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News video games 12 December 2022, 15:26

author: Jacob Blazewicz

People Lost Chance to Get Free Steam Deck; Something Went Wrong

The Steam Deck lottery at The Game Awards 2022 drew a crowd of spectators, but apparently some fell victim to a major issue.

There are many reasons to watch the subsequent editions of The Game Awards gala. This year, gamers received an additional incentive from Valve. Unfortunately, many Internet users believe that they were cheated in the battle for a free Steam Deck.

As a reminder: the owner of Steam announced that it would be giving away its portable computer during The Game Awards 2022 stream. One viewer watching the stream on StreamTV was drawn every minute from among the users registered on the lottery's page, assuming they 1) made a purchase on the platform between November 14, 2021 and November 14, 2022; 2) had no bans or penalties associated with their accounts.

Of course, 171 Steam Decks (because that's how many Valve eventually gave away) is not much for a broadcast watched by tens of millions of Internet users. So one might have expected to hear groans of disappointment from those who were not on the list of winners.

Bot invasion debunked

However, the action had some problems. During the stream, it was noticed that users with nicknames consisting of numbers alone were rarely announced as winners. Immediately, suspicions arose that these were bots, who managed to join the drawing despite restrictions designed to exclude such "users".

After the stream, Valve addressed these allegations. According to the company, it was merely a "display error": Simply put, Steam sometimes showed not nicknames, but user IDs. The glitch meant that their names did not display as they should (although in some cases it would probably be desirable).

Steam doesn't see viewers

Unfortunately, the second problem still hasn't got an explanation. Here's the thing: after the broadcast ended, users checked their stream stats. They can be found in the "Help" tab after clicking on the "Steam Support" option. In the support menu, go to "My account", "Data associated with your Steam account" and "Broadcasts", and then select "Viewed broadcasts".

Quite a few Internet users report that Steam did not saw them as present during the entire broadcast, even though they watched it from beginning to end. Many users show screenshots suggesting they have been on the stream for less than an hour, or even half an hour. In extreme cases, players were alleged to have been watching for... several seconds.

People Lost Chance to Get Free Steam Deck; Something Went Wrong - picture #1

Steam has proven to be very picky about recognizing users as broadcast viewers.Source: talvian on Reddit.

Missed opportunities

Of course, one may wonder if all the people complaining in the social media actually watched the broadcast and, perhaps more importantly, whether the data displayed on the website actually means that the user was de facto excluded from the draw. Arguably, Valve will require proof that the person actually visited the stream.

Nonetheless, there's no doubting the existence of the glitch, which spoiled the mood of Internet users (already enraged due to other technical problems during the broadcast of the TGA 2022 gala) and potentially squandered their chances of receiving their own Steam Deck. By the time this news was published Valve had not addressed these allegations.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Passionate about video (and other) games for years, he completed an Mba in linguistics, defending a thesis about games. He began his adventure with Gamepressure in 2015, writing in the newsroom, later also covering film and – oh, horror! – technology (also contributor to the gaming encyclopedia). He started with platformers, which he still dearly loves (including metroidvania), but he's also interested in card games (including 'analog'), brawlers, soulslike games and basically every other type of game. Don't ask about the graphics – after a few hours of exposition, he can be delighted with pixelated characters from games that remember the days of the Game Boy age (if not older).


video gamesValve Steam Deck The Game Awards 2022
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