Your donations keep RPGWatch running!

Steam - All News

Show news in a year(yyyy), month(yyyy/mm) or day:
Show news of type:
Tuesday - August 02, 2022
Friday - June 24, 2022
Saturday - February 26, 2022
Friday - February 25, 2022
Tuesday - February 22, 2022
Saturday - January 01, 2022
Tuesday - December 28, 2021
Wednesday - November 24, 2021
Thursday - October 21, 2021
Wednesday - October 06, 2021
Saturday - October 02, 2021
Thursday - June 24, 2021
Thursday - May 14, 2020
Tuesday - November 26, 2019
Tuesday - June 25, 2019
Friday - March 22, 2019
Friday - March 15, 2019
Saturday - December 01, 2018
Monday - August 20, 2018
Monday - August 13, 2018
Saturday - July 07, 2018
Sunday - June 24, 2018
Saturday - June 09, 2018
Monday - January 01, 2018
Tuesday - December 12, 2017
Thursday - November 23, 2017
Thursday - October 26, 2017
Sunday - July 09, 2017
Wednesday - June 07, 2017
Tuesday - April 04, 2017
Saturday - March 11, 2017
Friday - February 10, 2017
Saturday - December 17, 2016
Wednesday - November 02, 2016
Friday - October 28, 2016
Friday - October 21, 2016
Wednesday - October 12, 2016
Tuesday - October 04, 2016
Sunday - September 25, 2016
Tuesday - September 13, 2016
Friday - June 24, 2016
Friday - June 17, 2016
Wednesday - May 04, 2016
Friday - April 29, 2016
Thursday - March 03, 2016
Sunday - February 07, 2016
Wednesday - January 13, 2016
Thursday - December 31, 2015
Friday - December 25, 2015
Tuesday - December 22, 2015
Friday - December 18, 2015
Wednesday - October 21, 2015
Thursday - August 20, 2015
Friday - March 06, 2015
Thursday - June 05, 2014
Saturday - April 19, 2014
Monday - January 06, 2014
Saturday - January 04, 2014
Box Art

Tuesday - August 02, 2022

Steam - Tiny Teams Festival 2022

by Hiddenx, 18:53

Several indie developers are participating in the Tiny Teams Festival (August 1th-8th), with games such as Zoria: Age of Shattering, Vagrus - the Riven Realms. There are demos, livestreams and discounts that may be of interest.

Thanks for the info, Redglyph!

Friday - June 24, 2022

Steam - Best Summer Deals for 2022

by Hiddenx, 14:27

The Steam Summer Sale has started - some general picks by JumboPixel:

STEAM SUMMER SALE - The Best Steam Deals for 2022

The 2022 Seam Summer Sale is here! Here is my collection of the best pc gaming deals for the summer sale, with a focus on the best value picks acorss all genres, but of course a stronger look at strategy, simulation and similar games, or those that I think strategy gamers will enjoy from genres like RPG, Action, etc. Enjoy!

For RPGs on a sale just use the RPGWatch Steam Curator and click on the DISCOUNTS tab.

Saturday - February 26, 2022

Valve - Gabe Newell on Steam Deck, NFT and Open Platforms

by Redglyph, 11:00

Rock Paper Shotgun interviewed Co-Founder Gabe Newell about the Steam Deck, which developed into more general gaming issues.

Gabe Newell talks Steam Deck, crypto risks and why the PC industry “won’t tolerate” closed platforms

We interview Valve’s co-founder on hardware plans and consolidation in gaming

I recently had the chance to grill Gabe Newell – Valve president and co-founder, plus brain tech enthusiast – about the Steam Deck. What followed did indeed start with a look at Valve’s portable PC, including the lessons learned from the company’s past hardware attempts, but it soon swerved into a wider-ranging discussion on cryptocurrency, NFTs, consolidation issues affecting the games industry and whether there might be whole new Steam Decks in the future. Come and read the full Q&A below.

[...]

You’ve previously said that the openness of the PC ecosystem is its superpower. Now, there's been a lot of recent consolidation in the games industry, a lot of platform holders buying up developers, linking certain games to certain consoles or services. Do you think that's a problem for gaming as a whole?

