Jimquisition: Air Control - A Steam Abuse Story

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Again I don't understand how this process works. By it's very existence the 'Greenlight' system says that not just anything can get released on Steam, there's gotta be hundreds, or even thousands, of completed games whose developer would love to see their work release on Steam... so how exactly does the system work that this product/developer gets to bypass the system and have their game published? Without even going through Greenlight at that?

This is like letting a known child molester teach Kindergarten class.

SonOfVoorhees:
YAY PC MASTER RACE! Yeah, im joking. Seriously, steam needs quality control, or demos and trailers so people can see before they buy. When you cant get a refund, then i want more info when i buy something.

They have videos of trailers and gameplay on the game's store page that shows you what you're buying, and also offers demos when they're made available by the producer / developer I believe.

In all seriousness, is it possible to check every single game released on steam for stolen assets and and to make sure it it works on every pc?

Doesn't steam now offer refunds on products that don't work, so there is no financial loss for buying something you can't play, which in this case would probably include most people that bought air control?

I can see a case for checking unrepresentative footage and screenshots, because all that would take would be booting up the game briefly and taking a look at gameplay, but it sounds quite an extensive job to check the entirety of every single game released on steam for copyright material and for compatability issues. For air control it sounds pretty straight forward, but I can imagine this would not be the same for every single release.

In terms of it just being rubbish gameplay, isn't it caveat emptor?

errm jimbo, game tags are set by the users, not by the devs

Curious how they arrested the PirateBay co-author(or something), for creating an environment, where people can share (for FREE) copyright protected data.
And what do we have here, Valve creates an environment, where you can literally be robbed of your money. And the consequences for both parties (Valve and the thieves) are... NONE!

BigTuk:

Imp Emissary:
xD I figured you'd at least mention this game as soon as I saw your Squirty Play of it.

Good Lord it was horrible.
How did it even get on the front page on Steam in the first place?
Neat to find out being a shit game isn't the only crappy thing it does.

I can't say I ever recall seeing this on the steam front page... like ever. I actually had to do a name search just to find this on steam.

BigTuk:
The devs have not lied about anything that I can see on their page.

You did see the part where Jim showed screen grabs of the Dev giving false information that was later removed from the page, right?

I see screen caps but when checking.. you know.,. the products page I see none of that now. I can show a picture of someone in poopy diapers from 20 years ago.. that has nothing to do with what they're wearing right now does it?

Also, the copyrighted material used, the claim that the reviewers just didn't have a strong enough PC, and using people on his friends list (if they are real people) to give them good reviews.

I'll withhold copyright infringement allegations until said copyright holders actually file suit to such effect. I suggest you do the same. Seriously. How do you know they did not optain express permission to use the assets they did. I've heard no legal filings, I've seen no cease and desist orders.. So really if the people who legally own the copyright aren't throwing lawyers at them ... well then it may be safe to say the guy has found some nifty fair-use loophole.

Fair enough about the copyright stuff. Now that the game has such attention, the owners will take action if need be.

That said, your argument is that now since the information has been removed that it no longer matters that they tried to do something wrong?

:D Good to know! I'll give this a try.

Hey! IRS!

I didn't CHEATED ON MY TAXES! I no longer OWE YOU SO MUCH MONEY THAT I DON'T PLAN TO PAY!

:D Now to later remove/alter this so they can't get me.

Edit: Safe! :)

i still think steam doesnt need quality control, atleast not how its usually practiced, mostly just better organized content, a system that makes good games rise on top, and makes bad games sink to the bottom, but the disgusting games that lie to the customers should defintively be purged from the store

I looked it up after watching this.

This is real.

...

No words.

So... who is being abused? The handful of reviewers who have bought Air Control specifically to rant about how bad it is, and profit from the video views?

Or the mythical "ordinary Steam user" who supposedly buys games at random browsing the "latest released" list, yet clearly the critically approved games sell well while these get hundreds of sales, and most of these AFTER they went viral for being bad?

The average users just want to buy Watch Dogs, and they could do that on either site, it might as well be Steam whether or not it also sells Air Control. The only people who would certainly be affected by tighter Steam quality control would be the handful of shithounds who intentionally look up games like this, but with the potential risk of genuinely popular games like Goat Simulator or Rust also getting kicked out of Steam before they could go viral.

