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Not the first time it has happened, and likely won't be the last unless Valve implement some more security checks, but recently a few games tried scamming players by renaming into other popular games.

I've seen this a few times now, although it's suddenly coming into focus again because the games being imitated were current massive smash-hits.

The CEO of developer Arrowhead and the Helldivers 2 Creative Director, wrote a post on X noting that they were aware of store dupes posing as Helldivers 2. There was also a post on X from the Community Manager at Pocketpair, developer on Palworld, who also spoke about the recent fakers imitating Palworld too. They've now been removed and hidden from the Steam store, but thanks to SteamDB we can go back and look.

A game that was previously called DO NOT SMILE renamed to Helldivers 2, and even changed the publisher and developer to match, it's especially nefarious because the now hidden Steam page clearly looked like it was Helldivers 2. They even copied some of the recent news posts. Another game, Figurality, did the exact same thing. Then there's the game Stolen Mushrooms, which attempted to be Palworld. There may be others, but those I could find quite easily as examples.

Image from SteamDB

As you can see above from the shot of SteamDB, the developer changed basically everything they could to make it seem like their game was Helldivers 2. And when you look at the store page (hidden but still exists) it certainly would look like Helldivers 2 if you weren't properly clued up:

Of course now there's no purchase button since it's been hidden, but you get the idea. The Wayback Machine archive shows it did have purchases available before being hidden by Valve.

It seems it's quite easy to do, as apparently Valve don't have checks in place against this. I've reached out to Valve to see if they have any comment to share on what they will do in future to protect developers and customers from scams like this. Quite a concerning issue.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Misc, Steam, Valve
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15 comments
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pb Mar 1
Lol, and what were they counting on? That Valve would just send them the payout without a second thought? I doubt the payments are automatic and if they were, then I'm pretty sure they no longer are, at least for the small devs/games.
Pengling Mar 1
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It's 2024. This shouldn't be happening, and it feels just as naive as Ubuntu allowing any old random to publish to the Snap Store.
emphy Mar 1
Quoting: pbLol, and what were they counting on? That Valve would just send them the payout without a second thought? I doubt the payments are automatic and if they were, then I'm pretty sure they no longer are, at least for the small devs/games.

I'd be more worried about what sort of malware may have been included in the download.

Reminds me a bit of the recently reported issue of forking attacks on github.
Quoting: pbLol, and what were they counting on? That Valve would just send them the payout without a second thought? I doubt the payments are automatic and if they were, then I'm pretty sure they no longer are, at least for the small devs/games.

Payouts to developers are made once a month and only if it's over $100. So yeah, Valve probably going to refund some people.
Wow Steam becoming ripe for Google Play Store level of scams haha that is new
Ehvis Mar 1
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This was never going to gain any income. To easy to spot the fake when you find that there is no game and refunding is easy enough since you'll never last two hours. In fact, Steam should just refund these scams immediately without the need for user action.
GetBeaned Mar 1
Whitehole Games, one of the developers who attempted this scam, also repurposed a few other games to try and scam people with fake pages for Last Epoch and Escape from Tarkov. I tried to look a bit deeper into Whitehole specifically and ended falling into a spiral of games all linked to Whitehole somehow, but with a plethora of different developer and publisher names attached, like Fest Studio, Jamaicaa, and Raverman. There's like 12 or so games attached to these names in total, and pretty much all of them have 10 reviews, all positive.
akselmo Mar 1
I had someone post a game I made (it's free on itch.io) to steam. This happens probably way more often for us small name hobbyists and indies, so make sure to double check especially if you see a small game that it's uploaded by right person.


Last edited by akselmo on 1 March 2024 at 2:42 pm UTC
Quoting: akselmoI had someone post a game I made (it's free on itch.io) to steam. This happens probably way more often for us small name hobbyists and indies, so make sure to double check especially if you see a small game that it's uploaded by right person.
This is what I was trying to bring up about the Urquan Masters being made available on Steam. I'm sure it's happened in the past, and will happen in the future, that people just take other people's games, or open source engines, etc, and sell them on Steam. It's also kind of the equivalent of people selling the hard drives or SD cards filled with roms and retroarch on ebay...
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