So Who’s Removing the 3rd Party Steam Apps?

January 31, 2012

This could be just a coincidence, but it seems that a few unofficial 3rd party Steam apps were removed from the Market, just after the official Steam app was made available. Is it Google behind this or the company behind Steam itself (Valve)?

The API that those 3rd party developers were using is still public and available to developers, so if Steam did it, then they are only blocking access to the API for those few developers. But why would they do it? It’s possible that they thought some of those apps were infringing their trademark. But let’s be honest here. In most of these cases, they usually just want to remove the competition.

This reminds me of when Skype blocked Fring’s access to their own API because Fring offered video-calling before them, and they were afraid they would take too much market share for that before they could get a chance to show their own video-calling feature. I think that was a pretty low blow from Skype. Companies should be careful what they give an API for if they think they will try to compete in the same area in the future. Don’t just release an API to get others to promote your platform, and then when you decide to compete in a certain market, you take it away from them just like that.

Google is also a potential aggressor here. It wouldn’t be the first time they do it either. I remember when they removed the unofficial (yet very legal) PS1 emulators from the market as soon as Sony made available theirs. Google shouldn’t play on other corporation’s side like that just because some 3rd party developers are competing with the corporations they are friends with.

Still, if I were willing to bet on it, I’d say it’s just Valve doing it this time. Maybe we’ll hear from those developers soon and see if they know  what’s really going on.

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