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Scammers posing as Steam curators snuffed out by indie dev

by Ozva Admin

Several Steam curator groups were removed from the platform after a developer managed to discover that they were actually scammers.

BROK the Investigator, developed by solo indie developer Cowcat Games, released August 26 on Steam and GOG. On Steam, Cowcat noted that BROK had received mostly positive reviews from gamers, gaming sites, and curators alike.

Two days later, Cowcat posted a Twitter thread about unusual behavior by curators.

Watch the BROK the InvestiGator PC launch trailer.

“BROK is currently being massively attacked [sic] by Steam curators submitting negative reviews,” they tweeted, starting a thread to explain what was going on.

Many curators who had previously given BROK a recommendation to their followers changed their review to “Not Recommended.” Cowcat was suspicious about what had caused this, however.

In their thread, they explain that they had received numerous emails from people claiming to be curators on Steam. These people asked for a key for BROK, which they said would be used to play and review the game. However, Cowcat knew that previous indie developers warned others to be wary of scammers posing as curators, so he devised a plan to separate the real curators.

Cowcat decided to send all curators a key for BROK the InvestiGator – Prologue, a free demo available on Steam. They figured any legitimate curator would get in touch to ask why they weren’t sent a key to the full game. According to Cowcat, “very few actually did!”

Cowcat believes that the fake curators who contacted them were actually key resellers who had sold the Prologue key sent to them on gray markets like G2A, and whoever the key was wasn’t happy to pay for a key. free demo that was already available on Steam. Key resellers, in turn, changed their positive reviews to negative in retaliation.

Cowcat reported to the curators on Steam as their thread was reported and discussed. A detailed timeline of the situation was published in Reddit, with screenshots of the curator groups involved, which caught Cowcat’s attention. The original Reddit poster has since added an update, stating that Steam has removed all nine curator groups that posted negative reviews of BROK. All groups managed by an owner from any of those initial nine groups have also been removed.

Cowcat said they are not concerned about the impact of the negative reviews on BROK. “I’m not worried at all,” they wrote on both Twitter and Reddit. They said they created the thread to spread awareness of the techniques scammers use, and ended up asking people to avoid using gray markets to buy games. Cowcat also echoed a sentiment shared by many indie developers: they’d rather you pirate their game than buy it from someone shady.

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