Valve, an American video game developer most influential on the PC, is attempting to make sweeping changes to everything you know about Steam Trading Cards.
Valve is rolling out massive changes to Steam Trading Cards so as to do away with the pesky problem of "fake games" and thereby improve the Steam Store.
Steam Trading Cards were added in 2013 as collectibles that players can trade, and as they've grown popular, some people have exploited the system with "fake" games on Steam to capitalize on the cards' high demand.
Valve wrote in a blog post Tuesday, May 16, 2017, "These fake developers take advantage of a feature we provide to all developers on Steam, which is the ability to generate Steam keys for their games.
"They generate many thousands of these keys and hand them out to bots running Steam accounts, which then idle away in their games to collect Trading Cards.Even if no real players ever see or buy one of these fake games, their developers make money by farming cards."
Valve's aim is to end this problem, and initially, they considered doing so by restricting developers' ability to generate Steam keys at all for their games, yet they felt that would compromise the tools that legitimate developers rely on.
As such, Valve is removing the financial motivation in the system by no longer releasing cards until their correlating games have met what they call a "confidence metric."
"Once a game reaches that metric," Valve explained, "cards will drop to all users, including all the users who've played the game prior to that point." This means that even playing a game before it has cards earns you cards according to your playtime once they're added and once the confidence metric is satisfied.
The confidence metric is based on "a variety of pieces of data" out there that Valve did not identify.