Steam has proven to be an outstanding new way to play and purchase video games. The gaming community can find games of every single genre imaginable and constant sales and offers allow many a massive library of entertainment.
Developers get a chance to show the game to a much broader audience, and allows people to judge titles by reading reviews and writing their own. However, whilst many of the games released are new, sometimes you’ll find much older games suddenly getting greenlit there. To make matters worse, sometimes the title makes you wonder why it’s there in the first place.
When browsing the Free to Play section, you’ll mostly find MMOs and some old browser games. Perhaps a blast of nostalgia will hit you when you find one of those games you played many years ago. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it comes as a shock to see games that belong on Facebook suddenly thrown onto the gaming platform.
This is much more common in MMOs, as previously mentioned. Sometimes games that have been long abandoned by the original fan-base will appear on Steam. It is common for newer players to either find a barren world scattered with the remaining ever loyal fans of old who are still venturing around, or another scenario finds games the developers and supporters barely pay attention to anymore.
Perhaps said game is made by a small company and they tried to expand it further, but lacked the staff to support the demand. Others could be announced as "free to play", but either hide content behind fees or overwhelmingly benefit paying players with subscriptions.
Another example of Steam titles that feel out of place are the ones that play like mini-games. Iron Snout is a recent example of this category. A poor man's version of One Finger Death Punch with only one stage that, only recently, added a new mode. This one feels more like the kind of game you can find on a site like Kongregate or any other.
Speaking of video game sites, Shakes and Fidget also got released recently on Steam, which is a browser game with lots of idle elements focused on waiting until things get done.
These are hardly the only examples, and some of these games, from idle to MMOs, aren’t necessarily a problem per se. Sometimes there can be a hidden gem loitering among the dozens of old games almost no-one plays anymore. But when it comes to those titles that are supposed to have thousands of players and community, sometimes there’s none of that.
Joining a game that has been nowhere near the radar for years and suddenly finds itself on the spotlight has some problems. A time gap of non-new players can make playing the first adventures boring unless you convince some friends to join you. There are also games that stopped introducing updates, so it’s actually an MMO that can be beaten, so to speak.
Other games introduced simply weren’t that good when they were released, and Steam becomes their latest attempt at scratching some players. Ragnarok Online 2 was a game that didn’t become as popular as its prequel, and it has a much smaller fan-base. Even with improved graphics and other amendments, the original Ragnarok Online has remained alive and kicking.
And even though both of them are available on Steam, the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Ragnarok Online's Steam based free server suffers from poor management, and contains outdated content, when compared to the South Korean servers. In the end, people who want to play the real thing would find non-profit private servers with as much updated content as possible.
Every user will probably sit in front of their computer and complain about one game not being worth its place there or whatnot. This is more often found in free games, but there will be many examples for paid ones as well. This is more subjective depending on each player, and some genres will be more harshly judged than others.
As previously mentioned, Shakes and Fidget has been one of the most panned games in reviews, to the point that many don’t consider it a game. It’s true that the idea of “pay to win” is thrown around very freely these days every time a free game has a currency that requires real money to get. That doesn’t have to be the case, since some games simply offer customizable vanity content as to add some uniqueness to characters.
Check out Shakes and Fidget's trailer below:
Paywalls, however, are much more common, and it can cause trouble for many free Steam MMOs. Dungeons & Dragons Online is a clear example of a title with a paywall. A large portion of endgame content requires payments to unlock it, as well as some of the races and classes.
Steam is now one of the best-known gaming platforms, and it’s been some sort of sanctuary of quality. However, it's become a more general place for everyone to show off their games to the world. On the plus side, this is a great way to introduce new developers and quality content to each and every genre.
The fact that, on occasion, a title that feels out of place, like a game that was clearly designed for mobile devices become ported for PC, is included feels odd. A lot of people might speak against this, since many of these games might belong somewhere else.
With the option of simply uninstalling the free game or asking for a refund for the purchased ones, this might come as an exaggerated outrage, though. It’s good to find an old game we enjoyed there, even if it sometimes hurts to see how badly it has aged. Leaving it to the developers’ judgment is the best option from an objective point of view.
Whether going on Steam actually works well for them to get more players or fails that purpose is something that falls upon them. Just like anything else, the worst that can happen is to remain just how they were.