Any sort of acquisition or consolidation has to actually answer the question: how are you creating more value for customers, at the end of the day? How are you making your game developers better developers? If you aren't doing something like that, then those sorts of acquisitions and consolidations don’t end up positively. And if you do do it, then you know, good, you're making the gaming market better. So I tend to sort of be more on the sceptical side about what sort of value is being created.

I mean, it's a lot of fun. If you're a CEO, it'd be like, “Look, I'm making a big deal to make the world better.” When in fact, most of the time, it's really boring stuff about “how do you make your product better? How do you make your QA processes better?” that are real determiners of success. So I don't see any evidence that people are turning towards more closed approaches. And also I just don't think the PC industry will tolerate it. People like the PC and in spite of lots of people preferring other outcomes, PC gaming continues to improve year after year after year, the relative growth versus other closed and proprietary platforms continues to get better. So that's something that we expect will continue.

So there’s not a worry on Valve’s part about consolidation driving games away from the Steam Deck or from the PC?

I see no evidence of that today. That isn't to say it wouldn't occur, but fundamentally, customers are in the driving seat. And we're super happy with that, right? Customers don't like stuff like exclusives or restrictions. It's pretty expensive to go against that. And the companies that go in the other direction and sort of embrace it, I think are going to be successful for the long run.

[...]

Friday - February 25, 2022

Valve - Steam Deck Launches Today

by Redglyph, 16:24

The Steam Deck is about to launch. Valve announced what to expect.

Launch Day Details

Hi all, Steam Deck launches in just two days! Thought we would send along some details for what you can expect on Friday, February 25th:

Starting at 10am Pacific, we'll be sending emails out to the first batch of reservation holders via the address tied to their Steam account. Those folks will then have 72 hours to complete their purchase on Steam for the specific model they reserved. If they cancel or do not purchase in this time frame, we'll release their reservation to the next person in the queue.

Around the same time is when you'll start seeing coverage from the roughly 100 media outlets we sent early review units to, so there will be a ton of interesting content and coverage for everyone to check out.

We are also looking forward to getting the official Dock for Steam Deck into customers' hands. It won't be happening as early as we wanted, but we're excited to talk more about it soon and are planning to make them available in late spring.

In the meantime we can't wait to get folks playing on Steam Deck, and can't wait to hear what you think! Feel free to tag the official Steam Deck account on twitter (@OnDeck) to share your experience.

Tuesday - February 22, 2022

Steam - Next Fest

by Redglyph, 12:05

The Steam Next Fest has started. Time to try those new demos!

HOW TO NEXT FEST

Play Demos: Hover over any game and you'll immediately find a button to install the playable demo. Try one! Or try a dozen.

Watch Livestreams: At the top of the festival page, you'll find a schedule of livestreams. In most cases, it is the dev teams themselves playing their game and answering your questions. Click on the chat icon immediately below the livestream to open the chat window and join the conversation.

Wishlist Your Favorites: Find a game you want to hear about when it launches? Hover over any game and click the star icon in the upper-right corner to add it to your wishlist. You'll get a spiffy email notification when that game releases.

Here is the long list of known RPGs that we have spotted in this festival:

And potentially this one (we have covered previous games of the franchise):

But it's normal we didn't spot more of them since they're essentially new games. Don't hesitate to report others you have seen or tried.

Saturday - January 01, 2022

Steam - Next Fest in February

by Redglyph, 15:18

Steam announced the next Fest would be held February 21st-28th. This event is a good opportunity for developers and publishers to show and discuss what they are working on, and for players to chat with them and try many demos that are prepared for the occasion.

Steam Next Fest February 2022 Edition Coming Soon

A celebration of upcoming games, featuring demos, livestreams and more

Announcing Steam Next Fest, a multi-day celebration of upcoming games. Save the date for our Next Fest, headed to Steam in February. Explore and play hundreds of game demos, watch developer livestreams, and chat with the teams about their games in progress, coming soon to Steam.

