Valve has announced that they have overhauled Steam's discovery feature in an attempt to improve visibility on the storefront.
Three specific sections were the focus of the update: the recommendation feed, the "more like this" section, and the "recommended for you" section. Valve noted that many people complained that these sections rarely felt like personalized recommendations, or even really related to their purchases, and usually just showed whatever is popular at the time. This led to people seeing the same games over and over again. Part of this problem was caused by a bug with the tags system, where anything in the "top-rated games" section was favored heavily over anything else. Likewise, they also felt that the timescale used to calculate popularity was too narrow.
Wanting to see if these changes would actually help, Valve rolled out an experimental version of the changes that they claim about 5% of users got over the past few weeks. The end result? They said people with the changes were 15% more likely to click on recommended games than people without. They also noted that there was a 75% increase in the number of unique games visited, and a 48% increase in the average visits per game. Ultimately, they found people were finding more games they didn't know they wanted, and the they increased in both buying and putting games on their wishlist. Feeling confident about these results, Valve is now rolling the update out to everyone.
Steam's discovery update launched today. In addition to this, Valve has recently released a few new experimental ways to find new games on Steam in the Steam Labs, including micro trailers, an automatic show, and an interactive recommender.
Has Steam ever recommended something you wanted to play? Mostly get stuff you couldn't care less about? Think the new Steam recommendations overhaul will actually help? Let us know in the comments below!