steam Marketplace

March 5, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve has put both Steam Machines being offered by third party hardware manufacturers and its own Steam Controller on the Steam Marketplace today with an expected release date for all of "November 2015."

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Steam Boasts 125 Million Active Users

February 25, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Fake 'Darkest Dungeon' Game Pulled From Windows Game Store

February 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Valve Reveals SteamVR

February 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Report: Valve Censoring Messages About Torrent Site in Steam Chat

February 17, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this TorrentFreak story (by way of MCV), Valve is censoring links in Steam's chat that point to popular torrent site KickassTorrents. The site, which is one of the last huge Torrent sites in the world at this point, was taken offline last week after its Somalian domain was seized.

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Poll

Which group is more ethically challenged?:

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E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
InfophileIn other words, you stopped when you found out it was arguing for a position you disagreed with, but before you found out why.07/01/2015 - 5:29am
Goth_Skunk"In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no." And that's where I stopped reading.07/01/2015 - 5:11am
InfophileRelevant to our discussion of rape in fiction yesterday: http://www.wired.com/2015/06/rape-scenes/07/01/2015 - 4:58am
Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
 

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