UPCOMING EVENT STARTS Mon, February 21, 2022 7:00 PM CET, ENDS Mon, February 28, 2022 7:00 PM CET

Tuesday - December 28, 2021

Steam - Best of 2021

by Redglyph, 14:12

Steam posted another end-of-the-year list with the best games of 2021 in different categories (top sellers, most played, ...).

The Best of 2021

A look back at the year's top sellers, best new releases, most-played games, and more!

With just a handful of days left until The New Year, we’re excited to look back at some of 2021’s top sellers, most-played games, new releases, and more! As with previous years, we've organized several Best Of lists that each showcase how great 2021 was for players, developers, and all of the games in between. Before we see what 2022 has in store, let's look back at the Best of Steam - 2021. [...]

For anyone jumping straight into the lists, we recommend reading the notes at the bottom of this page, which explain some of the technical criteria for how the lists are generated.

[...]

Wednesday - November 24, 2021

Steam - GOTY Nominations

by Redglyph, 20:33

Steam is collecting nominations for the Game of the Year 2021, votes end on December 1st (10am PST).

THE STEAM AWARDS

NOMINATE NOW.

VOTE DURING THE WINTER SALE.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED JAN 3RD @ 10AM PST.

It is time again to convene the Steam Award Selection Committee, whose sole task is to nominate the best and brightest of the year. This esteemed committee is composed of those most qualified to judge: you! You must determine who elevated the medium of games, by metrics as unique as the field of contenders. To that end, we present a few new categories by which to measure greatness. The choice is yours – now go forth and nominate!

[...]

Thursday - October 21, 2021

Steam - Tabletop Fest, D&D Panel

by Redglyph, 11:36

Steam's Digital Tabletop Fest RPG Edition starts today. Here is the broadcast schedule, and the announcement of the Obligatory (and Wonderful) Dungeons & Dragons Panel Discussion streaming tomorrow Friday October 22nd at 20:00 CEST with Trent Oster among others.

The Obligatory (and Wonderful) Dungeons & Dragons Panel Discussion

We had to do it! Because when we think of an RPG, we tend to think of D&D, such is the influence of the title. So what does D&D mean to RPGs today? Why is it still the most popular Tabletop RPG? Why do people want a digital game that connects to D&D? A discussion on what D&D means to RPG creators & players today and what interesting things they are doing with it!

The panel line-up features:

  • Jennifer Kretchmer, Game Designer/Author/Disability Consultant/Performer/Producer (She/They, Your DM for this panel!)
  • BeamDog CEO Trent Oster (He/Him)
  • Violet Fermin - D&D Adventurers League Consultant at Fantasy Grounds
  • Kieron Kelly, Product Manager at Larian (He/Him)
  • Sara Thompson, Tabletop game designer, writer, disability consultant (They/Them/She/Her)

Other premiere events:

Note that most of these streams are retransmitted multiple times for people of different timezones.

Wednesday - October 06, 2021

Steam - Digital Tabletop Fest

by Hiddenx, 20:15

Steam announced the Digital Tabletop Fest  (from October 21 to October 25):

Steam Digital Tabletop Fest Trailer

loading...

  • Disco Elysium
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • Talisman: Digital Edition
  • King Arthur: Knight's Tale
  • Serin Fate
  • Wildermyth
  • The Last Spell
  • ...

Thanks Henriquejr!

Saturday - October 02, 2021

Steam - Steam Next Fest

by Redglyph, 12:01

As you may be aware now, Steam has its Steam Next Fest event from Oct 1st to Oct 7th. The event promotes upcoming games, mainly indies, through demos and interaction with the developers.

Overview

Steam Next Fest returns on October 1st through 7th, 2021! Steam Next Fest is a multi-day celebration where fans can try out demos, chat with developers, watch livestreams, and learn about upcoming games on Steam. For developers, Steam Next Fest is an opportunity to get early feedback from players and build an audience for a future launch on Steam.

During this time, games will be organized on the landing page based on the categories you select when registering as well as based on the tags that are applied to your base game's store page. See Visibility of Games below for more details.

