Steam received a pretty sizable update to its storefront back in November, dubbed the Discovery 2.0 update. The goal was to allow people to personalize Steam better for their use so they can view and participate as much as possible in the things they are interested in. In a post on their developer forum yesterday, and now published on Gamasutra, Valve has released some analysis on what the various updates have accomplished so far.
One of the more surprising statistics is that since the Discovery 2.0 update, customers have been able to see 46% more games on the Steam front page than before. Whether or not that is a good thing, considering the ever increasing amount of games getting on Steam, is up for debate. In the analysis it is noted that this has offered Valve the chance to get smaller games more exposure to people that may be interested in them.
The other side to that, then, is does this discoverability lead to people seeing more things they are interested in? Valve seems to think that is the case. In that same time frame people have purchased 27% more games from the Steam front page. Valve also notes that since the first Discovery update, which rolled out in September of 2014, per player purchases of packages (one or more games) has nearly doubled. And finally, Valve shows a steady increase of people playing games from Steam across a wider variety of titles.
They are not just concerned with whether or not people are buying games, either, as the analysis mentions towards the end that they do want to service a wider array of games to make them successful too, from the AAA to the one person team. Their chosen metric to gauge this was to look at how many games sold more than $200,000 in their first 90 days on Steam. While they did not provide the hard numbers on that increase, the graph they have provided has showed a steady increase, the biggest jump being in 2014.
The analysis ends in stating that everything they’ve done so far, all the updates and tweaking, is just part of their ongoing goal to improve the experience for everyone going forward, including both consumers and developers.
I think this is some interesting information to be sure, and I am definitely glad that more games seem to be getting attention that were not before. With that said, this definitely feels like a mask to a problem they’ve let get out of control. In ever increasing numbers there are an incredible amount of games being released on Steam. To me, that means it almost forced them into creating a better store front so that people could easier wade through the many poor titles nobody is interested in. In any case, I think this is good overall and hope they can take some of this attitude to other areas Steam is lacking in.