Valve to Overhaul Steam's Recommendation System

The main goal in all the planned changes is to point gamers to the titles they are most interested in.

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Valve continues to revamp Steam in myriad ways, but with one overarching goal in mind: Put the right games in front of the right customers. The company gave a presentation at Unite Europe 2017, outlining just where Steam is going next. 

One of the big areas of change is how the system recommends games to users. Valve is overhauling the current system, examining what games are in a user's playlists and how much play time each game in that list gets. Genres, such as RPGs or FPSs, with the most time would end up getting more recommendations to that particular player.

"A small group of people from Valve are not the ones dictating which games show up to all customers because we don’t think that’s the way to serve all customers,” Valve's Alden Kroll said during his presentation. ”So the approach we’re taking is to give customers the tools they need to be able to customize and personalize their store.”

The new algorithm will ideally give players a better selection of games that the system is currently doing now, ideally ending in more game purchases, and eliminating the dead zone that some developers have found in getting their games discovered.

In addition, Valve wants to expand its Curator program, which allows various gaming sites, video personalities and other groups recommend games to their audiences. The idea is to cut down on the number of shovelware games and give users a chance to pull out more good games that aren't getting much attention.

There is no timetable yet for when these changes are coming. When they finally are released, likely after a considerable beta testing period, Valve is hoping both players and developers will be happier with the results. 

Contributing Editor

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  • reply
    July 12, 2017 1:55 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Valve to Overhaul Steam's Recommendation System

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      July 12, 2017 3:04 PM

      I'll believe it when I see it. One of the problems right now, though by no means the only problem, is that games get tagged into categories they don't really belong in. RTS and TBS games in "simulation", for instance, because hey, there's some kind of simulation happening behind the scenes.

    • reply
      July 12, 2017 3:09 PM

      I already buy too many games based on Steam recommendations.

      • reply
        July 12, 2017 3:53 PM

        I know right? I bought Fire Pro Wrestling World today and I've never played a Fire Pro Wrestling but everyone says this is the pinnacle of wrestling games and I remember playing Starman and King Cobra on Pro Wrestling on the NES, so that's good enough to buy in.

        HOW DOES STEAM KNOW ME SO WELL!?!