STEAM GROUP
Sentinels of the Store StoreSents
STEAM GROUP
Sentinels of the Store StoreSents
109
IN-GAME
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Founded
January 17, 2017
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English
ABOUT Sentinels of the Store

It's Time for Real Change

The Sentinels of the Store is a group centred on bringing to light developers that game the Steam system for personal gain as well as partaking in anti-consumer practices and blatantly misrepresenting themselves and their games on the Steam store.

Here, these issues are covered extensively and is a central hub for open discussion and for awareness to be spread of bad actors and general discussions on Steam as a platform.

We also offer up commentary on matters that revolve around Steam and discuss the ever evolving changes that envelope the storefront and push forward a desire for changes to benefit both the developers and the consumers.

If you want to submit a game for our curator page, or just generally want to talk about games you find on Steam with other members, feel free to post it in our Steam Game Sharing Thread.

E-mail: mellowonline1@gmail.com

Group icon done by 2dengine

This is not a hate group or a troll gathering.

The Sentinels of the Store are not intent on harassment and are encouraged to refrain from personal attacks. Our intent is to spread the word of bad behavior, through the use of criticism and debate.
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RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
Developer's Porn Stash Gets Banned From Steam
This Video Is No Longer Available - Angel Star Studios' DMCA Debacle
Originally posted by HawkZombie:
The game has several interesting concepts (combat, story, etc) but it's all so disjointed and weighed down by other negative aspects of the game, that it doesn't really give any positive a chance to shine. I hope the dev goes back and tries to clean up some of the more glaring issues.

Exhibit B

When HawkZombie messaged me about this, I was wondering if this was just a thing that ASS was going around and doing, removing any and all videos on Path of the Martyrs. Low and behold, they hadn't and HawkZombie just seemed to be an isolated case, as I still found 3 videos on the game up on YouTube still available to watch, one by Mini Weav Games, one by FullThrough, and another by Taregon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNhfYdzU-YQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8TdOS16xeU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2-DQz2tMEo

The thing is here though, each of these 3 videos are probably less strong examples of fair use than HawkZombie's video and yet they're all still available to watch! Both Mini Weav Games and FullThrough's videos are just gameplay videos with no commentary at all and even more laughably Taregon has literally just reuploaded the trailer for the game and I have checked, this channel isn't run by ASS and I'll hop back to this point in exhibit C. So out of the 4 videos that were available online, the only one that was both a clear example of Fair Use and was also the most critical of the game and the only one that offered up any kind of opinion at all about the game is the only one that got removed. It gets better though.

Exhibit C

So for anyone out there that thought "well, maybe ASS didn't see those videos" well then breaking news, they did! Not only did they see the videos, they left positive comments on each one of them. I've compiled an Imgur[imgur.com] album of the comments they made on the videos.

The latter 2 comments put on Taregon's video and Mini Weav Games' video are especially key to this as on Taregon's video, ASS posted:

Originally posted by ASS:
Thanks for showing our game!

E-mail us if you'd like to show off any other of our games -- we'll send you a free copy for the help. :)

Firstly, Taregon was the YouTuber that literally just reposted their trailer. This comment shows that its safe to say ASS doesn't run this channel otherwise they wouldn't have left this kind of comment. A blatent example of copyright infringement as no creative work was offered from Taregon onto the video. But yet ASS don't seem to be bothered here, because it doesn't criticise the game. It's a mindless upload that offers itself as promotion. That's what they want, even offering up free games to the guy. Like, you can't offer up much more endorsement than that. You're rewarding a guy for uploading content that you claim to have exclusive rights to, and instead of DMCAing it like HawkZombie's video, they reward him!

And the comment on Mini Weav Games' video is even better and just puts HawkZombie more in the clear if he hadn't been already.

Originally posted by ASS:
Thanks so much. We offer free copies to streamers if you ever need them :) just ask!

So, unlike the comment on Taregon's video, ASS generalises it and doesn't address MWG directly, but says that they're happy to offer free copies to streamers, carrying a heavy inference that they do this because they want streamers to stream the game. Which is exactly what HawkZombie did and he got his video taken down and his channel was placed in bad standing.

But wait, there's more!

Exhibit D

Over on HawkZombie's end, he went ahead and contacted the developer of Path of the Martyrs to see if he could shed any light on the situation since Hawk was very distrusting on ASS in general and figured he might have better luck with the developer. In the e-mail exchange Hawk got back, not only was the developer not even aware that ASS filed a DMCA takedown[cdn.discordapp.com] but pointed out to Hawk that Hawk's live stream was made before ASS was even brought on as a publisher. The version of the game Hawk played on his livestream was the game's Itchio[kazuki-t126.itch.io] version and ASS was brought on board to help bring the game to Steam. Hawk streamed the game on February 26th 2020. ASS was first contacted and asked to be brought on as a publisher, according to Kazuki Takamura (the developer) on July 19th 2020, almost 5 months later. So HawkZombie did his stream before ASS was even involved in Path of the Martyrs. The developer also gave permission to Hawk to keep his coverage of his other games up on YouTube might I add and even said he liked the stream Hawk did on his game.

