Remember When Getting On Steam Meant Something?

Remember When Getting On Steam Meant Something?

There used to be something special about being an indie game on Steam.

Releasing on Steam tomorrow is a type of game that’s increasingly common on Valve’s digital marketplace. It’s called Oldschool Tennis, or possibly Old School Tennis. It’s hard to know, because it’s written two different ways on the store page:

At first glance, it looks like a slightly tweaked version of Pong. And then you read the Steam description, and it’s almost unabashedly that:

In 1972 appeared the first arcade machine. In the same year appeared the first home version. In 1973 many companies make clones of the consoles have, it was created about 7000 versions of this console.

It’s almost like someone thought, “How can I reference Pong as much as possible without actually saying it so I don’t get in trouble for violating copyright?”

Oldschool Tennis comes with “Smart AI” for singleplayer, what appears to be a chiptunes soundtrack and online multiplayer. It’s only $US0.59 right now, which admittedly isn’t a great deal. And when I mean multiplayer, I mean “multyplayer”.

Remember When Getting On Steam Meant Something?

But it’s also the principle of the matter: this game is unashamedly Pong, which you can actually buy on Steam as part of the Atari Vault collection. Whether someone told them that “many companies make clones of the consoles” aka. Old School Tennis was launching this week, I don’t know.

I miss the days when Steam curation was a thing.


  • I remember looking at the Steam store and seeing a heap of new, awesome upcoming games that I could look forward too.

    Now, it’s just as much garbage to sort through as the mobile app stores and I really can’t be bothered doing that.

    • I’d say it was impressive that the ‘developer’ managed to churn this onto steam within 4 days of 1-2-Switch’s announcement, but it’s most likely a pre-existing game rebranded.

      • yeah, when i first saw that i was impressed at how quickly they got it made & laughed at the fact it was gonna launch before the Switch version.

        funny, now that you mention it, if it is a pre-existing game rebranded, nintendo have been doing the ripping-off here :p

  • And I remember the inverse negative of the old ways…

    I remember reading the story being the game SPAZ (Spice Pirates and Zombies)… about how they submitted their game to steam (before Greenlight) to review. And it was denied. I read about one of the poor developers vomiting in the toilet because he felt so sick with the shocking and unexpected news that the game they had worked hard on for years had been denied a place on Steam, and for no good reason – Steam had no accountability for what they let on and what they did not. There were some absolute rubbish titles (similar to the one mentioned in this article) that were allowed on there, while other good titles, such as SPAZ, were not.

    Luckily SPAZ released independently, and were successful, and later Steam approached them to join… but it goes to show they clearly had no good criteria in place for what was let on, and what was not.

    Personally, I’d prefer a store where all of the good games are allowed a place, even if some bad ones (that I can simply ignore) get let in too…

    • I preferred curation, even if it didn’t always hit the mark.

      This app store bullshit harms consumers infinitely more, which we know… but it also harms developers.

      When everyone is special, no-one is special. Getting on Steam is no big guaranteed payday the way it was, because attention (and money) is spread too thin.

  • Greenlight is broken, vote boosting groups guarantee any old piece of shit can and will end up on the store front regardless of quality. Half the time they’re just asset packs uploaded with a title change. If they’re the first ones to try it with that pack sometimes they don’t even change the title. Add trading cards, profit.

  • Just when you thought Valve would be one of the precious elite who would never join the long shitlist of companies who display complete and utter contempt for their playerbase (alongside EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Konami, Warner Bros, Gearbox etc etc), the world just HAS to go and proves you wrong. Although it’s a bit late to be complaining about Steam being a piece of shit NOW- Valve has let Steam be into a fetid dumping ground for the ass-scrapings of whichever shit-for-brain fraud wants to pretend to be a “game developer” in order to swindle a few bucks from the gullible public for YEARS.

    Just your daily reminder that absolutely everything sucks and is getting worse every day.

  • Everyone complained that Vavle’s policy of only letting a few games in, mostly AAA was horrible and stiffling indie games, pushing down one of the things that made PC special. That Valve should open up and let more and more indie games in, especially since it was the best way to get exposure. Now they have. And this is what happens. This is probably why they didn’t do this from the start.

    Sure, there are some star indie games. Some amazing gems. But there’s also a sea of trash. Part of the old way of only huge games getting on Steam was that indie games mostly got exposure only through word of mouth, so you mostly only ever saw/heard about the great ones. Because good or mediocre games just never saw the light of day. But now that it’s so much easier to get on Steam… is it really any surprise this happens?

    So it comes down to either Valve curates Steam much more heavily, stiffling indie games, or they are more relaxed and it turns to shit. Pick one I suppose

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!