Today we are going to talk about recent changes in a popular system of Steam trading cards, which were first introduced back in 2013 and their main goal was to provide an additional value for gamers on Steam. These cards are used for crafting of virtual badges which are displayed on player’s profile and help to increase the profile’s level. These badges are also supposed to be trophies which publicly show your favors towards your favorite games. For developers, it is an easy tool to provide some type of rewarding system and from a long-term point of view even to enlarge their audience and get some additional publicity. Players have become more interested in collecting these cards since they started influencing Steam economy and Steam Market with its value. Unfortunately, this caught an attention of some sketchy developers, who started releasing games in bulk only to make a profit from these cards.
And how does it affect the Steam Market? Developers started handing out their games in form of game keys (that are issued for developers for beta-testing) to bots which farm these trading cards via 3rd party software and later sell them on Steam Market. This not only affects the real prices of Steam trading cards on the market, but it also provides a big amount of false & inaccurate information to Steam's algorithm which calculates with these metrics as one of the indexes of game’s popularity.
Even though Steam has made countless efforts on putting a stop to this with the cancellation of Steam Greenlight program and reducing the number of issued keys to developers, they always find new ways how to abuse this system and make money from it.
From this point on, not all games are allowed to have Steam trading cards unless they qualify for it and meet certain requirements which prove the game’s real value and quality to Valve. Let's hope that the positive effects of this change surpass the negative ones (there are even legit, small indie-developers, believe it or not). Nonetheless, it is still good to see that Steam cares about its users as well as the global Steam economy and what comes up on their screens.