Steam Next Fest displays live broadcasts from games based on a schedule that allows you to select up to two times for your game's livestream to be promoted more prominently. See Livestreaming Events below for more details.

Event Dates:

  • Starts: Friday, October 1st, 2021 @ 10AM PDT
  • Ends: Thursday, October 7th, 2021 @ 10AM PDT

Here is the main link on the Steam page.

We had already spotted a demo for Mechajammer and Urban Strife. Don't hesitate to share your experience and other demos here. Thanks @Ripper for the suggestion :)

Thursday - June 24, 2021

Steam - Summer Sale Starts

by Silver, 20:50

The Steam summer sale is now underway and will finish July 8th 10am Pacific time.

Thursday - May 14, 2020

Steam - Loyalty Program and Summer Sales Date?

by Silver, 03:10

Bluesnews reports on a possible Steam Loyalty program and Summer sales dates.

A pair of tweets from Pavel Djundik have word from the Steam Database developer to expect the Steam summer sale to run from June 25th to July 9th (thanks VG247). His first tweet attributes this to "generally trustworthy" Chinese sources. The second tweet says this is "confirmed," which expresses his confidence in the news, but it is obviously not an official confirmation. But he's not done there, as in another tweet he says he's ferreted out Valve's plans for a loyalty reward system on Steam. This is likewise still a rumor, but here's what he says about that:

[...]

Thanks porcozaur!

Tuesday - November 26, 2019

Steam - Autumn Sale Starts

by Silver, 19:09

The Steam Autumn sale has started and will end December 3rd 10am PST.

Tuesday - June 25, 2019

Steam - Summer Sale Starts

by Silver, 20:29

The Steam summer sale has started.

Thanks Swayne!

Friday - March 22, 2019

Steam - Getting a New Library

by Silver, 06:03

DSOGaming reports that Steam will be getting a new look library.

At GDC 2019, Valve announced that Steam’s library will get re-designed. Moreover, Valve aims to add advanced tag searches, as well as a new Steam Events page.

Some of the key features for the re-designed library are listed below.

  • The friends list is now integrated into a right-hand column 
  • The top module shows recent games you’ve been playing with a library view reminiscent of Plex or the Apple TV
  • The rest of your collection is shown with nice vertical thumbnails that can be scaled to show larger icons or more games
  • The left-hand games list has a new look but is fairly similar to the existing design

[...]

Friday - March 15, 2019

Steam - User Reviews Revisited

by Hiddenx, 22:38

Henriquejr spotted the following Steam news:

User Reviews Revisited

Some time ago we made some changes to how we presented the User Reviews for games, and their resulting Review Score. We talked about those changes in this blog post. As we describe in that post, we want to ensure that players who've played a game can voice their opinions about why other people should or shouldn't buy the game, and that our summary of those opinions into a single Review Score should represent the likelihood that a future purchaser will be happy with their purchase.

Since that post, we've continued to listen to feedback from both players and developers. It's clear to us that players value reviews highly, and want us to ensure they're accurate and trustworthy. Developers understand that they're valuable to players, but want to feel like they're being treated fairly. We've also spent a bunch of time building analysis tools to help us better understand what's happening in the reviews across all titles on Steam. With that feedback and data in hand, we think we're ready to make another change.

That change can be described easily: we're going to identify off-topic review bombs, and remove them from the Review Score.

But while easy to say, it raises a bunch of questions, so let's dig into the details. First, what do we mean by an off-topic review bomb? As we defined back in our original post, a review bomb is where players post a large number of reviews in a short period of time, aimed at lowering the Review Score of a game. We define an off-topic review bomb as one where the focus of those reviews is on a topic that we consider unrelated to the likelihood that future purchasers will be happy if they buy the game, and hence not something that should be added to the Review Score.

Obviously, there's a grey area here, because there's a wide range of things that players care about. So how will we identify these off-topic review bombs? The first step is a tool we've built that identifies any anomalous review activity on all games on Steam in as close to real-time as possible. It doesn't know why a given game is receiving anomalous review activity, and it doesn't even try to figure that out. Instead, it notifies a team of people at Valve, who'll then go and investigate. We've already run our tool across the entire history of reviews on Steam, identifying many reasons why games have seen periods of anomalous review activity, and off-topic review bombs appear to only be a small number of them.

