recently visited Valve to share thoughts with on Steam
issues. Valve is
continuing with their efforts to improve discovery and to stomp out what they
call "fake games." They are looking to rely even more on community efforts to
shape up the marketplace, planning a new layer of influencers called Steam
has a summary of points made in case you don't want to sit through
the videos, though this means you will miss out on TB's auction calling and
Jim's der Führer impression. Here are some of the things they highlight:
- Valve is about to overhaul Steam in order to
ensure that good games are visible and lazily developed games created for
the purpose of making a quick buck—which Valve apparently calls “fake
games”—sink beneath a sea of algorithms. They’ve already laid the
groundwork, which is why they recently announced Steam Direct.
- The problem with this system, of course, is that
it risks burying a handful of good games, as well. To combat this issue,
Valve is going to introduce a program called Steam Explorers. Explorers will
play through queues of games that haven’t been selling super well. If they
dig a game, they can flag it. The more games get flagged, the more the
algorithmic gods will smile upon them.
- Anybody will be able to be an Explorer, much like
Steam Curators. They’ll also get their own forum, so they can do things like
arrange multiplayer matches in games that nobody else is playing.
- Speaking of Curators, that system is getting
overhauled too. Valve will be adding functionality like embedded videos, top
ten lists, and different types of sorting. Developers will also be able to
give game keys directly to curators within Steam, as opposed to doing so via
email or other means outside Steam (which has led to confusion, attempted
fraud, and other issues).
- Curators will also be given more info about how
their curations affect games’ sales, and Valve is considering ways to
incentivize Curators to keep at it. Payment might even be an option.
- Valve admitted that so-called “fake games” make
the bulk of their money off Steam trading cards, something that’s been long
theorized but never confirmed. As a result, Valve will be changing the
trading card system so that doing so is no longer an option.