Oh Jimmy boy. Again with your quality control. I dont know Why I have to keep explaining this over and over and over again.
They're trying to make an open platform, and quality control goes directly against that. Understand?
No, you obviously dont.

Maybe I should just leave this here.

Jim:
It dosen't matter if you're "Triple A", If you're "Indie", If you're big, small, if you're a team of 600 or if you're a solo man job. If you put shit on the internet and you wanna charge for it, you're offically making a product and you will be critizised as such.

Unless you're an attractive looking woman of course,
then you can scam people as much as you fucking please and get praised for it.

Busard:
I've had a game i'm working on recently greenlit. We're very proud and hard working on it. But even us thought that is somehow of an easy process.

To be precise: we've been greenlit in less than a month. We're still very early in development and have something playable right now although still alpha, and we put up some few screenies and early vids. We didn't think we'd be accepted for months, thinking "Well, until that gets there, we'll have time to flesh out". But in less than a month we were greenlit.

While obviously i'm very happy about that, it makes me wonder what the hell steam is becoming. And how shit like this actually happens. It takes away a bit of the joy of being greenlit because when you see the other shit that's coming along the ride, you start to question, as a dev, if your product is actually good enough or you're just going along for the ride. I would've actually been more relieved actually if our game took a little longer to get accepted, giving us time to prove ourselves, rather than getting on so quickly.

And this last piece doesn't make me less shaky about it

Why did you put it on Greenlight if it was so early in development and whats going to happen if something happens and the game can't be finished?

This highlights an easily fixable issue with Greenlight, games are put on Greenlight that are ether far from finished or otter crap an still get through. The simple solution is: to even be eligible for Greenlight a game should ether be available elsewhere or have a working demo available. It's a simple solution that would prevent a lot of bad games from getting though Greenlight.

This actually infuriates me.

Why? Because there are actually great games that are getting ignored and shat on because atrocities like "air control" are hogging space on Steam and ruining the chances that good games have over ever being noticed, or played or anything.

Seriously, the more I look at Steam, the more I worry about its future.

Not to mention I worry that by the time GoD Factory is finally done and released, no one will give a shit about Steam games anymore, and the game will flop because shit like this burned people out. >: ( And that would make me REALLY mad.

My goodness. This is just going to keep getting worse (if that's even possible) until Steam decides that this should be removed. Good luck with that. You know, why isn't Steam held accountable for this illegal (referring to the copyright related stuff) garbage? They profit off of the sales of these types of games as well. So technically they are endorsing the crap these games do by both allowing and profiting from it.

After I watched this, I went and found Jim's YouTube play of Air Control.

It looks like Action 52 the flight sim.

BigTuk:
snip

I highly agree and I will add shomething that you may or may not agree that I posted on another thread about this issue that I think is relevant.

(I was quoting a post comparing this Steam situation to the 83 crash)
"Back then there was barely any internet or a way to know if the game was good, now you have the metacritic score right there on the page, a list of basic features (not the description, the part where it says "Singleplayer, Playable with Controller, Leaderboards, etc...) and Steam reviews, add to that a search on Google and you will know exactly what you are buying.

Mashed is a crappy game from 2004 that I used to love playing on the Xbox, just now it got released on Steam, metascore doesnt even have any review for it but now I can have it on Steam, a lot of people probably dont care but they can just not buy that game if they arent interested. Do we really need someone there to tell us if a certain game is good enough to be on Steam? Certain professional reviewers gave Resident Evil 6 a 2/10 and Alpha Protocol a 1/10, imagine if those guys were in control of what games are and arent on Steam.

This is awfully similar to how parents want the goverment to regulate what kind of games are sold, except in here the gamers that cant do research are the parents and the private company that sells the games is the goverment.

Just fucking do some research, with the internet it isnt hard at all, is 20 minutes of roaming around youtube and forums that much to ask from consumers?"

nevarran:
Curious how they arrested the PirateBay co-author(or something), for creating an environment, where people can share (for FREE) copyright protected data.
And what do we have here, Valve creates an environment, where you can literally be robbed of your money. And the consequences for both parties (Valve and the thieves) are... NONE!

