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Basic Information

shovelware, n. /shuh'v*l-weir`/

Shovelware is a relatively old term, given a new meaning in recent years.

The term shovelware was originally used to describe software packages released for personal computers that tried to fit as many programs on the then-new CD-ROM format, regardless of the actual quality or usefulness of these programs. Modern examples can be seen in the budget PC software section of your local retail or electronics store with titles such as 100 Windows Games. Many shovelware packages consist of easily-obtainable shareware and freeware, often provided with little regard to organization or usability.

The term has also come to mean in recent years low-quality software, made possible by the openness of certain digital platforms such as the Steam Store and the Play Store. Because of the low barrier for entry (in comparison to other digital platforms such as the App Store, the PlayStation Store and Origin), this makes it very easy for individuals and studios to release low-effort, low-quality video games. One of the most common kinds of shovelware is called an asset flip.

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