Steam Discovery Update Benefits Smaller Games, But Curators Disappoint

In September 2014 Valve released the Steam Discovery Update, which aimed to help users filter through the glut of new releases with improved personalized recommendations and Steam Curators, individuals or groups you can follow for more game recommendations. Six month later, Valve says that the update is generally achieving its goal, but could still improve in some areas.

Valve posted the update to the SteamworksDev group, which was reposted to Reddit with Valve’s permission.

The good news is that the new discovery queue, which shows users a mix of new releases, popular products, and unique recommendations based on the users’ tastes is driving users to view and buy new games.

“The Steam Discovery Update as a whole resulted in a sustained 30 percent increase in views of product pages across Steam, and the discovery queue has contributed almost 75 percent of that total increase in page views,” Valve said.

“In addition to the raw increases in traffic, we’ve also carefully monitored sales data to make sure we’re growing the size of the pie, rather than just adjusting the size of the slices,” Valve said. “Steam’s overall growth doesn’t just come from the biggest hits (which continue to see great success), but also from the smaller titles that are now better able to reach the audience that is right for them.”

Valve revealed that revenue for all apps outside of the 500 top sellers, has increased by 18 percent, and that daily earnings per app have increased by five percent.

The not so great news is that one of the biggest features of the Steam Discovery Update, Steam Curators, isn’t having the desired effect.

“Unfortunately, the day to day interactions are not as high as we’d like, and we know we need to make some changes to better expose curators,” Valve said. However, the company did say that 3.1 million unique users arrived at a store page via a curator, meaning they browsed a list of curators are noticed a curator’s recommendation in their activity feed. “We think the general notion of editorialized and community-curated content has a lot of potential to help users discover new content and make better informed decisions, but we still have work to do to make better use of information generated by curators.”

Overall, Valve says that the update helped expose users to more of the Steam catalog, and that it will continue to improve these new features with user and developer feedback.

Has the Steam Discovery Update impacted your Steam shopping habits at all? Let us know in the comments below.

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