Steam’s review system has been the subject of multiple changes since its inception, including last year’s update which prevents the reviews of players who obtained a game for free from counting towards the overall rating. However, the update doesn’t safeguard against ‘fake’ reviews, which present a more complex problem. It was for this reason that Lunyov Artem Pavlovych, developer behind independent title Platformica had his game removed from Steam.
In a news post, Valve pointed out the fake positive reviews were in violation with its official policy, which ultimately led to the termination of its business relationship with Pavlovych:
“We (Valve) have identified unacceptable behavior involving multiple Steam accounts controlled by the developer of this game, Lunyov Artem Pavlovych. The developer appears to have used multiple Steam accounts to post positive reviews for their own game. This is a clear violation of our review policy and something we take very seriously. For these reasons, we are ending our business relationship with Lunyov Artem Pavlovych and removing this game from sale. If you have previously purchased this game, it will remain accessible in your Steam library.”
Pavlovych responded by acknowledging his error, regretful that games he had spent two years working on had been removed in half a day.