- Red Dead Redemption 2 is a final nominee for The Steam Awards ’23 Labor of Love award.
- The user-voted event lacks the moderation needed for the appropriate selection of nominees.
- Other irrelevant nominee examples include Starfield for Most Innovative Gameplay.
The Steam Awards 2023 are underway and its list of nominees gives more reason for Valve to fix the system. As shown in the Labor of Love category, Red Dead Redemption 2 managed to secure a spot in the finalist zone. Rockstar released the critically-acclaimed title in 2020 and the last update it received was in 2021. Since then it has been dead yet somehow it passes as a “labor of love.”
What allows this problem to exist is the way Valve executes The Steam Awards. Several categories are selected by the company after which registered Steam users are allowed to select one game for it that’s available on the platform. Once a certain period has passed, Valve then reviews the nominations and goes with the top five entries for the final round.
Several users on Reddit were quick to point out that Red Dead Redemption 2 even being in the run is solely because of the nature of the Steam Awards. User u/bongokhrusha stated that the event is just a popularity contest and OP should blame their fellow gamers.
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Given the nature of the Steam Awards, deeming it a popularity contest is a fair move. This is further reflected in the quality of nominees and the relevancy of each category they were nominated for. Bethesda’s latest project, Starfield, was selected for “Most Innovative Gameplay” despite the game being a rather generic shooter that hasn’t been received well. Recent reviews for the game on Steam itself are sitting at “mostly negative.”
On the flip side, games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy 14 are nowhere to be found despite fitting the “Labor of Love” category. CDPR turned something that went down as one of the greatest disappointments in gaming history into a goldmine. Following the major 2.0 update, Phantom Liberty and subsequent patches have contributed to a marvelous redemption arc for Night City.
The Steam Awards are a great way to celebrate games within the platform’s community. Users receive decorative badges and trading cards that are used for various purposes. However, it’s the lack of supervision that leads to such irrelevant and unfair nominations. With the technological advancements of today, it shouldn’t be difficult to prevent such instances of “trolling” and vote manipulation.
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