All of this, to me, shows that ASS's DMCA is complete and total fucking bullshit. However, unfortunately HawkZombie has told me he doesn't wish to counter claim, because the way the YouTube DMCA system works, HawkZombie needs to give up his personal information to ASS, and he told me:

Originally posted by HawkZombie:
I am pretty confident I can counter it, but I don't want that guy to have my personal info, so I'd rather just quietly share what is going on to anyone who is willing to listen because DMCA takedowns for petty, baseless reasons keep people like me from doing what I love doing: streaming games....I know I would win, but I legitimately don't feel SAFE in fighting it.

Giving ASS's history covered in the previous two posts in this group, along with an old Twitter thread that had surfaced in which some thugs seemingly presenting themselves as "friends" of ASS berated people over e-mail with racist harassment littered with threats of violence to people that criticised them and that combined with a Reddit post made on r/GameDev that criticised them and labelled them as scammers based on prior working experience with them, I think it makes clear why HawkZombie doesn't feel safe in giving personally identifiable information to them.

The comments on the Reddit thread paint a very much darker and bleaker picture of this publisher. He claimed in the emails he sent to me that I was disliked in his circles, but he doesn't seem too self aware about how his reputation is growing to be more and more negative:

"Can concur. Don't work with this dude. He was a big disruption to my indie dev community last year and called him out for it. He then doxxed me and then sent me racially charged death threats from a smurf account. Beware!" - AbstractTheOrigin

"He's full of hot air and kept threatening to "call my superiors" at work and would "report me to my publisher," demonstrating repeatedly that he had no idea what he was talking about (Like, I know exactly the power structure above me and that doesn't match at all what he was saying) and was lying through his ass. We banned him from the forums, but he did harass our community manager at their work email repeatedly." - Sputwiler

"I hate that person. He was trying to get free labor out of me and kept harassing me that this was a learning opportunity." - Puzzle666

"Tenkai Star is one of the most toxic people in the entire gaming community. Avoid like the plague and you will lead a happy existence. I wish fewer people had discovered this the hard way." - SSTrihan

The stories are consistent, there are many stories coming out talking about ASS's harassment, his threats, his unprofessionalism, and overall toxic nature and it is continuing to tarnish his reputation and this bogus DMCA Takedown is just another perfect example and another story to add onto the pile of those piling up against them.

Please if you can, share this article wherever possible. Spread the word about this publisher and let their actions be known, as keeping people as informed as possible about what this publisher is doing is ultimately very beneficial to keeping people informed about what this publisher is doing which he is ultimately trying to silence and censor.

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STEAM CURATOR
Sentinels of the Store reviews
"Games by developers that have received SOS coverage, asset flips and titles tied to anti-consumer/deceptive practices."
Here are a few recent reviews by Sentinels of the Store
1,145 Comments
{(')} Sep 11 @ 3:30pm 
N° RG : N° RG 16/01008 - N° Portalis 352J-W-B7A-CHASA ? Anyone French people know the court appeal date? We have not heard any thing since Valve lost 2019? They really ripped on Valve and their Steam Subscriber Agreement / Privacy Policy.

{LINK REMOVED}
Ratchet Sep 10 @ 5:59pm 
Theres nothing in the SDA that says you have to keep your game on Steam and for them to do that would be anti-competitive behaviour.
Smugass Braixen-Chan Sep 10 @ 5:07pm 
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1286680/Tiny_Tinas_Wonderlands/

Game is posted on the Steam Store, and even claimed that it would be releasing on ~March next year, then did a bait and switch, and became an Epic Exclusive, in clear violation of Steam's TOS about posting games on the Steam Store.

Basically deceiving Steam Users, claiming the game will be on Steam, then turning around and saying "Haha! I lied! It's actually an Epic Exclusive"
shade00 Jun 29 @ 4:19am 
shade00 Moderator 20 hours ago
https://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198043800809/recommended/1252600/
another review with further details

Smugass Braixen-Chan (insanity wolf chan) Jun 28 @ 12:52am
It's been a while since I've posted anything in this group, but I found a game that literally over-rides Windows Security to install spyware, including logging key-strokes.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1252600/ANOTHER_EDEN/

https://steamcommunity.com/id/allgainsgaming/recommended/1252600/

https://steamcommunity.com/app/1252600/eventcomments/3080999687773943086?snr=1_2108_9__2107#c3080999687774854742


-cross posting-
Mellow_Online1 Jun 29 @ 4:12am 
We didnt curate the game because I saw the issue as being down to the courts to make judgement on. I dont want to pretend that I know everything about the ownership rights of that game because those are held in the contracts between the two studios. We may curate it in the future if a judgement is made on the game by the court and it remains up, but otherwise I dont wish to cover it on our curator because either side may be in the wrong.
MrL0G1C Jun 29 @ 2:55am 
"In October, the Paris Court of Appeal made an initial ruling saying that Frogwares unlawfully terminated its contract, and ordered Frogwares to “refrain from any action on the breach of this contract, [and to] refrain from any action that impedes this continuation.”"

Frogwares have cut off their nose to spite their face, stopping sales hurt both sides and gamers.
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