Roughly 200 games developed by Silicon Echo Studios, which Steam users have criticized for selling low-quality shovelware made to peddle trading cards, have been removed from the PC storefront: these were often given away in either free or low-cost bundles.
Anyone on Steam interested in boosting their user level and collecting some easy trading cards to resell on the gray market could pick up Silicon Echo’s packages for little cost, earning back some cash with minimum effort for both themselves and the developer reports polygon:
The 173 removed games include titles like Clickey, Grim Banana and SHAPES. If you’re unfamiliar with those names, it’s likely because these and the rest of the Silicon Echo games were poorly received and what Valve calls “fake” games. Each one used pre-made Unity assets, so that the developer could churn them out quickly and on the cheap through the Steam Direct program. Additionally, by pushing through multiple games under one Steam Direct application, the studio was able to circumvent paying the $100 fee for every individual title.
YouTuber SidAlpha uploaded a damning video and research file cataloguing the number of titles published by Silicon Echo, which has allegedly also sold games under the name Zonitron Productions, over the past three months alone. Based on his findings, the studio’s titles accounted for at least 10 percent of all games released on Steam in both July and August, with 86 titles published in those two months alone.
In the future, Curators will be able to provide outside information on their recommendations, like a YouTube video they may have produced about a game. They’ll also be able to make lists of games that might have a specific theme, a suggestion that came from the community. In addition, Valve is working on a system that will allow developers to give Curators pre-release access to games, which will make it more likely for Curators to recommend new titles. Of course, that setup also looks to continue modern trends of developers bypassing traditional press outlets.
Valve plans to provide details on the timing of replacing Greenlight with Steam Direct in the future.