Steam Problems Linger After Christmas Fiasco

Steam Problems Linger After Christmas Fiasco

You might remember that, a few days ago, Steam had a caching issue that let users see each others’ personal information. It was kind of A Thing. Since then, Steam has been in a fragile — some would argue busted — state.

Steam’s gone down a handful of times since the aptly named Steam Winter Fail. On top of that, multiple users — myself included — have frequently had trouble with Steam’s search features, making it difficult to find specific games. Core features like the store and community pages have also been unreliable and, at times, seemingly unresponsive. All these issues have plagued the service for the last few days. Basically, Steam’s a crapshoot right now. Maybe it will work, maybe it will fall flat on its face.

The biggest issue, however, has involved email verification. Steam accounts are tied to email addresses, and sometimes things like logins on new machines or trades need manual verification via email. Unfortunately, for the past few days many of these emails haven’t been sending. The issue seems especially prevalent for people using Microsoft email addresses (such as Outlook and Hotmail). As a result, some Steam users have been unable to complete trades and/or have been locked out of their accounts entirely. Predictably, people aren’t pleased.

It’s been a rough few days for Steam, and I’m sure Valve is spread thin at the moment — what with the holidays continuing to spirit people away on magical polar bear holidays (or awkward family dinners with vaguely racist grandparents). Still, when you’re running the biggest PC gaming service on Earth, this kind of thing isn’t really excusable. Even if people weren’t flush with Christmas cash and trying to trawl Steam’s winter sale for new games, this sort of thing would be beyond irksome.

On top of that, Valve dropped the ball in a big way only a few days ago. They allowed people’s personal information to be shown to other users, said nothing while everything was going haywire, and then didn’t even acknowledge the potential consequences of their mistake in the aftermath. They let people panic while it was happening, and now they’re letting people stew in anger and uncertainty. They need to re-earn users’ trust. Following that calamitous belly flop with core functionality issues and — once again — a painful lack of communication (just, like, a few tweets would be super helpful!), well, that doesn’t exactly inspire faith.

Here’s hoping Valve clears up these issues soon. Here’s hoping they also come to realise that you can’t run a 125 million user (and counting) service like you would a game development project. You’ve gotta be communicative ’round the clock and timely when addressing issues. I’ve heard multiple Valve employees pose the (paraphrased) question, “Why sit around saying things when we could use that time to fix problems, make stuff, or improve the service?” But when you’re running a storefront/service, that’s a false dichotomy. Communication and speed are simply part of the service you offer. If it’s not there, you can have all the cool features in the world, but still offer a sub-par service. The short version? You can’t run a store in Valve Time. Not when it’s as ubiquitous as Steam, anyway.

If Valve can’t fix these core problems right now, they should at least tell us why. As is, people are confused and frustrated. It doesn’t have to be this way, and yet, here we are.


  • You can’t run a store in Valve Time. Not when it’s as ubiquitous as Steam, anyway.

    I think Valve have proven that they can run things in Valve Time, and we as gamers will simply take it. Sure, we’ll grumble, but we won’t move onto other services, even if they provide a better experience.
    They shouldn’t run like this, but the sure as hell CAN run like this.

  • So is Valve actually communicating with their customers about these issues or are they again relying on a third party gaming news website?

  • They still haven’t said shit and all you mofos still suck at Newell’s teet. Back to piracy (even though I never left)

  • From what I can tell, email providers like Hotmail & Yahoo are marking emails from Valve’s servers as spam or something and are blocking them. Other email services (gmail, ISP emails etc) are getting the emails from Steam immediately.

    • I was having trouble accessing it on a new device (being no small distance from my regular machine) and wasnt receiving the steam support email to my old tied hotmail account.

      It did work, however, when i added [email protected] and [email protected] to contacts.
      Mind you…7 day trade restriction now…hurrah!

  • I here GOG Galaxy is pretty awesome.

    Oh and:

    or awkward family dinners with extremely racist grandparents

    I fixed it for you. πŸ˜›

  • In general I think people are overreacting, in part fueled by all the misinformation spread during the cache error hour. “Omg full CC leaked, I have screenshot!” – I read that countless times on the steam forums. None provided the proof, and in the end it was just FUD being spread by trolls – only the last couple digits were shown.

    I don’t really see all the fuss over phone numbers either. “Oh no, millions of people can see my number!”. When I was young, pre-internet days, we had this thing called the white pages, and it had everyones name and number in it, and we seemed to get in just fine without constant prank, spam and swat calls.

    Still, given that it’s Valve, i’m sure if enough people complain we’ll get some sort of overkill compensation. Which I’d gladly accept.

  • I ran into an issue where it said my CC was declined even tho I was using money from my steam wallet and didn’t have an attached CC.

  • i hated steam always! it wasnt until i bought company of heroes 2 (2013) !! ive been avoiding it since 2005! fucking launchers and not only steam,, Origin-uplay-xlive-psstore ALL THOSE THINGS SUCK MAJOR ,, you get the point

  • Well this probably explains why i’m not getting a verification email for setting up a steam account. I finally get my pc built after xmas and i create a steam account to buy fallout 4 and i can’t because valve cant send me a damn verification email. all i want to do is give them my money in exchange for fallout 4. apparently that’s asking too much. guess i’ll just have to be patient

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