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in this SidAlpha Video, SidAlpha talks about how Valve may be doing something that could stop or interrupt Steam Trading Card Farming Generators by preventing them from generating keys.

This got me thinking. from my understanding you get Trading Cards either playing the game which gets you only so many, the rest you then need to create booster packs with Gems or buy them from the marketplace with your own funds. but what i don't get is

1) the name for this practice implies using Steam Trading Cards to make money, however i can't see how "developers" can make money as,

  • you have to originally own the card you're selling on the market place
  • when it's brought it goes to your wallet which you can't transfer Steam wallet fund off Steam

and i wouldn't think Valve would allow "developers" to create any number of trading cards for their games at will then sell them because this is obviously very easily abused

2) in the video SidAlpha mentions that reducing/blocking Key generation may have an impact to those who use Steam Trading Card Farming Generators, noting that a certain user base is actually worried it. but i'm not sure how key generation fits in to the scam.

So my question is how is money made from Steam Trading Card Farming Generators? and how do Steam Keys fit in to this?

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you get Trading Cards either playing the game which gets you only so many, the rest you then need to create booster packs with Gems or buy them from the marketplace with your own funds. but what i don't get is

Developers get a small percentage of trading card sales, that's how they make money on trading cards. It doesn't matter that the money earned by the seller of the card is locked up in a given account's Steam Wallet, nor does it matter that you only get a fixed number of drops before needing to create booster packs, et cetera. Those mechanisms prevent a player from trivially generating an unlimited amount of money in their Steam wallet. They don't provide guard rails for developers looking to abuse the system.

and i wouldn't think Valve would allow "developers" to create any number of trading cards for their games at will then sell them because this is obviously very easily abused

But this is, in fact, exactly what they did. Probably not intentionally, but they permitted it all the same:

Developers can generate an unlimited number of keys for their games. They can also create an unlimited number of throwaway Steam accounts, because Steam accounts are free to create. Accounts earn trading cards simply by running a given game for a specific period of time. In this fashion, an unscrupulous developer can generate an unlimited number of trading cards for all of their games by making throwaway accounts, generating keys for those accounts, and simply launching and idling in their games. Simple bots can accomplish this without much effort.

Since the developer earns a small amount of money on every trading card sold, they can then sell off stock of their unlimited number of cards and take the profits.

The only serious hurdle to overcome here, before Valve made changes to attempt to address this, was that you needed to get your games on Steam in the first place. But once you'd overcome that the first time it was much easier to generate a bunch of "asset flip" games to create a multiplicative factor on the amount of money one could "farm" this way.

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