Games News

Steam sale results in a massive purge of indies from Wishlists

Valve
Pink version of Steam logo on a black background
Steam

Steam's Summer Sale has already started but Valve's Grand Prix gimmick has already turned sour for, surprise surprise, indie game developers, some of whom found that their games have been massively purged from Steam users' Wishlists.

"Each day throughout the Grand Prix, random members of the top first, second and third place teams will receive the top item from their Steam Wishlist. Random members of the overall Grand Prix winning teams will be awarded up to three of the top items from their Steam Wishlist", Valve wrote.

Unfortunately, many Steam users seem to have understood that Valve will give you any game from your Wishlist, rather than the top ones, leading to them trying to improve their odds for winning more expensive games by removing the cheapest ones.

Developers like Size Five Games, SixtyGig Games, SFB Games and others have noticed a huge spike in Wishlist deletions, which is abnormally high, especially considering the fact that Steam's Summer Sale is in full swing.

SixtyGig's Raymond Doerr tweeted, "I and 4 other devs all are seeing some pretty strange stats. I've never once in 5 years seen more deletes than adds/P&A during a seasonal sale. I've always left a sale with a net increase."

Size Five's Dan Marshall echoed pretty much the same thing, and the only thing setting these indie developers apart is the ratio of Wishlist deletions and purchases. In his case, it was 3x, but some got it worse.

He reiterated his stance that "Valve, and Steam don't owe developers anything" in terms of marketing and selling games, which is an exemplary stance after issues that may affect one's livelihood.

That being said, Steam is not faultless here and this is one in a long line of Valve's transgressions against indie developers, which include the free indie game giving glitch, date manipulation methods and the platform's discovery algorithm that ignored indies in October 2018.

Gabe NewellPink version of Steam logo on a black backgroundLord Gaben

While we're certain Valve would never intentionally do such a thing, there's no doubt that indies don't seem to be on Steam's list of priorities, and most certainly justifies many of them switching to that other store. Yeah, that one. 

You can find the tweets in question here, here and here. Thanks, Gamasutra.