Valve has removed ‘relaxing’ platformer Abstractism from Steam after it emerged the game was reportedly utilising players’ computers as a means of mining cryptocurrency.
Notably, Abstractism items had suddenly started appearing on Steam Marketplace, which had strong similarities to rare items from other titles. As an example, a rare rocket launcher featuring the same design and description as one found in Team Fortress 2 was spotted by one user, although only after ponying up $100 to buy it did they discover the item was linked to another game.
Other examples are even more nefarious. One screenshot doing the rounds depicts a Malwarebytes scan on the game’s forums, signalling one of its executables as a threat.
However, developer Okalo Union dismissed these claims when called out on the matter, stating ‘these applications are game launchers that Abstractism need[s] to drop items.’
The company also shot down suggestions that the game is used to mine cryptocurrency: ‘Bitcoin is outdated,’ said Okalo Union. ‘We currently use Abstractism to mine only Monero coins.’ It then followed up with a post stating that the game does not mine any form of cryptocurrency, although Monero is a form of open-source cryptocurrency.
In addition, Abstractism users have revealed that the game eats up an usual amount of CPU and GPU horsepower — a tell-tale sign that a PC is putting most of its processing power into mining efforts — although Okalo Union attributes this to the game’s ‘high graphics settings.’
Another major eyebrow-raising curiosity is that Abstractism is encouraged to run at all times, which obviously is ideal for anyone looking to mine cryptocurrency.
Valve hasn’t made any official announcement about Abstractism’s removal from Steam, although its developer has now been banned from the service in addition to the game no longer being available.