ARK: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has been accused of ‘buying votes’ today, after the company promised in-game content to players in exchange for them voting for the title in this week’s Steam Awards.
In a recent Steam Community announcement, the developer informed players that the action-adventure survival title had been nominated in the category of Best Use of a Farm Animal for Valve’s annual awards presentation, and asked them to cast their vote for the game.
Where many feel Wildcard crossed the line, however, is the fact that it’s promising players new content – in the form of an in-game sheep – in exchange for their vote.
Following the publication of the post, many users took to social media to criticise what they saw as a cheap move on the part of the developer. In particular, a number of threads appeared on gaming-related forums on Reddit discussing the issue [2, 3]. The vast majority of comments at this time are negative, with some accusing Studio Wildcard as being “greedy” and “desperate”.
The studio is no stranger to courting controversy; back in September, it was highly criticised for releasing paid DLC in the form of Scorched Earth for a game that is still officially in Early Access.