Some eagle-eyed posters online have noticed something unusual happening to the Steam Store: around 1000 games have all been simultaneously removed by Valve.
Anyone who's recently browsed the Steam Store is well aware that the standards for what can be sold through Valve's proprietary client are not particularly high. It's not surprising, then, that some less reputable games would be able to find a home on the Steam Store — only to be removed as soon as Valve became aware of them. That said, as of now, no one is entirely sure why such a large number of games were removed all at once, though some people do have theories.
An update to an article on PC Gamer noting the mass removal quotes game developer Alexandra Frock, who noted on Twitter that many of the removed games are linked, in one way or another, to a Russian game publisher called Dagestan Technology. While not all of the removed titles were published explicitly by Dagestan Technology, an online tool linked in the article reveals that many of these games are linked to the Russian publisher, who may have released games under other aliases.
A good chunk of them are linked to a single publisher in Russia (I think "Dagestan Technology" is the first name they use) going under a very large number of different names. Here's a tool that points out dev/pub relationships by support contact info: https://t.co/EqJQN9F2n1— Alexandra Frock (@ntigravities) November 26, 2019
The list of banned games is somewhat haphazard. Plenty of the removed titles simply look like games you might expect to be removed from the Steam Store. Yet, others with a more legitimate pedigree were deleted in the mass exodus all the same. Among these, hidden object game Masha Rescues Grandma is featured in numerous YouTube Let's Plays and walkthroughs, and racer Electric Highway was featured in a "Free Games of the Week" feature posted by PC Gamer last year.
In a Reddit thread about the removal, one game developer claims that their perfectly legitimate game, a positively-reviewed passion project, was among those removed. However, while the developer themselves may be innocent of wrongdoing, it appears that their publisher, Siberian Digital, is to blame for the removal. In fact, all of Siberian Digital's games were deleted in the purge.
When asked, Valve simply stated that the mass removal was due to a number of publishers abusing the Steamworks app, which is used to upload games to Steam. Whether or not these publishers are mostly related to one another or simply all guilty of the same behavior is unclear. In either case, they're collectively responsible for the removal of games haphazardly thrown together and lovingly-developed alike.
Source: PC Gamer