Yesterday Valve announced the release of some new resources for Steamworks developers, as well as an overhaul of the Steamworks overview homepage. The update aims to help developers and publishers to get the most out of each Steam release by giving them more power over Steamworks features. The new Steamworks homepage now details all the major features available to game developers via Steam, and adds some new documentation specifically explaining the features that can be used to help build an audience and communicate better with players via Steam.
The overhaul builds on the feedback from "quite a few" game developers that aren't aware of many of the tools and features available to them for free via Steamworks as part of their Steam release. Valve thought it would be useful to put together a better overview page that provides a summary of all the ways that developers can make use of the Steam platform. Some of these tools and features include ways to help build an audience, manage the developers' business, communicate with players and fans, and solve common development challenges. All this new information is now available for developers on the Steamworks homepage.
The update also addressed questions from game developers on how to reach the right audience for their game and build up to a successful release. Valve has put together a set of documentation to draw attention to the marketing tools and features that Steam provides for game developers that will help them reach customers and stay connected throughout the lifespan of the game. Many of these tools have been part of the Steamworks suite for a while, but Valve acknowledges they "haven't been good at communicating over time." The marketing tools and features documentation are available here.
Last month Steam reached the milestone of one billion accounts, a number certainly tainted by thousands of spam and scam accounts, but still a milestone. Valve also offered a Steam Business Update at GDC this year, which we summarized in our report. While Valve as a company hasn't made any official statements on the current PC digital distribution platform wars, there are signs that they are doubling down on their efforts with better features and tools, and better documentation, to show developers what Steam can offer that other platforms cannot, at least not yet.
What do you think of the Steamworks overhaul? Do developers need better tools, or just a better curation of the storefront so their games manage to stand out from the crowd? Let us know in the comments below!