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Valve hauls "scam" Earth: Year 2066 from Steam Early Access

"Steam does require honesty from developers in the marketing of their games."

Valve has hauled first-person sci-fi post-apocalyptic open-world game Earth: Year 2066 from Steam Early Access and offered refunds to disgruntled customers.

Earth: Year 2066 has been labelled "broken" and unfit for sale after launching on Early Access on 17th April at £19.99.

The developer, Killing Day Studios, has also been accused of misleading customers with inaccurate claims on the game's Steam product page.

In a post on the Steam forum, Valve employee Chris D explained the move.

"On Steam, developers make their own decisions about promotion, features, pricing and publication. However, Steam does require honesty from developers in the marketing of their games.

"We have removed Earth: Year 2066 from Early Access on Steam. Customers who purchased the game will be able to get a refund on the store page until Monday May 19th."

Users reacted in joy to the news after a protracted campaign by users on Reddit and game critic Jim Sterling (video below) to have Earth: Year 2066 removed from sale.

Watch on YouTube

This isn't the first time Valve has removed a game from Steam and offered refunds. In 2012 Hammerpoint Interactive's zombie themed MMO The War Z was removed from sale on Steam after the developer was accused of lying on the game's Steam page.

Then, in June 2013, The War Z has changed its name to Infestation: Survivor Stories following a trademark issue, reportedly to do with Brad Pitt's film World War Z film.

Valve has come under fire in recent months for the Steam Early Access program, which some say is being abused by developers.

While Early Access, which is designed to let developers sell games before they're finished in order to gain feedback and make improvements ahead of a full launch, has seen huge successes, such as DayZ, Rust and Starbound, it's also seen its fair share of controversy.

The £18.99 7 Days to Die hit the headlines when it launched in December 2013, with some claiming its creator The Fun Pimps should not have charged so much for what was an even more incomplete take on the zombie MMO.

In a recent interview inXile Entertainment boss Brian Fargo, currently working on Steam Early Access title Wasteland 2, told Eurogamer he believed Early Access would become more refined as customers become more selective.

"Wherever there is a system there will always be people who push the envelope on what it was set up to do to begin with," Fargo admitted.

The refinement Fargo hopes to see with Early Access titles has to do with what he calls "another class of products".

"They only put up a very little thing hoping to get the money, and if they don't get enough money then they can't finish the game," he said.

"That puts it into a different category and that gets very scary. If you buy Wasteland 2 Early Access you're going to get the game. We're going to finish it. That might not always be the case with everyone.

"So I expect that, again like Kickstarter, that people are going to further refine and scrutinise what it is they're willing to spend money on early on."

Valve has said Early Access is "the way games should be made".

"We like to think of games and game development as services that grow and evolve with the involvement of customers and the community," Valve says of the service.

"There have been a number of prominent titles that have embraced this model of development recently and found a lot of value in the process. We like to support and encourage developers who want to ship early, involve customers, and build lasting relationships that help everyone make better games."