Valve has discontinued production of its Steam Controller.
In correspondence with The Verge (thanks, GI.biz), Valve confirmed the latest batch of controllers – currently on sale for just $5 (approximately £3.90), excluding shipping – are the “last batch of these gamepads that will ever be made”.
The Steam controller proved divisive upon its launch in 2015. Some people love the controller, and use it regularly, while others failed to see the advantage of the touch panel instead of a second analogue stick.
The dual circular touchpads from the first iteration of the device remained in the final version, but the left one was given a cross-shaped marking similar to that of a traditional D-pad. The right one remained blank and functions similarly to a mousepad. Between the two are action buttons arranged in the same way as the Xbox controller – presumably to make things easier for PC titles that already use Microsoft’s pad – and an analogue stick. Other features include two bumpers and triggers, and three menu buttons in the centre of the controller.
Valve’s Jeff Bellinghausen revealed back in 2016 – a year after the controller’s launch – that more than 27,000 people use the Steam Controller every day, although they were looking at ways of making that number even higher.
“One of the more direct methods is to present customers with a ‘most popular with Steam Controller’ games list,” Bellinghausen said at the time. “Titles on this list will be easily discoverable for both new purchasers as well as existing customers. We will also continue to run focused sales that highlight hand-picked controller-friendly titles.”
Valve recently removed almost a thousand games and soundtracks from its Steam storefront, moving 980 titles to its banned apps list. As developer Alexandra Frock noted at the time on Twitter, “a good chunk” of the removed games were linked to a single Russian publisher, Dagestan Technology, which was operating under a number of different names.
Though some presumed the clear-out signalled preparation for Valve’s upcoming sale, a representative said the storefront had “recently discovered a handful of partners that were abusing some Steamworks tools” and said it had “emailed all the affected partners”.