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It doesn't seem like running an online digital distribution store should be a hassle. People come to your store, buy the games they want and go home happy... right? Right? Well, that hasn't been happening in the way it's supposed to due a number of developers attempting to exploit the Steam store space and use fake games with dodgy achievements and trading cards in order to make some quick cash. After a number of complaints and plenty of push back from the community, Valve decided to finally limit the Steam achievements in order to battle the fake games.
Interestingly enough, the company will be using a "confidence metric" that will work similar to how trading cards were addressed, which prevented access to trading cards for games until it was made known that players were actually buying the game.
For the achievements, games that have not reached a "confidence metric" will be limited to only 100 achievements for the game. The achievements will not contribute to the global achievement count and they will be barred from being shown on the Steam profile's achievement showcase until that confidence metric has been met.
Additionally, achievements won't contribute to the account's game library count and they cannot be shown in the Steam profile's game collector showcase. And, there won't be eligibility for coupons, which oftentimes can be unlocked through reaching certain achievements that can then be applied to future purchases.
So, what exactly were people doing to exploit the games for achievements? As mentioned above, there were -- according to Valve -- an "insignificant number of users" who were quickly racking up achievements, unlocking coupons and making purchases.
This wasn't something that was so widespread that it was killing the economy or dampening the overall market valuation, but it was persistent enough from a number of fake games on the Steam database that Valve felt it necessary to step in and clean it up.
This was actually not announced publicly, but was filtered through a private developer's post on the Steam forums, with Valve informing developers what the company would be doing moving forward to address these concerns.
Some people were a bit perturbed at this turn of events. Why? Because they felt as if Valve should simply ban the games instead of creating milestones for indie developers to reach in order to legitimatize achievements. As pointed out in the thread, games like Civilization VI or other games with more than 100 achievements won't be affected if they're AAA titles. This measure is almost specifically aimed at off-brand name outings attempting to leverage the lax rules surrounding achievements in order to bolster the availability of coupons or make it viable to get free games off the service by racking up a bunch of fake achievements.
Moving forward, gamers will be compelled to seek out achievements from legitimate games and avoid scarfing down a buffet of achievements from fake ones.