Once our team has identified that the anomalous activity is an off-topic review bomb, we'll mark the time period it encompasses and notify the developer. The reviews within that time period will then be removed from the Review Score calculation. As before, the reviews themselves are left untouched - if you want to dig into them to see if they're relevant to you, you'll still be able to do so. To help you do that, we've made it clear when you're looking at a store page where we've removed some reviews by default, and we've further improved the UI around anomalous review periods.

[...]

Saturday - December 01, 2018

Steam - New Revenue Splits

by Hiddenx, 20:09

Henriquejr spotted an article about Valve's new revenue splits on PC Gamer:

Valve's new Steam revenue splits favour big-budget games, and indie devs aren't happy

If a game makes more than $10 million, developers get to keep a bigger cut of any extra earnings.

Valve has changed the way it shares revenue with developers on Steam—and it's good news for games that make a lot of money. Currently, revenue for Steam games is split 70/30 between the developer and Valve. But from now on, Valve will only take a 25% cut of any earnings over and above $10 million, and only 20% of earnings beyond $50 million. The first $10 million will still be split 70/30, and the change will impact any revenue earned after October 1 this year. 

In a Steam post, Valve said the change will help "developers of big games", which will in turn benefit the entirety of Steam because of the "positive network effects" those developers generate. But some indie developers don't see it that way, and have branded the move a "slap in the face" to smaller companies that will never reach the $10 million threshold.

Monday - August 20, 2018

Steam - Accidently Launched its Twitch Competitor

by Silver, 23:55

@Gamespot Valve accidently launched its Twitch competitor called Steam.tv.

[Update] Steam.tv has been taken offline and, in a statement to CNET, a Valve representative said it was meant to be an internal test and was made publicly accessible by accident. "We are working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International, Dota 2's annual tournament," the company explained. "What people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public," said the company."

[...]

Thanks Capt. Huggy Face!

Monday - August 13, 2018

Steam - Dropping XP and Vista Support

by Silver, 11:55

Allkeyshop reports that Steam will drop Windows XP and Vista support come January 1, 2019.

Valve has just announced that its digital distribution platform, Steam, will be dropping support for Windows XP and Vista starting next year. This means that come January 1, 2019, the Steam client will no longer launch on the said operating systems.

[...]

Thanks Capt. Huggy Face!

Saturday - July 07, 2018

Steam - Game Player Counts

by Silver, 08:53

@ArsTechnica The player counts for many top ranking Steam games have been deduced from Steam achievements. The loop hole has now been closed but not before some interesting numbers were uncovered for over 13,000 games.

The new data derivation method, as ably explained in a Medium post from The End Is Nigh developer Tyler Glaiel, centers on the percentage of players who have accomplished developer-defined Achievements associated with many games on the service. On the Steam web site, that data appears rounded to two decimal places. In the Steam API, however, the Achievement percentages were, until recently, provided to an extremely precise 16 decimal places.

This added precision means that many Achievement percentages can only be factored into specific whole numbers. (This is useful since each game's player count must be a whole number.) With multiple Achievements to check against, it's possible to find a common denominator that works for all the percentages with high reliability. This process allows for extremely accurate reverse engineering of the denominator representing the total player base for an Achievement percentage.

[...]

Sunday - June 24, 2018

Steam - Developer Pages

by Hiddenx, 21:06

Pladio spotted that Steam has now developer pages - example: Iron Tower Studio

Saturday - June 09, 2018

Steam - The 'Anything Goes' Policy

by Hiddenx, 11:25

PC Gamer criticizes Steam's 'Anything Goes' plolicy:

Steam's new 'anything goes' policy is doomed from the start

Valve is responsible for the games published on Steam, even if it says it isn't.

Valve says it's not going to police what games are on Steam, except for those that are illegal, constitute "trolling," or don't meet technical quality standards that I wasn't aware Steam had until now. Today's blog post announcing the change demonstrates welcome transparency from Valve. It's also a mess of an explanation, 1,000 words detailing a policy that looks impossible to implement.