I didnt realize that Steam would automatically buy the game for me, oh wait, no. I have to be a retard to not look at the video that fucking auto-plays at the game's store page before clicking on the "Purchase" icon. I can even be a bigger retard and not read the info below the video and the images. I can also completely ignore the negative reviews and metacritic score all shown in the same fucking page. Damn you Valve! You might as well go buy some cigarettes too because I like to have a smoke after I get fucked.

aegix drakan:
This actually infuriates me.

Why? Because there are actually great games that are getting ignored and shat on because atrocities like "air control" are hogging space on Steam and ruining the chances that good games have over ever being noticed, or played or anything.

Seriously, the more I look at Steam, the more I worry about its future.

Not to mention I worry that by the time GoD Factory is finally done and released, no one will give a shit about Steam games anymore, and the game will flop because shit like this burned people out. >: ( And that would make me REALLY mad.

The problem with this being who should get to decide the "great games" that are getting ignored, and to be honest i'm not sure how a release fathoms below par with dodgy copyright issues but that is nowhere to be found on the store homepage, even after you click on "new releases" is exactly hogging space?

To be honest, i wouldn't have heard of it if not for media coverage, and that isn't exactly encouraging me to buy the game. Maybe you should be mad at games media for covering these, but not having similar articles or content promoting possible hidden gems?

Chris Slime:

Charcharo:
Steam needs quality control when it comes down to not stealing 3rd party stuff, making sure the screenshots and trailers are true and that developers cant be gods in their own game's forums.

Anything else is subjective. I know people that will like Air Control. Why you may ask? Because they like the challenge of fixing stuff, so they will make a playable game out of it.
Is it how most people here have fun? No, but be damned, do not destroy their fun.

ALso, QC can be hard to actually nail down.
IF I was doing Quality Control then :
Call of Duty ghosts WILL NOT BE ON STEAM. They lied on requirements and made the game work bad on purpose, that is foul play for me.
WATCH Dogs will probably have problems getting on. It is unoptimized to all hell.

And that is still objective territory. If I was to approve games, then "mistakes in game design" like Bioshock Infinite would also have problems for me.

I was going to point out what's wrong with what you said, but no.. I just can't even...

That is good. It means you actually understood it mate :P .
I just believe that there is a passenge for every train. We should NOT put limits.
Maybe only on false advertising and preventing publishers and developers from controling communities. Everything else... nope.

Busard:

LOL what the hell.

I know steam needs QC but that is beyond draconian. I know you're kinda joking but jesus christ

Yes I was :P though you did understand it wrong it seems :( .

Somebody find the Rust developer who claimed that limiting releases on Steam was "Madness" and rub his nose in this shit. Rub his nose in it like a dog who just shit on the carpet.

Because seriously. When you just open the floodgates and say "Anything goes!", this is the result.

My roommate, who is a Computer Networking/Security major, has a saying: "Never assume malice when you can assume incompetence".

Now, in this case and the Muxwell case before it, it was pretty clear that these guys were being downright vicious to their consumers. But the thing is, not everyone goes into these cases so well-researched as Jim. What happens when a hobbyist or first-time developer puts something out? One or two are bound to have overlooked some hurdles unique to publication. What happens to the people who want to learn from their mistakes? Will they be carelessly lumped in with the Muxwells of the world, particularly by people who are fanatically attacking games they think look amateurish?

I think that Quality Control could prevent this, but to be clear: Quality Control should only prevent games that are broken to be released. If we start preventing them from being sold based on quality, then we'd start having arguments about what a "good" game is, and how good a game has to be in order to be sold.

I just think the idea of publicly shaming people as a practice is going to end up hurting some people.

Deadagent:
Oh Jimmy boy. Again with your quality control. I dont know Why I have to keep explaining this over and over and over again.
They're trying to make an open platform, and quality control goes directly against that. Understand?
No, you obviously dont.

Completely closed platforms are bad.
Completely open platforms are bad too, and this example shows EXACTLY why.

The best platform is thus somewhere in the middle.

nevarran:
Curious how they arrested the PirateBay co-author(or something), for creating an environment, where people can share (for FREE) copyright protected data.
And what do we have here, Valve creates an environment, where you can literally be robbed of your money. And the consequences for both parties (Valve and the thieves) are... NONE!

