Valve has called upon developers to stop the growing practice of giving away free Steam Greenlight game keys in order to encourage votes.
The tactic has become common enough that Valve has now spoken out about the issue, which it claims is confusing its process for picking the most popular Greenlight titles.
"When you give away copies of your game in exchange for votes, you put us in a really uncomfortable position," Valve's Alden Kroll explained in a statement to developers.
"We do not think these votes accurately reflect customer interest and it makes our job harder in deciding which games customers would actually buy and play on Steam."
Some developers have decided that giving away free copies of the game to get attention is worth the risk - and the financial outlay - due to the fact that when their title is listed on Steam they will be able to sell many more copies.
But Valve has said that developers who still undertake the practice may actually find it now takes longer to become Greenlight approved.
"This is something we continue to take into account when evaluating titles. The result is that it may take significantly longer for your title to get Greenlit, as it is much more work for us to try and understand customer interest in a title that has collected some unknown number of votes in this manner."
Valve is asking developers to no longer promise keys for Greenlight votes. pic.twitter.com/8v5zCdEhyl— Steam Database (@SteamDB) February 10, 2015