Stellaris and Crusader Kings II developer-publisher Paradox Interactive has removed the sales data from all of its titles from online tracker Steam Spy.
Steam Spy utilises web API output by Valve to estimate the number of owners of any particular game on Steam.
The tool is often used in the absence of official digital sales data to predict how well a game has fared on PC.
Sergey Galyonkin, who created the site, revealed that he had been asked by Paradox to take down the data for the studio’s games and had agreed to the move.
“I firmly believe Steam Spy should be seen as a useful tool by developers, not as a threat,” he explained.
“I don’t ask for a proof, I’m not a court. It is their games and I think it’s their right to hide their data.”
Galyonkin said that “mostly small titles” had previously asked to be removed from the service, with Kerbal Space Program developer Squad a notable omission last year.
Squad explained its "unique situation", saying: “Being based in Mexico, we aren’t really crazy happy with the idea of everyone knowing potentially how much money we have made from KSP. We would honestly love to be like every other gaming company and celebrate each and every sales milestone with the community, but it is simply not worth risking the team’s safety and integrity.”
Regarding Paradox, Galyonkin said it was “the first big publisher to request this”.
Paradox’s request is likely linked to the company’s decision to go public earlier this year, meaning widely available sales data could affect the perception of investors.
Paradox Interactive requested me to remove their games from Steam Spy. Stats for their titles will no longer be available.
— Steam Spy (@Steam_Spy) June 2, 2016