Steam can offer a treasure trove of videogames, both virtual reality (VR) related and non-VR, but it can be a minefield trying to find the stuff you like. Especially when it comes to Steam’s recommendation sections. All of which Valve is very aware of, releasing a Store Discovery Update today to help rectify the issue.
The main purpose of the update is to diversify what users see in the “Recommendation Feed”, “More Like This” and the “Recommended for You” sections of the store. All three sections weren’t the best at showcasing the variety of videogames available on the platform, with Valve receiving plenty of community feedback that the “Recommended for You” section seemed way too biased towards popular titles.
Going in search of bugs the team found them, saying in a blog post: “We found some bugs, such as the “Similar by Tags” section of the Recommendation Feed, which had a bug that top-rated games (a category that doesn’t change very often) were driving too much of what players saw.”
What this should mean is that indie titles may get a better chance of being spotted by players interested in a particular genre, rather than languishing in the vast ocean of videogames the platform has to offer. Valve began experimenting with new ways to find content in July with the Interactive Recommender as part of Steam Labs.
To make sure this new update would be useful and actually work Steam has already shipped it to 5% of customers. The finding came back that: “As it turned out, customers in the experiment group were more likely to click on the games shown in the recommendations section, at a rate almost 15% higher than the control group.”
“We saw a 75% increase in the number of unique games visited, and a 48% increase in the average visits per game,” notes the team when comparing those in the experiment for the “Recommended for You” section to those who weren’t.
With the update going live today hopefully you’ll start to see new and interesting videogames appearing, and indie developers may make more money in the process. As further updates are released, VRFocus will let you know.