You may or may not view them as bad guys here but one thing you can't take away from Gabe and Co is consistency. It's not the first time a developer was caught trying to cheat Steam's ratings and the company once again retaliated fiercely.
The developer in question is Acram Digital, a company that claims to specialise in adaptation of board games. It was later reported that it was actually just a lowly staff member called Grzegorz Kubas who pulled off the diabolical plan, rather than the entire development team.
Kubas attempted to manipulate reviews of two games - Rails to Riches and Eight-Minute Empire. Unfortunately, Steam caught wind of that, pun intended, and the rest might as well be history. Unlike most deities, Steam doth nay forgiveth, or whatever. You get the point.
Valve moved quickly and claim to have removed "all games/DLC developed by Acram from our store, and will no longer be doing business" with the developer. Obviously, they don't really care for kindergarten type excuses.
Kubas since apologized and blamed the entire mishap on a rash reaction to unfavourable reviews, some of which he describes as particularly unfair. He called for Steam, as well as the public, to place the blame where he thinks it should be.
As much as we feel for his plight though, we don't really see Steam backing down here. If Kubas' story is indeed true, then we feel even more sorry for the rest of the team. However, the responsibility of acting on the behalf of a company should not have been wasted on Kubas, not at this level.
You may recall a similar event occurring earlier this year, when Steam sent off Malta based developer Insel Games over a similar incident . True, Insel pulled off the review manipulation at a much larger scale and they were compelled by the management to do so but nevertheless - the end result remained the same.
Being banned from Steam can be detrimental for companies, even more so when it comes to development teams of Acram Digital's scale.