Valve has pulled Earth: Year 2066 from its Steam Early Access section and offered customers who had already bought the title full refunds.
Users commenting that the game looks like it is in very early stages were surprised to see their comments rewritten as high praise for the title.
Developer Muxwell Urban earned the ire of Valve through dishonest marketing practices, most notably the alteration of forum comments which were being changed and rewritten to make it look like people were talking positively about the game.
In a Reddit thread
, one user reports having commented that the game looked like it needed a lot of work and that it wasn’t ready, only to have his comment rewritten to say that the game looks amazing and everyone should pick up a copy.
Further comments were being added from fake accounts and additionally, the game’s cover image looks to have been lifted from a Google image search without permission.
’On Steam, developers make their own decisions about promotion, features, pricing and publication. However, Steam does require honesty from developers in the marketing of their games,’
said a Steam spokesperson on the Earth: Year 2066 community forum.
Refunds for Earth: Year 2066 are open until May 19.
This is the second high profile instance of Steam stepping in to offer refunds on a controversial title with dishonest marketing. In 2012, The War Z, now renamed to Infestation: Survivor Stories, was pulled for its lack of advertised features and misleading name that was very similar to the popular Day Z.