Valve says a few games being blocked from installing on Steam Deck was just a 'technical issue'

Image of the Steam Deck playing Frostpunk.
(Image credit: Future)

Valve's long-stated ambition with the Steam Deck is to make every game on Steam playable on the handheld, but some players were concerned this week when at least one game on Steam seemed to be expressly prohibiting installation on the Deck. A tweet circulated on Tuesday highlighted that JRPG Demon Gaze Extra was "configured to block" the Steam Deck, even though users confirmed that they could copy the game's files over and play just fine. Was this a sign that some developers would be deliberately preventing their games from being played on the handheld?

Nope—it's just an error. In an email to PC Gamer, Valve confirmed the case in question was a Steam backend issue, not an intentional configuration.

"Before the Deck launch, we added a feature to allow developers to tag certain content/depots as being relevant only for Deck customers," Valve said. "This would allow developers to automatically deliver a different default graphics config on Deck, for example. There was a technical issue with the way this feature was shipped, and so unfortunately some content was incorrectly tagged as the reverse ("deliver these depots to every customer *not* on a Deck").

"We’ve since updated this feature so devs can no longer accidentally get into this state. For any games that are in an ‘uninstallable’ state, we’re working with partners to fix the issue."

Valve has been releasing updates for the Steam Deck at a rapid pace. Its latest dramatically affects the handheld's fan profile, making it much quieter while playing most games. 

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).