Steam Greenlight proves once again that Valve, despite all its success, can be quite incompetent. A private server made its way through Greenlight all the way up to official launch. Khan: Absolute Power from “Blaze Gamers” is absolutely a private server and the company behind the game doesn’t own the license to the game. The funny thing is, despite this being public knowledge at this point, Valve has not removed the game from its store. Not removing the game from the store sends the wrong signal to the gaming community and opens Valve to potential lawsuits from IP holders. The thing about Khan Online is that the IP holder is likely some bankrupt South Korean company, so Valve won’t be getting any complaints from them, but it does send the signal that Valve sanctions private servers.
Steam has proven itself to be a solid platform for MMOs. Tons of older MMORPGs like Knight Online, APB Reloaded, and Aion have found homes for themselves on Steam. It’s just odd to see a huge company like Valve allow a private server to launch on its platform. You’d think there would be some kind of moderation on Steam, but I guess there isn’t. I suspect if a private server for a bigger game like AION or Tree of Savior made its way to Steam, Steam would be quick to remove it. I think they’re able to turn a blind eye in this case because the Korean company behind Khan Online is long gone.
I personally have nothing against private servers for defunct games. If it wasn’t for private servers games like Luna Online and GunZ: The Duel wouldn’t be accessible today. It would also be great if companies like Daybreak could release the unfinished code for games like Everquest Next or Undeadlabs with Moonrise. This way someone could create a private server for the game rather than it shutting down for good. Maybe one day we’ll see more private servers make its way to Steam. Trickster Online anyone? Maybe we’ll even see that one private server for Rusty Hearts(Rusty Hearts Evolution) make its way to Steam too.
What does everyone else think? Should Private servers on Steam be tolerated if the IP holder doesn’t complain? Or should Steam take the “proper” high road and block these games from launching on their platform?