Yeah... It's quite interesting how our world works isn't it?

Watch_Dogs doesn't launch for many people. Some were banned from UPlay for "too many attempts" to activate because keys would not work. To this day, multiplayer will not work for many PC and XBOne users. It was intentionally broken, by the developer, on AMD PC hardware.

"4.5/5" -Jim Sterling

andago:

SonOfVoorhees:
YAY PC MASTER RACE! Yeah, im joking. Seriously, steam needs quality control, or demos and trailers so people can see before they buy. When you cant get a refund, then i want more info when i buy something.

They have videos of trailers and gameplay on the game's store page that shows you what you're buying, and also offers demos when they're made available by the producer / developer I believe.

In all seriousness, is it possible to check every single game released on steam for stolen assets and and to make sure it it works on every pc?

Doesn't steam now offer refunds on products that don't work, so there is no financial loss for buying something you can't play, which in this case would probably include most people that bought air control?

I can see a case for checking unrepresentative footage and screenshots, because all that would take would be booting up the game briefly and taking a look at gameplay, but it sounds quite an extensive job to check the entirety of every single game released on steam for copyright material and for compatability issues. For air control it sounds pretty straight forward, but I can imagine this would not be the same for every single release.

In terms of it just being rubbish gameplay, isn't it caveat emptor?

Use GoG more for gaming than Steam. I guess if they have trailers and pictures showing the game i guess no one can complain. But then some people dont care about the graphics, so they can advertise a game badly to trick a consumer into buying crap with clever editing. Some games can be bad but good, Deadly Premonition for instance, but if you get a game that plays like complete shit in every way. Then allowing it on Steam is an insult for companies that make great indie games and thus people dont risk their money buying new titles.

TCRs... Steam needs Technical Certification Requirements. Sony has them, Microsoft has them, and Nintendo has them. Fail them and get a fat bill. It will solve most issues.

Brian Tams:
Somebody find the Rust developer who claimed that limiting releases on Steam was "Madness" and rub his nose in this shit. Rub his nose in it like a dog who just shit on the carpet.

Because seriously. When you just open the floodgates and say "Anything goes!", this is the result.

I'm pretty sure Rust's developer would rather rub his face in several piles of steaming dog shit, than to say that the open nature of Steam that has earned him millions of dollars, is bad and that Rust shouldn't have been allowed on it.

Thanatos2k:

Completely closed platforms are bad.
Completely open platforms are bad too, and this example shows EXACTLY why.

The best platform is thus somewhere in the middle.

It really doesn't show. On a completely open platform, shitty games can go viral for Jim to rant about them, while everyone else is free to buy better ones.

Any move to the "middle" is a move towards less freedom, and more likelihood that some good games also get censored.

Having watched Jim's and that Daav guys videos on this, at least its hilariously bad, not just bad. The best part was when he found an entire level from Alien Rage somehow inside the plane, and when I realized he wasn't using editing to switch between on the plane and playing flappy plane, the game actually does that!

also air control WAS greenlit

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=205658089

i know it hardly matters since its not the point but jim usually likes to do corrections and stuff

Deadagent:
Oh Jimmy boy. Again with your quality control. I dont know Why I have to keep explaining this over and over and over again.
They're trying to make an open platform, and quality control goes directly against that. Understand?
No, you obviously dont.

xD Hard to argue with that.

But seriously though, the video is more about people asking to limit steam releases as a means of quality control.

Jim isn't asking for that. He just wants them to kick out the trouble makers. Like the Earth 2066 game. Which they did do.
He's saying that they should be able to do so quicker though and let the customers have more ability to bring how bad a game is to light in the comments.

Such is not as unreasonable.

Deadagent:

Jim:
It dosen't matter if you're "Triple A", If you're "Indie", If you're big, small, if you're a team of 600 or if you're a solo man job. If you put shit on the internet and you wanna charge for it, you're offically making a product and you will be critizised as such.

Unless you're an attractive looking woman of course,
then you can scam people as much as you fucking please and get praised for it.

Care to share what you're talking about?

Edit: Never mind. Keep it to yourself, please.