As the largest PC games distributor, Valve has a responsibility regarding what it chooses to sell, and what it chooses not to. We already knew Valve's stance on that responsibility. Ever since Greenlight was proposed, Valve has been saying that it does not want to decide which games get a chance at success on Steam and which don't. After Valve removed Hatred from Steam Greenlight, for instance, it returned it in short order and Gabe Newell wrote an apology to the developers. "Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers," he said, displaying a dispassionate view of what Steam is and does.
[...]
But the solution is not to have no standards whatsoever, to pretend that nothing is 'bad' or 'good,' but that it's all simply 'controversial content.' No! Some things are bad! Even if I don't trust Valve to decide what is or isn't bad (and even less after this decision), I really don't trust anyone who refuses to make any distinction in the first place, and takes no responsibility for the things it promotes.

As Rock, Paper, Shotgun editor Graham Smith commented on Twitter: "Steam isn't just a store, it's a community of hundreds of millions of people, many of them young and impressionable. Analogies to smaller digital stores, bookshops, etc. don't work because those don't have teenagers hanging out on or in them all day."

This policy proposal suggests that Valve really, really doesn't want to run this community, even though it's the only one who can, because it owns it. Valve wants Steam to be viewed as a public utility while still privately owning and profiting from it. That is simply not possible.

To put down a doormat for the worst grifters, spammers, asset-flippers, sexists, and racists is irresponsible, and if Valve follows through with this half-baked plan instead of doing even the bare minimum of ideological and financial legwork to set basic standards, it will end up implicitly endorsing the worst in our culture (as it is already starting to). And to make sure the dreck is invisible to those who don't want to see it, Valve risks hiding things they do want to see. It's a bad proposal that I don't think will actually come to fruition as described (Valve will apply the term "trolling" liberally to remove games that cross the line), and we deserve better from the leader in PC games distribution than offloading all responsibility to customers.

Thanks henriquejr!

Monday - January 01, 2018

Steam - The Top Sellers of 2017

by Hiddenx, 19:49

Porcozaur spotted the Steam top seller list for 2017.

 

Tuesday - December 12, 2017

Steam - Major Curator Update

by Silver, 03:32

Steam curators have received a major update in functionality.

Curating Steam - Major Update to Steam Curators to Help Discovery on Steam

12 December - Alden
After testing in a small beta for the past couple of weeks, we're releasing the latest update to the Steam Curators system today, which includes a bunch of improvements for players, curators, and game developers.

In short: We've made it easier to find and follow Steam Curators that you know and trust, we've provided Curators with more ways to improve your Steam shopping experience, and we've built better tools for developers to connect with the right Steam Curators. You can see a summary of the new features highlighted on the Steam Curator Update Announcement page. Read on for a more detailed look at why we think Steam Curators are important and why you'll now find it even more beneficial to follow a Steam Curator or two.

Why Steam Curators?
The goal of the Steam Curator system is to give you options for the individuals and organizations that can curate your Steam shopping experience. There are already people you probably look to for advice on which games are worth your time and money, such as YouTubers, journalists, streamers, or online communities. We've built Steam Curators to be a place where those voices and tastes can directly improve your shopping experience by influencing which games you'll see and what other information about games you can find. For example, you may appreciate the in-depth reviews provided by PC Gamer or the video reviews recorded by Extra Credits. You may like RPG Watch's focus on selecting just well-made role-playing games or you may appreciate Framerate Police's advice as to which games are locked to 30fps and how to unlock them. Or, like us, you might enjoy the humorous-yet-short reviews by Critiquing Doge. There are Steam Curators that cover just about every kind of game imaginable and in every language possible on Steam.

Whatever your tastes, and whatever language you speak, you can probably find a few great Steam Curators to curate your Steam shopping experience.

Why Follow A Curator?
By following a few Curators on Steam, you'll not only start to see their recommendations appear prominently when browsing the Steam Store (such as at the top of your home page and at the top of tag and genre pages), but you can also explore each of their customized spaces within Steam and see all the titles they have reviewed. For example, we've built some new tools for Curators to create lists of games and then pick which lists to feature on their page. Some Steam Curators produce video reviews of the games they play, and now you'll start seeing those videos displayed right within Steam.

