I agree with them, it’s unethical.
Steam Greenlight was intended to be a more demographic way of deciding what does and does not make its way to Valve’s leading Steam platform for the PC, but it has been nothing short of a royal screw-up and monumental disaster every step of the way. The latest development which sees it being completely undermined is developers just exploiting the system, trading away free keys of their game if consumers vote yes to get said game on Steam via Greenlight in the first place.
Valve has taken notice of this fact, and they don’t seem to be too happy. “We do not think these votes accurate reflect customer interest,” Valve said, “and it makes our job harder in deciding which games customers would actually buy and play on Steam.”
“Additionally, when you give away copies of your game for votes, then every other developer on Greenlight thinks that is now the thing they need to do in order to get noticed,” Valve said. “We don’t think that is healthy for the system or really what customers want.”
Valve noted that if this practice continues, then the lead in time from being voted yes on Greenlight to final approval may get even longer as Valve tries to parse out games that actually got voted in, to games that were essentially bought with bribery.
You know, for once, I actually agree with Valve here.