As Valve’s Steam storefront for video game content continues to grow, users are faced with an important question: how can they find great games among thousands of titles?
That’s why the Bellevue-based company has overhauled the design of its storefront to focus on personalized recommendations for users of its service. Rather than present everyone with the same set of featured games, Valve is now offering users a personalized feed of games they might like. The feed is populated based on what’s selling well on Steam right now, what a user has already played, and what Valve thinks they’ll want in the future.
It’s everywhere on the new Steam homepage: the recommendations populate a slideshow of games at the top of the homepage, along with a sidebar part-way down, and then a whole laundry list of recommended games at the bottom.
In addition to the automated feed, the company also added a new curator feature that allows people to create collections of their favorite games. Users can choose to sign up to follow curators based on their interests, and get an up-to-date list of what those people think is worthwhile on Valve’s platform.
It’s also a method of cross-promotion: curators can link to outside blog posts or YouTube videos in a blurb accompanying the games they recommend, which can then drive people to a longer-form review that those people can monetize.
The update comes as Valve continues to expand the list of games sold on Steam thanks to its Steam Greenlight program. Greenlight allows people to submit a game and try to garner enough audience support in order to get it published on Steam. That’s great news for smaller, independent creators, but it also means that people who just want to buy a new game every now and again have a whole lot more to choose from. Hopefully, the curation and personalization aspects of this update will help match players with games that they like.
People interested in giving the update a try can see it in action on Steam’s website.