Recent spam posted by Steam users has left indie publisher Ravenage confused and a little worried about the upcoming release of one of their games. Over the past few days, multiple Steam accounts invaded the comments of Dave the Diver reviews and others promoting unaffiliated indie games. One is gangster sim Don Duality, and the other is a hexagonal hive defense game called Bee Island. However, according to Ravenage, this isn’t a marketing ploy from the games’ publishers or developers but rather an unprompted scheme from unrelated actors.
Posting in English, Russian, Polish, German, or Japanese, the users in question point readers toward the Don Duality or Bee Island store pages. Regardless of the game, the body of the messages remains identical. Before a link to the game, the message from a user named “Cutie” reads:
“Hello!“Cutie” – Steam User
You might be interested.
We are making a similar game! We plan to finish it by the end of summer!
Check out the page of our game.
If you like it, add the game to your wishlist, it will help with promotion!
Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience!”
The posts don’t sound malicious—quite the opposite. However, speaking with a representative from Ravenage, The Indie Informer was told no one involved in the development or publishing of Don Duality is responsible for the spam. While the interjections from the unknown posters look innocuous at first glance, Ravenage is concerned with the backlash their game may receive due to potential customers associating their game with these annoyances.
Community Director Mike Pyslar from Ravenage released a statement on the Don Duality Steam forum earlier today denouncing the unwarranted actions against their game, saying, “Our team is not involved in this in any way, and we conducted our own investigation.” That investigation includes opening communication with Lemma Arts, the developers behind Bee Island, who Ravenage claims also denies involvement.
Steps are being taken to halt the spam messages. In the Steam post responding to the phenomena, Pyslar says the following:
“We have already contacted Steam to resolve this issue. Actions of those who post these spam comments not only sabotage our efforts to create a healthy community around our game but also ruin experience for players all over the platform. We encourage Steam users to report those messages.”– Mike Pyslar, Community Director – Ravenage
Lemma Arts has not made a similar statement at this time.
Why these games have become the focal point of these spam posts is unknown. However, there is one connective tissue between these very different games. Both Don Duality and Bee Island are set to release on Steam this Friday, August 25.