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Steam Spy opts to publicize game data despite dev takedown requests

Despite developer concerns, Sergey Galyonkin says he will not be removing any more games from Steam Spy's listings, and has restored previously removed ones.

Previously, Steam Spy has honored requests by developers to remove their games from its tracking software. But this morning, after a request from Techland, Steam Spy owner Sergey Galyonkin says he won’t be doing that any more. 

In a series of posts on Twitter, Galyonkin writes that after the Dying Light developer made its request, he’s restoring the ownership data because he “believes in making a tool that’s useful for developers.” The move would overturn previous requests from publishers Paradox and Squad to have ownership data from their games taken down. 

A quick check of Steam Spy does confirm that Kerbal Space Program and Paradox's recent release Stellaris are both re-listed on the site. 

Galyonkin also argues that the data on Steam Spy (which has long been known to only be an estimate, not a precise number on the amount of copies of a game sold on Steam) are more comparable to polling numbers for a presidential candidate. 

Some game developers on Twitter did voice their concerns over Galyonkin’s decision to reverse his policy on handling removal requests. Democracy developer Cliff Harris pointed out some developers would prefer not to have information that could be considered “financial data” publicly available, and indie dev Michael Hartman voiced concerns over how players perceive a game’s quality to be based on its sales. 

Galyonkin did respond to both developers’ concerns, again reiterating that Steam Spy data is not financial data, and that players tend to find plenty of ample reasons to complain about developers regardless of whether they post their ownership numbers.

Rust and Garry’s Mod creator Garry Newman however, voiced a far more positive response to Galyonkin’s post. 

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