Is Valve Putting Steam Games In Your Library Without Asking?

Reader Nick just emailed saying that, for no reason, a Rayman Origins demo had suddenly appeared in his Steam games library. Not a store listing; it's sitting in his installed games section.

So I fired up Steam and what do you know, it's there for me as well.

There are no actual files installed on your hard drive upon first noticing it; clicking "PLAY" triggers a "content conversion" screen before it begins downloading the demo.

Making things annoying if you have OCD is that you can't remove the game. Clicking "uninstall" will remove the code if you've downloaded it, but the actual listing will remain in your library.

Either this is a strange little mistake, or it's a very unwelcome form of advertising on the part of both Ubisoft and Steam. We've contacted Valve to see which it is.


    Someone just fire luke already.

    this is extremely shit news


        I already have box of them next to me since i have a cold :|

          Sure...of course... there just there because you have a cold... wink wink :)

      Don't read his articles if you hate them so much. Honestly, I wasn't aware of this (just got home) so was surprised to read this, and then check myself that yes, I do indeed have that.

      Hopefully it'll just be like the games that have "Free play weekends!" every now and then, and it'll disappear after a set date.

      I dont read many of these kind of internet news thingies but when I read this one I'm always surprised how someone is always commenting on the writer and how they should be fired.

      I mean, seriously.

    It's obviously a glitch, Valve wouldn't put a game in your library just because..

      Actually, they do. When I bought the Half-Life collection on sale, it also added HalfLife: Source to my library (which I do not own) with a 'Purchase' button where 'Play' is.

      What's worse is they download dlc for games you own whether you want it or not.
      They also make you download updates for Mac fixes even if you don't own a Mac. =0

    Why wouldn't you have Rayman Origins in your library?

      I finished the game on PS3. And now considering the way i have my games installed because it's installed some token 16mb file of it's own accord it's something that i can't hide by saying show installed games only. So it's causing unwanted clutter currently.

      And like all things it's not that their is a Rayman Demo in my steam list. It's the idea that these companies could pay to have there demo's to show up in my steam list without my approval causing more clutter.

      I mean what if suddenly every F2P MMO on their ends up in your library by virtue of it being free.

    ive had one or two other things added to my library without my knowledge before. usually demos or weekend free to play promos

    Pseudo-inflamatory comment? Check.

    Pointless, leading speculation ? Check.

    Plunkett? Check.

    Reader John just emailed me and said he wishes Plunkett articles had a little more meat to them, rather then just filling the time between roughly lunch time and whenever someone with something worth reading has to say starts posting.

    Either this is a strange mistake or Kotaku is just trying to generate hits during the slow part of the day.

    We emailed ourselves to see which it is.


      On a related note, however, when they had that Brink free weekend a while back, my uninstalled (Rightfully so) copy of brink attempted to install itself.

      So, uh, Valve is evil.

        Mine did the same thing. I've also had TF2 try reinstall its self

    I've had the same thing happen dozens of times before. It's really really really annoying. They do it with Free Weekends and all sorts of things without asking. It sucks.

    Oh, and enough with the Plunkett hate. Go do something productive you big idiot.

    I'm glad this is only 16MB. I had no idea about this until reading this article and noticing it installed in my library. As a gamer in a non-ADSL area of Victoria on 10GB of wireless broadband a month, I'd be fuming if Steam wasted 500MB of downloads on a demo that I didn't ask for.

      Aaron, it doesn't actually download the demo until you tell it to. It merely sits in your game list.

        You're right, thanks for the clarification. I simply assumed because it was white and not grey that it was installed.



    Ummmm I'm confused... No ones never noticed this??? This has always happened. I mean for years it's happened. Everytime a free weekend happens the game will show up in your available games list. Can't say I've seen it with a demo but it's certainly not new. I'm guessing it'll go away when the game is released.

      This isnt a free weekend thing... When its a free weekend the games name is still "Grey" and you have to install it, and it has a timer informing you how long is left..

      After seeing this I went and looked in my library and it is indeed installed and ready to play!

