On Wednesday, many Steam users logged into their Steam accounts to find their Steam Wallets full of cash that they hadn’t put there themselves. While extremely enticing, many gamers were rather reluctant to spend this “free money”, as Steam has been somewhat susceptible to being hacked, and with no official word from developer Valve regarding these extra funds, some assumed it was simply too good to be true.
Kotaku reports that these funds came from a “Valve Mastercard”, leaving gamers to wonder if the refund, approximately $5, was in fact legitimate or just a scam. Currently, Valve does not allow gamers to add funds directly to another gamer’s Steam Wallet, though there have apparently been scams where people have suggested otherwise.
Luckily, Valve quelled the fears of their loyal community, explaining that the extra funds were due to a failed loyalty discount. The discount was supposed to apply to the Dark Souls III + Steam Controller bundle, and eligible users who did not receive this discount were now being retroactively refunded the difference.
The reason for the apprehension may be due to the various security breaches Steam has suffered as of recently. Just this past March, a 16-year-old hacker named Ruby Nealon was not only able to illegitimately obtain a copy of Steamworks, but he was also successful in creating, greenlighting, and launching his joke puzzle game “Watch Paint Dry” in the Steam Store, all without any consent or approval from Valve. Before that, in December of last year during the famous Steam Winter Sale, many gamers reported being able to actually see personal account information, such as addresses and credit card data, of other gamers while browsing the Steam Store. Valve quickly diffused and resolved the situation, stating that a “configuration charge” was the cause of the security breach.
Despite its many security issues, Steam remains the most popular Digital Rights Management (DRM) program for PC gamers, with upwards of 125 million active accounts since its initial release in 2003.