Game pulled from Steam after it was using people's PC to mine cryptocurrency

Game pulled from Steam after it was using people's PC to mine cryptocurrency

PC platformer Abstractism has been dropped from the Steam storefront after it was found to be hijacking other people's computers to mine cryptocurrency.

The title launched on March 15th with users noticing that despite this being a simple-looking title, their CPU and GPUs were going nuts. Additionally, some users were convinced a virus had been installed on their PC.

But yes, it turned out that the game was 'cryptojacking' computers in order to mine cryptocurrency. There's a deep dive analysis video from YouTuber SidAlpha (below) - as reported by Eurogamer - which goes into some depth on the matter.

The developer has refuted these claims, saying that the raised GPU and CPU activity is due to users playing the game on high graphical settings.

"Abstractism does not mine any of cryptocurrency," developer okalo.union said.

"Probably, you are playing on high graphics settings, because they take a bit of CPU and GPU power, required for post-processing effects rendering."

Valve has spoken to Kotaku, saying that it has removed the title and banned the developer from Steam - though how long before they return under a different name is yet to be seen - for "shipping unauthorized code, trolling, and scamming customers with deceptive in-game items".

This follows Valve opening up the Steam platform to any kind of titles, unless they are "illegal" or "trolling".

Oh, and also if they're adult visual novels. For some reason.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.