Steam has an issue with letting anything on the platform, so long as the developer gives them money, like the asset flip games or sometimes even scam games.
This means that essentially anyone with $100 can publish their game on Steam. It isn’t the wild west and the game has to pass certain requirements, but the rules don’t seem to be as tight as they should be.
Maurice: In the Predator’s Nest was released on Steam earlier this month, a mixture of the Friday the 13th game and Dead By Daylight, and stars a bunch of frogs that look really familiar.
We recently had a good example of parody done right with Choo-Choo Charles, the surprisingly effective Thomas the Tank Engine horror game, but not all of them can be winners.
I would like to celebrate the fact that someone made Dead By Daylight with Kermit the Frog as the survivors. It can’t be done because Maurice: In the Predator’s Nest is another example of why Steam’s rules should be a bit tighter.
The characters did have their names changed, but the resemblance remains uncanny, despite the mustache.
Now, if something as obvious as copyright infringement can slip by, what else could? Well, alleged crypto miners can by hidden in games or software too.
To give a very brief and shallow explanation: a crypto miner is a piece of software that in this case is hidden maliciously in an effort to mine cryptocurrency using someone else’s resources, making your computer work for someone else’s profit.
Maurice: In The Predator’s Nest sits on Steam with very positive reviews, but the one that has received the most engagement is this one:
The game has quite a few other negative reviews like this, talking about how the game uses 100% of their GPU and seemingly may have either a memory leak or hides a crypto miner service inside.
This isn’t the first time that this happened, as the 2D puzzle game Abstractism also had to be removed from the store due to similar concerns.
The fact that this may be a repeat occurrence should be a wake-up call for Steam that their screening process is lacking. Nothing has been found yet by users, and hopefully the GPU usage issue come from a programming mistake rather than malice.
I morally have no issue with the game’s usage of Kermit the Frog, as a character from 1955 should have been public domain a long time ago if it wasn’t for Disney‘s constant revisions of copyright law. The problem is that Steam just let the game through without checking it properly.
A company as big as Steam should not be letting games slip under their radar, especially when it comes to copyrighted material from Disney. Joke titles do sell marginally well on Steam, with people gifting multiple copies of the game to their friends as a prank, but these couple hundred sales cannot be worth being on Disney’s radar.
Steam most likely has something in their terms of service for developers that make the games they publish their own responsibility, meaning that Steam probably won’t get in trouble, but it’s still an unnecessary risk.