Alterego-X:

Thanatos2k:

Completely closed platforms are bad.
Completely open platforms are bad too, and this example shows EXACTLY why.

The best platform is thus somewhere in the middle.

It really doesn't show. On a completely open platform, shitty games can go viral for Jim to rant about them, while everyone else is free to buy better ones.

Any move to the "middle" is a move towards less freedom, and more likelihood that some good games also get censored.

What do you mean by "censored"? Some kind of minimum quality requirements would not censor a good game, by definition.

Absolute freedom is not a good thing, as we can see here. All stores do not carry all products, and you wouldn't want them to.

josemlopes:
Mashed is a crappy game from 2004 that I used to love playing on the Xbox, just now it got released on Steam, metascore doesnt even have any review for it but now I can have it on Steam, a lot of people probably dont care but they can just not buy that game if they arent interested. Do we really need someone there to tell us if a certain game is good enough to be on Steam?.

OH MY GOD Mashedisonsteam. You have no. bloomin'. idea. how happy you just made me. One of my favourite ps2 games, never found a replacement when my disk scratched and the my ps2 finally died.

I think it's trolling :0
Also anyone dumb enough to buy that deserved to have wasted their money... maybe even learnt a lesson.
I'm not saying it should stay on Steam though. It's a disgrace for them.

Even if nobody bought it, even if they did knowing it looked like shit, even if it was supposed to be some kind of ironic parody (which I seriously doubt), that doesn't excuse something like this existing and taking up space and being sold for real money on a major digital distribution site. Of course it's not humanly possible to thoroughly screen every single game but this...this should not happen....ever. Steam has to get off their asses and take action to cut this cancer out before it kills them, not to mention the collateral damage that it would also cause quality games by devs who actually give a shit.

Stilkon:
I think that Quality Control could prevent this, but to be clear: Quality Control should only prevent games that are broken to be released. If we start preventing them from being sold based on quality, then we'd start having arguments about what a "good" game is, and how good a game has to be in order to be sold.

That would be better than just allowing every shit game to be sold no questions asked. There is a difference between arguing the merits/faults of a game and just plain weeding out the blatantly shit games from the crop. This was not an early access game, this was not a work in progress demo; this was a lazy shitty piece of crap being sold for actual money on a major site. It doesn't take a genius to look at something like this and recognize it for what it really is, ie a lazy buggy cash-in. At least with kickstarter and greenlight you go in knowing that what your getting is a work in progress. But if something is being sold in the actual store then you have a certain level of expectation that you will be getting something that could be legit called a game. Stuff like this and Earth random-year-who-gives-a-shit can barely be qualified as games (which I don't) let alone good ones and never will be.

andago:

josemlopes:
Mashed is a crappy game from 2004 that I used to love playing on the Xbox, just now it got released on Steam, metascore doesnt even have any review for it but now I can have it on Steam, a lot of people probably dont care but they can just not buy that game if they arent interested. Do we really need someone there to tell us if a certain game is good enough to be on Steam?.

OH MY GOD Mashedisonsteam. You have no. bloomin'. idea. how happy you just made me. One of my favourite ps2 games, never found a replacement when my disk scratched and the my ps2 finally died.

image

And people still have the balls to cry that older games are being released on Steam, fuck that, isnt that one huge advantage of the PC? The fact that there are no generations and you can still play games from 1998 in the same machine you can play games from 2014? Steam wasnt the huge store that it is now back then so there are a lot of games that still arent available from 10 years ago (still waiting for Freedom Fighters)

It's always a pleasure to hear you go to town on a target that entirely deserves it, Jim, but as there have now been multiple videos on the subject, I almost wonder if maybe this shouldn't have its own byline outside of the Jimquisition. Maybe it should be an every-other-week feature or something; maybe it should could even revolve around different writers. I mean, there's no particular reason you should uniquely have to suffer through broken Steam offerings, though it does sound like a public service we could use.

Stuff like this doesn't happen because Steam lacks quality control, but because Steam lacks a return policy. If Valve weren't so fucking determined to never let go of a single cent they got their grubby hands on, people would just return games like this 10 minutes after purchase and the scammers would stop making them because they'd get no money out of it.

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