Valve moves to eliminate achievement-spam games from Steam


Valve has announced that achievements will now be subject to a “confidence Metric” on Steam, in a move designed to eliminate fake games from the platform.

In a tweet, Valve revealed that it had posted news of the move in its private Steamworks group: “Some time ago, we posted about fake games, and how they led us to make a change to Steam Trading Cards.  In that post, we described why we chose to remove access to Trading Cards for games until it became clear that users were actually buying and playing the game.

“Since then, we’ve seen fake games move to exploiting other Steam systems, so we’ve decided to make a couple more tweaks to address them. Piggybacking onto the Trading Card system, games that haven’t reached the same confidence metric will now have these additional constraints: a limit of 100 achievements; their achievements won’t contribute to global achievement count, and cannot be shown in a Steam Profile’s achievement showcase; they won’t contribute to an account’s game library count, and cannot be shown in a Steam Profile’s Game Collector showcase; they won’t be eligible for coupons.”

The original Steam post explaining how the confidence metric was being applied to Trading Cards can be found here. Valve added that: “As you can guess, fake games were inflating achievement and game counts for users to display on their profiles. Our data shows us that an insignificant number of users were taking advantage of this, but the existence of these fake games still confuses our algorithms and users. For those who still want to buy products for the purpose of increasing their game or achievement counts, we now show whether or not a game is under these constraints on its Store page.”

Valve has made some controversial tweaks to Steam recently, most notably removing the vetting process for games altogether, as we reported. However, moving to remove fake games that exist solely to bump up users’ achievement and game counts is a move that ought to be universally welcomed.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.