A game dev has found themselves kicked off Steam after using the name “Very Positive” as a way to reportedly confuse gamers into thinking it was a review score.
When it comes to games on Steam, player reviews can make or break a game’s success. It’s often the first thing PC gamers glance at before hitting “buy,” a best practice that ensures a great gaming experience.
However, one Steam developer thought it’d be a good idea to deceive users into thinking its game had “Very Positive” reviews using the phrase as its display name (spoilers, it wasn’t a good idea).
Initially discovered by the GameDiscoverCo newsletter, the developer used the layout of Steam store pages to its advantage in an act to deceive players about the games review reception. This was achieved by setting the developer name as “Very Positive”, which sits on the page quite close to where the actual reception verdict would go. The anonymous developer explained this in an email to Vice, stating the following:
“I knew that reviews have a huge impact on the customer’s decision. I noticed that the publisher/developer name is located really close to the reviews and has the same colour, and I decided to use it for my purposes.”
The developer, who goes by the name “Very Positive Developer”, also stated that it didn’t think Steam would have much of an issue with the practice.
The result? Steam kicked the developer off of the platform. The anon developer then took to Twitter to defend its actions, claiming that Valve had banned the account due to “review manipulation”, something the developer outright denies.
Very Positive Developer has apparently contacted Steam for clarity on the issue, promising to keep observers of the situation updated.
Beneath all of this drama is the actual game in question, Emoji Evolution, which already had a “Positive” verdict before the incident. It makes you wonder whether this whole affair was an act of deception or some sort of statement on the way developers portray their games.
Regardless of Very Positive Developer’s intentions, it’s great to see Steam taking swift action against deception on its platform.
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Featured Image Credit: Valve