A minimalist platformer game was removed from Steam this week after it was found to be mining cryptocurrency using the computer power of those who bought it.
Developed by Okalo Union, the game is called Abstractism and features a literal 2D box jumping up the walls of levels which all look the same. It costs $US0.49 ($0.66) and, as pointed out by YouTuber, SidAlpha, seems to install a virus that mines the cryptocurrency, Monero, on behalf of the developers.
In other words, the developers were using the game as a front to control your PC and use its processing power to mine crypto for them. In PC gaming culture, this is considered a dick move.
As SidAlpha explains, the game seemed pretty dodgy from the beginning, creating worthless items that mimicked rare ones from Team Fortress 2 in order to scam money from those who were after the latter. While that was certainly a red flag, there were a few more telling signs that gave the developer’s true intentions away.
Firstly, Abstractism sent user CPU and GPU usage through the fucking roof, which a low-spec game like it shouldn’t do. But the most bizarre piece of evidence is a now-deleted contradictory comment from the developer that started with, “Bitcoin is outdated, we currently use Abstractism to mine only Monero coins.”
Hmm, not a very smart bunch by the looks of it. The game has since been removed from the Steam store and the developer in question has been totally banned from the platform. You can check out SidAlpha’s video explanation below if you’re hungry for more details.
It sucks that Steam has become a breeding ground for this kind of absolute dross which exists exclusively to try and scam you out of money, either by providing a half-assed product made from pieces of other games (an asset flip) or by simply using the game as a front for crypto mining. Hopefully, Valve will continue to weed out this kind of behaviour moving forward.Image: Okalo Union