Immediate game review bombed on Steam after crypto company buys it

Free-to-play autobattler players story book fight are suddenly asking for it to be booted on Steam, but not because of a controversial balance change or an outrageous personal claim. Storybook Brawl is the subject of a very happening in 2022: a cryptocurrency company bought it.

cryptocurrency exchange FTX USA announced last week that it had acquired Storybook Brawl developer Good Luck Games, and the new owner is not ashamed of its intentions. The acquisition is an “opportunity to be at the forefront of the ethical integration of gaming and cryptographic transactions,” according to FTX.

Inside a video posted after the announcement, Good Luck Games founder Matt Place said the acquisition means increased funding for the studio, but that he doesn’t yet know exactly how blockchain technology will be integrated into Storybook Brawl, except that it will be “ethical”. and “create fun for players.” Many of these players are not buying the warranties from any of the companies.

A week after FTX’s press release pointed out that Storybook Brawl “has racked up thousands of very positive reviews” on Steam, the game’s recent average rating has changed to “Overwhelmingly Negative”. Only 17% of the 710 user reviews posted in the last 30 days recommend the game.

Since Storybook Brawl is free to play, users don’t have to spend money to leave a review, making it particularly susceptible to attacks like this. However, most of the negative reviews come from Steam users whose Storybook Brawl playtime is in the double or triple digits.

“It was one of the best autobattlers on the market, but cryptocurrency is a scam to take their money and it’s a shame this game was bought to promote that agenda,” wrote one reviewer, who logged 67.2 hours on Storybook Brawl. Most of the other recent bad reviews say about the same thing: they like the game, but they’re leaving now that it’s going to introduce cryptocurrency transactions.

Some reviewers also complain that the progress they made on Storybook Brawl will be erased because it will be removed from Steam. No announcements have been made by Valve or FTX about the future of Storybook Brawl on Steam, but the belief that it will be removed is not unfounded. Steam’s rules prohibit “applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs”, so if Storybook Brawl goes in that direction as planned, it could be the subject of a second review by Valve.

I found a Steam reviewer that supports including blockchain transactions in Storybook Brawl. They say they joined the game’s Discord to explain the virtues of NFTs to their angry fans and were upset by the hostility they encountered: no one wants to buy NFTs in a community where they are “called names for supporting the game” and “where the NFTs are attacked,” they said. They also left a negative review.

The thumbs-down procession didn’t trigger Steam’s review bomb filter, which points out unusual review trends to viewers, and it doesn’t appear to have seriously affected Storybook Brawl’s player count, at least in the short term. The game continues to hit a modest 1,000 concurrent players at peak hours, give or take a few hundred. This represents the continuation of a six-month downward trend for Storybook Brawl after a peak of 2,770 concurrent players in September.

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