Valve blocks competitor's app from Steam


We have a follow-up on our recent story about Itch, an app from the creators of indie game store who were trying to get their app through Steam Greenlight. In short: it ain't gonna happen.

After receiving a message from Valve, the creators of reported today that their app has been rejected from Steam Greenlight. "This item is incompatible with Greenlight," reads a header at the top of Itch's Greenlight page. Separately, shared a private message that Valve sent them where a representative says that Steam simply isn't equipped to handle that type of non-game software.

Here is the message sent by an employee of Valve, which one of Itch's creator's shared on Twitter:

"Hello, Thank you for your interest in Steam. We'd like to be able to continue supporting a variety of types of non-game software on Steam, but the reality is that were finding that we're finding that we just don't have the tools and processes to handle many types of non-gaming software very well right now. We made some recent changes to non-gaming software in Greenlight to focusing on a categories [sic] of software for game developers and content creators. These are the valid categories of software we are accepting for now: • Animation & Modeling • Audio Production • Design & Illustration • Photo Editing • Video Production We'd like to accept more kinds of software on Steam, but right now we need to focus on a smaller scope until we have better tools and processes in place."

There are all sorts of types of software on Steam that don't fall into those categories, so this reasoning doesn't completely resonate. You can't really expect Valve to give an open-arms welcome to an app for another game store, but on the other hand, stuff like Uplay is bundled with Ubisoft's games on Steam. It's a complicated issue, and a clearer statement from Valve about what is and isn't welcome on Steam at this time is still needed, I think.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.