Insel Terminates Employees Who Don’t Provide Positive Reviews

Jaime Aparicio, Reporter

In a recent email uncovered within the Steam forums belonging to video game company Valve, a much-heeded email was worded and aimed towards the employees of video game studio Insel Games stating,

Of course I cannot force you to write a review (let alone tell you what to write) – but I should not have to. Neglecting the importance of reviews will ultimately cost jobs. If WB fails, Insel fails, IME fails and then we all will have no job next year. So I am asking you either of do the following: buy the game and present me the receipt until Friday night for which (together with a claim form) you will be reimbursed within 24th or explain to me tomorrow why you do not wish to do this. I would like to discuss this individually and privately with each of you and will follow up.” The email was derived from none other than Isel’s own CEO, Patrick Steppel.

The reason behind Steppel’s email towards his employees was to reiterate the importance of acquiring reviews for their product in order to gain the attention it needed in such a crowded market of video games. Insel’s “Wild Buster” met its release with less than stellar results, having not enough reviews to warrant a positive review overall and therefore grabbing the eye of a potential buyer.

Upon realizing what CEO Steppel was up to, the people at Valve had this to say on the situation, “The publisher appears to have used multiple Steam accounts to post positive reviews for their own games. This is a clear violation of our review policy and something we take very seriously. For these reasons, we are ending our business relationship with Insel Games Ltd. and removing their games from our store.”

Valve, however, was quick to reassure customers who have purchased content from Insel that they will still indeed be available to be played in their gaming library. And although Steppel has admitted to sending the email to his employees, he also stated that he plans on repealing the action set from Valve in order to place Insel’s content back on the Steam service.  

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