Something controversial has happened over the last few hours on Steam. As it often happens when Valve holds a sale, they launched a minigame attached to it to encourage Steam users to purchase games. But something went wrong.
The minigame, a Gran Prix of sorts, does reward people with the top game of their wishlist in case they’re eligible. The problem is that this mechanic did not get explained adequately, and customers thought that only random games would get picked from their wishlist.
With this in mind, players started removing cheaper indie games from their wishlists. Indie developers quickly picked up on this and knew it was going to damage their business significantly. Prompted by dev requests, Steam apologized about the matter and clarified the minigame’s rules for fans.
“We designed something pretty complicated with a whole bunch of numbers and rules and recognized we should’ve been more clear,” Valve said in a blog post. “We want to apologize for the confusion that this has caused, and also apologize for the broken mechanics that have led to an unbalanced event. To clarify one point: if your team makes it to the podium and you are randomly chosen to win something off your Steam Wishlist, then we’ll grant you the top item. Just move your favorite item to the top of your wishlist and you should be good to go. There’s no need to remove other items from your wishlist – keep them there so you’ll be notified when those items release or go on sale.”
Hopefully, the damage done will get fixed quickly, and indie developers will return to their fans’ wishlists. This problem may serve a lesson to Valve to ensure all of the rules of their minigame are understood.