Valve uploaded a new blog post earlier this week which revealed that the Trading Card system will be changing. This is being done in an effort to stop fake developers from earning money and improve the overall Store experience.
According to the blog post, there are some fake developers who take advantage of a special feature given to developers. This feature allows developers to generate Steam keys for their games. These keys can then be given out to players to unlock the game on their account. Valve reveals that some developers are taking advantage of this system to earn money.
These developers “generate many thousands of these keys and hand them out to bots.” These bots then “idle away in their game to collect Trading Cards.” As a result, even if no one buys the game the developer can still earn money.
Naturally, Valve wants to put an end to this.
To deal with this, Valve is making a simple change to remove the “economic incentive” behind this. Trading Cards for a game will no longer be released immediately. They will only be released once the game reaches a “confidence metric” to demonstrate the game is real. Once this metric is reached, the cards will drop for all users including those who have played the game in the past.
Valve has not revealed how this “confidence metric” is formed. However, they do state it’s formed from a “variety of pieces of data.”
Trading Cards play a role in which games are suggested to players on the Steam Store page. This new change should improve what games are showed to players based on their preferences.
Valve will be releasing one more blog post about the new Steam Direct system very soon. We will provide you with updates as we learn more about this from Valve.