I probably already posted about this at some point, but a few years ago, I looked through the Glassdoor reviews of Valve out of curiosity for what the working culture there is like. One frustration expressed frequently in negative reviews was how the company does internal performance reviews when it’s a flat structure with no traditional supervisors to look over your work.
The general gist is, everyone is assigned one random other employee to review their work over the past year. And that person will be anonymous, so you won’t know who is handling your performance report. The Glassdoor reviews describe several problems with this, chief among them: because you don’t have a known entity to present a performance report to, your work needs to be immediately tangible and heavily visible so your handler will notice it.
My impression from what they described is, this and the flat hierarchy creates a work culture where iteration and upkeep are largely discouraged in favor of starting and finishing small new projects that have a clear impact on the company’s bottom line, because the latter is going to be far more noticeable than the former for your handler.
This explains a lot of things about their actions and priorities as a company, such as why they’re constantly introducing new features and mechanics into their platforms like Dota/TF2/Steam but almost always abandoning them right afterwards. And also why they seem completely disinterested in spending much time filtering out extremely low-quality software or moderating their communities for bad actors.
Even if that particular system isn’t a direct cause of these issues, it’s still indicative of the culture problem with the studio that leads to a slow degradation of their existing platforms, and I don’t see that culture changing until it starts to severely affect their bottom line (i.e. you should try to avoid buying through Steam if at all possible).