Today, the Steam store is receiving an upgrade to help gamers sift through its more than 1,300 titles. The update is being called Steam Discovery and aims to add several additional layers of functionality to help users navigate the labyrinthine library of best-sellers, indie darlings, and everything in between.
The biggest addition to the Steam store comes in the form of a revamped home page. The new home page displays game recommendations based on purchase history, playtime, and recommendations from friends. In addition, players are presented with a queue that takes them through a series of game recommendations, which can be saved for later, purchased, or flagged for not being relevant to their taste.
Steam search is also receiving a large upgrade. Instead of querying Steam’s library by title, users can now search for key terms related to genre, feature, and theme. Searches such as “turn-based RPG” or “Zombies” now return games that match the provided criteria. On the search results page, users can also narrow results by user tags, features, and other elements through a more robust filter.
Finally, Steam’s efforts to help put more games in the hands of the right users is receiving a human boost through Steam Curators. Curators are individuals, organizations, or groups that use Steam Community groups to publish a collection of game reviews and recommendations. Users can follow Curators in order to see their recommendations and receive more tailored home page recommendations.
Anyone can become a Curator, with a few caveats. Curators must have non-limited Steam accounts and be officers or moderators of a Steam Community group. Steam will then feature the most prominent Curators, based on their total number of followers, in its “Top Curators” page. Curator recommendation pages can also be sorted using the same filtering described above.
Players aren’t the only ones receiving a nod with the new update. Developers will now see a graphical display of where their titles are being shown, how often, and how that display converted into store page visits. Developers cannot pay for additional exposure; the data is based purely on user behavior and taste, and all data is anonymously collected.
With revelations that 37 percent of games purchased on Steam are never played, the update is clearly an effort to pair the right people with the right games. How this ultimately affects purchases of Broforce and Euro Truck Simulator 2 remains to be seen.
Illustration by Jason Reed