The Average Gamer

Steam Changes To Help You Discover New Games (Hopefully)

Steam Discovery Update Sept 2014
The Steam Discovery Update has just been launched on Valve’s ridiculously popular online store. This changes the way you can find new games on Steam by allowing you to customise the type of games that show up in the Featured sections of the store’s front page. You can choose to exclude non-games, early access, DLC, pre-orders and much more.

Scrolling down the page, you can even customise the “Recently Updated” section, so it’s no longer telling you about updates to games that you don’t own and never want to.

They’ve also added two new features: Steam Curators and a Discovery Queue. The Discovery queue works much like the original design for Greenlight – you’re presented with a dozen games that Steam thinks you’d be interested in. For each one, chose to add it to your wishlist, follow updates, say that you’re not interested or simply skip to the next game in the list. Saying that you’re not interested will remove the game entirely from your featured areas. Really hate a game that’s constantly popping up in your recommendation because your friends love it? You can finally ditch it so the game only shows up in non-targeted areas like Top Sellers.

Steam Discovery QueueSteam Curators provide a way to help customise the games that show up. As well as Steam using your friends’ taste in games, tags, genres and a bunch of other signals to decide what to show you, you can choose to follow curators like me, who create lists of recommended games. To become a curator, all you need to do is set up a Steam group.

When including games in your recommendations, you need to write a mini review limited to 160 characters saying why you recommend the game and can link out to a full review on Steam or other websites. It’s an interesting way to cut through the often-incoherent mess of Steam user reviews and the effort required should hopefully weed out people who aren’t that serious about making recommendations.

Talking to Eurogamer, Alden Kroll from Valve explained why they introduced the changes. “In the past nine months over 1300 new titles have been added to Steam and we see no signs of that volume slowing down. With so many new titles coming, the old format did not offer enough placements on the front door and throughout Steam to expose the growing breadth of offerings to customers.

“Word of mouth is incredibly powerful and the ability for gamers to share their opinions with those who have similar tastes just makes sense.”

Steam’s front page has been long been seen as a crucial method to drive game sales, but with the number of games increasing rapidly – Valve has said they’ve launched more 1300 titles on Steam in the past nine months – it’s almost impossible to be seen in the few hours that a game will be in the “Newly Released” section. These new features provide another way to browse games and find gems that you might have missed.