What Else?
In addition to a bunch of improvements for players that follow a few Curators, we've been hard at work making the system work better for Steam Curators themselves as well as game developers looking to connect with Curators. We've given Curators more ways to customize their page on Steam and more information about how players are impacted by their reviews. We've also introduced a whole new system called Curator Connect that provides game developers with a way of sending review copies of their game directly to Curators within Steam.

Available Today
Check out the Steam Curator Update Announcement page to learn more about today's update. These updates are available now, and we'll be continuing work on Steam Curators with your feedback and input.

As always, if you have any feedback or suggestions, please let us know.

-The Steam Team

Thursday - November 23, 2017

Steam - Autumn Sale

by Silver, 07:58

The Steam Autumn sale has launched and will run until November 28th.

Thursday - October 26, 2017

Steam - Curator Update

by Hiddenx, 21:37

The Steam Curator features will be updated this Fall:

Steam Curator Update - Coming This Fall

For the past few months we've been busy working on significant improvements and additions to the Steam Curator system. There's still some work to be done before we can roll these out, but we wanted to share a bit about why we see Steam Curators as a crucial component to exploring Steam, and what changes we're making.

Why Steam Curators?
We've heard from many of you that you want to have a more curated experience when shopping Steam; where the titles that are surfaced and recommended and highlighted are picked by humans that you know and trust. But, we also know that players have different tastes in games, so it's unlikely that any single person or group could cater to the specific interests of every player in the world. This is why we believe that Valve can't be the only form of curation in Steam - we would be under serving the tastes and viewpoints of many players.

So, we're focusing on how to support the streamers, journalists, critics, content creators, writers, enthusiasts, and friends that you already know and trust to be able to help you find your next favorite game. By following a few Curators on Steam, you'll not only start to see their recommendations appear prominently when browsing the Steam Store, but you can also explore each of their customized spaces within Steam and see all the titles they have reviewed.

Using the Steam Curator features on Steam is an opt-in thing. If you’re not interested in the opinions of human beings helping you find games that are worth your attention, then we also have some powerful features coming just for you. We’re hard at work on significant improvements to the core recommendation engine which algorithmically suggests games for all Steam users. We’re anxious to talk in depth about that technology too, and will do so in a future blog post.

What changes are coming?
Over the three years since introduction of Steam Curators, we've gathered a lot of feedback from all kinds of perspectives. We've heard from players, from curators, from streamers, from game developers, and from all kinds of other tastemakers and content creators. The feedback is clear that the system needs to do a bunch of things better in order to work well for the three primary sets of people it's trying to serve: players, curators, and game developers.

Players
This system really only works if players find value from following some Curators. So we're adding to the kinds of content that Curators are able to create, and increasing the places within Steam where that content can be seen.
Recommendations provided by Steam Curators can already appear in the main featured spot on your Steam Home page as well as in a dedicated space on your home page. We're building on this so that recommendations by Curators you follow will also show up at the top of tag and genre pages. This means as you explore, say the Free To Play page, you'll see recommendations from your Curators for Free to Play games. If you are browsing RPG games, you'll see RPG games featured from Curators you follow. And so forth.
Many Curators create videos to accompany their reviews, so we'll now start embedding those videos in a few places alongside the curation. This means that when you click through a recommendation, or when you browse a Curator's page on Steam, you'll be able to watch their videos in-line.
We also know that some Curators will review games within certain themes, genres, or franchises. So, we're adding a new feature for Curators to create lists of games they've reviewed that go together. These can be used to create lists such as "best couch co-op games", "games with amazing Workshop support", "games by my favorite designer", "10 games to play while waiting for Witcher 4", or any other set of interesting ways to organize groups of games.
And if you are looking to find new new Curators that share your tastes, or offer unique information about particular kinds of games, you can explore the 'Recommended Curators' or 'Top Curators' lists. We're fine-tuning the 'Recommended Curators' section to more accurately suggest Curators who recommend games like those you've been playing.