        After going through it some more - it is indeed only a partial install, there is enough there for it to show up on your list (16 megs) but you can not delete it, it stays in your list as an installed (not owned) game.

      Alien Swarm is an FTP game, but it disappears from my library when I delete local content. Conversely, I've never installed the TF2 beta or the Sounter Strike Source beta, but both are visible in my library.

      I imagine that what free games are visible/not visible on your library runs on a moderately simple set of rules. It's not inconcievable that there will be hiccups every now and then.

    Keep on telling it like it is Mr. Plunkett and ignore the haters. I also dislike this new form of "advertising" from Valve, particularly since this is the first time a game has appeared as "installed" from within Steam (how did it get installed if I didn't choose to download it?) I want Valve to make delivery of promotional content like "free weekend" and upcoming releases, demos, etc. OPTIONAL and to allow users to disable this in the Settings screen within Steam.

      The problem with Plunkett and this article is that this is NOT NEWSWORTHY. This functionality of Steam has been happening for about a year now. He just found out about it now and is posting it as if it's news when clearly many people already know about it. It's also not that big of a deal.

        The functionality hasn't been working like this for years.

        No other Demo has ever shown up in my "Installed Games" List without me telling it to install.

        And in my case i can't even get it off the installed games list because telling it to uninstall just made it try to download the 16mb file again.

          It is news worthy and it is worth knowing. If Origin did this you'd be all over it like a vulture on a steak.

          I didn't say years... I said about a year. Big difference. Also, it doesn't install itself on your system, it appears there but you have to initiate the install. And your case is unusual, when I uninstall half downloaded or paused content from my steam it doesn't re-download anything, it just deletes itself in a second or two. I just tested it.

    The difference with this one I think is that it appears to already be downloaded, with a play option instead of install. I don't mind them putting demos in my library that I then have to option to download or not, but this one showed up and says its already downloaded, which after reading this it apparently isn't.

    This has happened to me too, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts has appeared in my game list, when I click and highlight it, instead of having a 'play' button it has a 'purchase' button.

    I have Company of Heroes and it's in my library, but have never purchased the expansion.

    I think it's sneaky/forced advertising or what have you.

    They've been doing it for a while, no story here.

    this isnt the first time. i have a pc but yet mac versions of gta sit uninstalled in my list. they are useless and annoying.

    I'm feeling a little left out here, it's not in my library :(

      same here and it wont allow me to dl the demo :'-(

    Just looked through my Steam. Yep it's there !!!???

    Why you guys bashing Luke? He's had some good articles that aren't two sentences lately.

    Why you guys bashing Luke? He's had some good articles that aren't two sentences lately.

    This happens all the time. Like other guys have mentioned, free to play weekend deals spawn an item in your games list. More annoyingly, because I own GTA3, VC and SA the Mac versions have shown up alongside them... On my Windows PC...

      Yes but they were generally grey, and did not show up as ready to play; that's the point and I don't like it.
      Feels a bit like someone is throwing in those sample shampoo bottles in your shopping basket. I don't need them. I don't like them.

    I think the point everyone is missing, is that this isnt the free weekend deals valve puts out - they have (while small) install 16 megs and had it show up in your games list. I cant delete or get rid of it.. its there to stay until Valve say otherwise.

    But the question is, if we allow this, when does it go from 16megs to 100? to 500? Ive downloaded a couple of games this month and im under 1 gig away from being capped until my account resets.. Valve auto pushing through content wont help if this gets worse.

    It's in my list.. apparently ready to play.... I have to say that's pretty BS.. I'm sure Rayman might be a cool game, but I prefer to choose whether I want to waste my bandwidth on demos or not.

    I think everyone's missing that this doesn't mean that the game is downloaded, you still have to dl it.

    It appears to be a misconfiguration in the metadata for the demo.

    It's a glitch because someone accidentally put the wrong metadata in for the game, just like when XBox Live games show up before they're meant to. I base this assertion on the following forum post I found with minimal actual research:

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