Steam User Reviews Will Now Include Games Not Bought on Steam: Valve

It's important to have a well informed opinion about the technology you're buying.


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  • Users can now review games even if they were not bought on Steam
  • Steam games bought via Kickstarter or from other websites count
  • This comes after a torrent of negative feedback from game developers

After making fundamental changes to how user reviews work on Steam, Valve has decided to rework its approach further.

Last week saw the company remove reviews for games that were activated via a Steam key. This was because they could be doled out wholesale by developers looking to game the system by posting positive reviews. Now, Valve is giving end-users a choice of what they see when they visit a game’s page on Steam.

“Starting today, the review section on each product page will show reviews written by all users, regardless of purchase type,” a post from the company reads. ”By default you’ll now see reviews written by all players of the game, including Steam customers, Kickstarter backers, bundle customers, streamers, and other users that acquired the game outside of Steam.”

The reason for this, Valve claims, is to ensure users have access to all reviews necessary to make an informed buying decision.

“One frequent piece of feedback we’ve heard regarding the recent changes is that it has become more difficult to find and read the helpful, articulate reviews written by customers that obtained the game outside of Steam,” the post says. “We want to make sure that helpful reviews can be surfaced regardless of purchase source, so we’re making a change to the defaults.”

This is a welcome change. The feedback from developers over Valve’s decision last week to remove reviews for games arising out of Steam key redemptions wasn’t pretty. Quite a few believed they would have to stop making games.

“That’s me probably going out of business then. My crowdfunders and direct sales were how I hoped to improve my score,” tweeted Simon Roth of Machine Studios before adding, “And once you get below “Positive” sales die pretty fast. So you can’t get new reviews to get a better score.”

For Valve’s part, it said it would keep a close look on the reaction to this from the community and it did. However this is probably just the first of many ramifications we’ll see on Steam with Valve stating it’s working on “some longer-term updates.”