According to my therapist, we all need approval. So I’m glad that the latest Valve Initiative (TM) is all about that. From now on, content uploaded to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 Steam Workshops will require Valve’s approval before being released to the public. This is to combat the “free skin” ads that plague the workshop.

I haven’t spent a huge amount of time in the Workshop recently, but TanookiSuit3 on the CS:GO subreddit discovered and celebrated the changes over the weekend.

It has been possible to game the Steam Workshop by adding items that explicitly promise free skins to the people that subscribe to them. It’s believed they were upvoted by bots while other content was downvoted. This obviously has the effect of making those items wildly popular, leaving players open to potential scams when the items description leads them outside of Steam, and it knocks legitimate content off the workshop’s pages. That last one hits me where it hurts: I love good fan creations with the power of a thousand upvotes.

Valve, who almost never puts actual humans between a problem and the solution, has stepped in, so those new items should now never pass by their enablers and onto the various game’s Workshops. They’ll check any update to older items, too. Not every item will be subject to their modder moderator scrutiny: popular users will be exempt, and non-Valve games are exempt. Approval should take less than 24 hours.

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