Posts Tagged ‘Indie’

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Indie game Paranautical Activity has been taken down from Steam following the posting of death threats addressed at Valve’s Gabe Newell from developer Mike Maulbeck. As reported by Player Attack, Maulbeck’s game was initially highlighted on a Steam store segment featuring Halloween-themed games. Paranautical Activity was mistakenly captioned as an Early Access title despite being completed, to which Maulbeck tweeted the following:

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Maulbeck’s tweets culminated with a threat stating that he was “going to kill gabe newell.”

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Paranautical Activity was removed from Steam following the posting of Maulbeck’s tweets. “We have removed the game’s sales page and ceased relations with the developer after he threatened to kill one of our employees,” a Valve spokeperson told Kotaku.

This would not be the first time a game has been pulled from Steam. Earlier this year Valve mysteriously pulled The Stomping Land from Steam Early Access, which received more than $ 100,000 through Kickstarter. Earth: Year 2066 was pulled and refunds offered following fans’ concerns on the quality of the game.

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Last week Valve released a major update to Steam, which aims to help users filter through the glut of new releases with improved personalized recommendations and Steam Curators, individuals or groups you can follow for more game recommendations.

So far, independent developers are reporting mixed results on the impact the update had on their sales and visibility.

The good news comes from Insurgency developer New World Interactive, which reported that visits to its store page in the first jumped from 5,800 the day before the update to 21,500 the day of, and then up to 83,284 updates the following day. It said that sales were up for a typical Monday as well, and that it’s certain the update will help increase sales in the long term.

With the exception of Dinosaur Polo Club, which saw sales of its game Mini Metro double from $ 886 to $ 1,619 the day of the update, numerous developers told Gamasutra that the update either increased page views without impacting sales, had no effect, or negatively impacted sales. The Masterplan developer Shark Punch and Hexcells Infinite developer Matthew Brown both even saw a drop in sales. Developer Elefantopia also reported that sales and views of its game McDroid dropped by half since the update.

At the time of the announcement, Valve’s UI Designer Alden Kroll told GameSpot that the company introduced traffic data analytics to allow developers to monitor their game’s impressions in real time. “Like any new release, we expect there will be things we missed and things that may need a tweak,” he said. “So, this is just the start of something new.”

What’s your impression of the Steam Discovery Update so far? Let us know in the comments below.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

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