Valve mysteriously removes publisher’s games from Steam

Valve has mysteriously banned several games from Moscow-based developer and publisher KishMish Games from Steam. The official reason given for at least one of the games is that it is a “resubmission” of a previously banned game, but KishMish flatly denies this claim.

Which KishMish games have been removed from Steam?

Yesterday, Fly Corp. developer Talentplace posted on Reddit that Valve banned their game from Steam “for no reason”. According to Talentplace, he wrote to Steam asking why they banned the game, and they responded after a week, telling him the game is a “resubmission of a previously banned app.” Talentplace denies this however, saying it has never posted Fly Corp. before and that it is a “completely original” project with no reused elements from other titles. Actually Fly Corp. publisher KishMish Games also tweeted about it; June 24the editor tweeted that users had reported Fly good as Bus Driver Simulator and Subway simulatordisappearing from their Steam libraries.

Three KishMish titles, Bus Driver Simulator, Subway simulatorand Fly Corp.have been removed from Steam, and the publisher claims not to know why.

KishMish says it don’t know why these games have been removed. Just yesterday, the studio tweeted the same message that Talentplace received, which was a message from Valve explaining that Fly Corp. had been banned due to a resubmission. KishMish urges players to write to Valve’s support department and seek “justice” for the issue. It is not clear if Subway simulator and Bus Driver Simulator were removed for the same reasons as Fly Corp.s KishMish shared no justification from Valve for removing these games.

Why were these KishMish games banned?

As KishMish himself stated, we don’t know the exact reason why these games were banned. However, there are a few things worth noting about KishMish. First, it looks like several games from the developer have been removed from Steam in the past, as this Steam community commenter pointed out. games like VCB: why the city and WordKiller: Revolution seem to no longer be available on Steam, so there’s a chance it has something to do with Fly Corp.‘s deletion. Several KishMish games, including several from Talentplace, remain available on Steam, so this is obviously not a blanket ban on the developer’s entire work.

Red Lake, a shooter from KishMish Games still available via Steam
Several KishMish games, including “horror shooter” Red Lakeare still available through Steam.

One thing to note is that KishMish Games is Russian, which could impact Valve’s decision. There’s no evidence to suggest that’s the case, so we’re just speculating here, but Valve has already blocked payments to Russian and Ukrainian studios, so that could be a factor in Fly Corp. and removal of other KishMish games. It’s also true to say that Valve’s removal process can be extremely opaque; the company will sometimes quietly change its rules for admitting or removing games, and it will also sometimes ban games from Steam for reasons that don’t seem entirely transparent.

Unfortunately, we don’t have much to do here; Valve has apparently given only one reason for removing a KishMish game from Steam, and it’s a reason the publisher flatly denies. We don’t even know why Subway simulator Where Bus Driver Simulator have been removed from Steam. We’ve reached out to KishMish Games and Valve for clarification on a few issues with this story and will update as soon as we have more for you.