Thousands of copies appeared in Steam users libraries last week.
A strange glitch was reported in the last couple of hours causing some paid indie games listed on Steam to be given away for free during last week. Not much was mentioned about this subject until this week’s Tuesday, although the reported issue had been going on at least since May 8th.
What happened? Games that weren’t free to play like visual novel Glare1More started popping up in players’ libraries in a widespread frenzy. Glare1More, for instance, went from 0.8 to 34,469 players in a matter of hours. Trading cards from these games started tanking in value as a result, in clear prejudice of their developers.
Apparently, the cause of all of this was a glitch that involved Steam packages that weren’t supposed to be free anymore. These packages were intended to be used by “cafes and licensors”, as explained by Glare1More’s developer through a Steam community thread.
Although other games like Fantasya Final Definitiva REMAKE were also affected by this issue, resulting in Youtuber SidAlpha uploading a video with a complete analysis of the situation and providing visibility to a situation that clearly damaged many indie studios.
Glare1More’s developers asked players who had obtained this free copy of their game to at least leave a review with their impressions, saying that “one review is worth the price”. This was actually a pretty smart move from them as a way to revert the crisis.
The glitch was available for exploit through the website SteamDB, as explained by Fantasya Definitiva’s creator: “Someone found yesterday a glitch through SteamDB that allowed any person to add the ‘current paid version’ of Fantasya Final Definitiva REMAKE for free. In just one day, over 175k copies of the full game were ‘activated illegally’ using this glitch”. Several Steam users pointed out that the glitch wasn’t caused by SteamDB, but rather by the developer’s own mistake when setting up free and paid packages.
Many of the affected games were listed in this SteamGifts thread.
Whether the error was SteamDB’s or the developer’s responsibility, the best thing you could do if you received a free copy by mistake is to leave a review in their Steam pages or enable trading card drops.
Our boy from Buenos Aires, Juan has been a gamer for as long as he can remember (and possibly even longer than that). He loves a good story, and believes every indie game has a compelling one to tell.