Valve has shared a blog post detailing changes it’s planning to make to the Steam Store and the reasons behind them.
The first of the three planned posts written by Robin Walker outlines Valve’s philosophy for what will make a successful Steam Store and explains that recent changes to community tagging and filtering have been implemented to help both developers and players make the most of the storefront.
Pleasing both developers and players all the time, however, is a difficult task for Valve as often they have competing interests, and even within these two distinct categories of users there are very different priorities to consider.
Keeping things clear
For example, though Steam Greenlight was a feature that greatly helped smaller developers get their games noticed by a larger number of players, it wasn’t really appreciated by bigger developers and fans of these larger, more mainstream, releases.
Walker says he hopes the changes Valve is planning to make will affect both developers and players in “a manner that they would consider fair” and that explaining these intended changes thoroughly in these blog posts will help both groups understand why the changes have been made.
This new commitment to transparency is evident in the next Discovery change that Walker announces in the post. The Steam Store will soon have “an algorithm section on game pages that states why the Store thinks [a] game will (or will not) be interesting to you.”
This move away from black box algorithms will make it possible for players to see exactly why the Store thinks they would like a game and make it easier for them to pinpoint and feedback where it’s going wrong in its thinking.
In its next two posts Valve has confirmed that it will focus on how “bad actors have been gaming the Store algorithms to create revenue for themselves” and what changes will be made to fix this, as well as Steam Direct, the upcoming replacement for Greenlight, and its “publishing fee.”
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