Critically-acclaimed 3DS eShop title Mutant Mudds has been refused a Steam release by Valve. Developer Renegade Kid simply received a generic rejection message via email - 'Steam is not a good fit for distribution of this title'. There is a huge army of Valve fans who love the Steam service, and have been quick to defend the decision, suggesting that it was probably a harmless slip-up, an isolated incident which Valve will be quick to amend. Unfortunately, it is not merely a blip, this happens far too often - the Steam application for developers is a convoluted and arcane process, and there are many perfectly good indie games that are rejected by Steam for reasons nobody can understand. This is the side of Steam which few people know about, as it is not widely reported upon. Indeed, the only reason that the rejection of Mutant Mudds was reported about is that it is a prominent game that has already been released on another format and has a sizeable following of fans.
To be honest, I was irritated by the people leaping to Valve's defence on this issue. Yes, Steam is a great service, and Valve are a very likeable, consumer-friendly company, but they are by no means flawless. A lot of the user comments about the issue on popular websites are something along the lines of 'I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding, and will be sorted out soon.' Such staggering faith in Valve! People seem unable to comprehend the fact that Valve might actually have a crucial flaw in their approval processes. And, of course, this being a high-profile case, Mutant Mudds will inevitably be approved very soon, and everyone will dance with delight as if the problem is solved, while Valve continue to make other developers suffer through their approval process. All hail Valve.