During their Steam Business Update at the Game Developer's Conference, Valve showed off some of the big updates coming to Steam, including an updated look for libraries and a new game events tab.
First is the new library page, which you can see in the image above. It will soon have an aesthetic that's more similar to the front page of the Steam Store and will also include advanced filters and sorting methods to help players find and manage their games easier — a useful tool for those of us with bloated game libraries. Recently played games will now display at the top for ease of access and updates section will clue you in on which of your titles has just received new patches or content. Your friends' activity is now also pushed into the forefront so you can see what they're playing as you browse your own library.
Perhaps the biggest new feature for players is the Events tab. Players will soon be able to view a list of upcoming in-game events, such as weekly challenges, double-xp weekends, or new content updates. Steam users will see updates on games in their library and that they follow, and can also opt to receive reminder notifications about these events via the Steam client, Steam mobile app, calendar apps, email, or text message. Valve's Alden Kroll emphasized the importance of this new feature, saying,
We think of this as the way developers will be able to communicate with players through Steam. We want to build the foundation for a communication platform where all the interesting things that are happening in games can find their way to the customers. And the customers that are interested in finding out 'what's happening in games in my library, what kind of events are happening, what's been updated recently, what are my friends doing,' making all that much easier for players to be able to find.
The updates aren't just for players, however. Developers will soon be able to host live streams of their game right on their developer pages to increase their potential outreach, and have better tools to track their game's visibility amongst the often-cluttered store. As part of Valve's renewed effort to combat off-topic review bombing, devs will also have a simple button to alert Valve of suspicious review activity on their games.
Though no official date for the updates was given, the company did confirm that an open beta would be available within the next couple months.
What do you think of these changes? Is this exactly what the Steam libraries needed or is there more you'd like to see from Valve? Let us know in the comments below.