Curators
One of the pieces of feedback we received from Curators was that they felt it needed to be more rewarding and meaningful for a Curator to spend the time it takes to build and maintain their curation. So there are a few new things we're building to tackle this.
As we mentioned above, Curators that produce videos as part of their reviews will be see those videos embedded right next to their review in Steam. If you're a Curator who's already doing work to create content elsewhere, we want you to be able to use that work in your Steam curation. This means a few of the most popular video formats such as YouTube, nicovideo.jp, youku.com, and bilibili.com will appear right in Steam where players can easily watch them.
Curators will be able to customize and brand their home on Steam by selecting games, lists, and tags to feature and by uploading a personalized background.
We all know that graphs solve everything, so yes, we're adding more of them. In particular, Curators will be able to see how their reviews impacted their follower's behavior in the Steam store.
We are helping connect developers with Curators that are most likely to have relevant audience of followers for the developers' game. More on this below.
[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

Sunday - July 09, 2017

Steam - UI Overhaul Incoming

by Silver, 22:31

@RockPaperShotgun Valve confirmed at Indigo 2017 that they are working on a UI overhaul for Steam which will see changes to the library and game launch pages.

The slides from Valve's product designer Alden Kroll, posted on the ValveTime forum, say that there's an "overall UI refresh and update coming", but give no date for the changes. Specifically, Valve plans to add the option to quickly launch recently played games from the library home page. That'd be welcome - if you've got a large collection and you're juggling 3 or 4 games, it's a (very minor) pain to have to keep scrolling between them.

The tweaks will also highlight games in your library that currently have some activity, whether than be events, updates, or simply titles your friends are playing.

Valve also promised a new "rich display of content" on game launch pages. The company says the reworked pages will better highlight your friends' activity in that game and flag community screenshots, artwork, and guides.

[...]

Wednesday - June 07, 2017

Steam - Greenlight Closed

by Hiddenx, 01:30

PC Gamer reports that Steam Greenlight is closed and Steam Direct launches next week:

Steam Greenlight is closed, Steam Direct goes live next week

It wasn't easy being green.

Valve said earlier this year that the curtain was coming down on Steam Greenlight, and that a new service called Steam Direct, which will enable developers to put their games on the platform directly for $100, will take its place. Today, that transition began in earnest, as Valve has announced that Greenlight is now closed, and that Direct is set to go live on June 13. 

"Right from the early days and throughout the life of Greenlight, we have been continually surprised by the hits coming through. In just the first year we saw titles such as War For The Overworld, Evoland, Rogue Legacy, and Verdun move through Greenlight and go on to become hugely successful," Valve wrote. "Those early years also saw huge growth in some categories of games that we had previously considered extremely niche, like visual novels. Whether you love or hate visual novels (In which case you can customize your preferences here!), they have gone on to form a huge following on Steam." 

Since Greenlight launched in 2012, nearly ten million players have cast more than 90 million votes for Greenlight submissions, and more than 63 million players have played a Greenlight game, logging 3.5 billion hours in them. "With these kinds of successes, the thousands of niche titles, and everything in between, we realized that a direct and predictable submission process will best serve the diverse interests of players moving forward," Valve wrote.

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

Tuesday - April 04, 2017

Steam - Revamping Game Recommendations

by Silver, 00:07

@PCGamer Valve has met with Total Biscuit and Jim Stirling about its intended changes to game recommendations and how to combat 'fake' games.

...

Probably the biggest front-facing change will be the addition of "Steam Explorers," an opt-in system in which users buy a game from a pre-selected list, then play and evaluate it based on various criteria. The games will have to be purchased, but Valve is considering "perks" for members of the program including unique badges, access to exclusive forums, and no-strings-attached refunds (one per week) which will make "explored" games not too terribly different from conventional review copies. The idea is apparently to come up with something more akin to what Valve originally had in mind for Steam Greenlight, but with more incentive for those taking part to approach it actively and seriously, thereby making it a more effective system for separating the wheat from the crapola.

Valve is also looking at changes to the Steam curators system to increase its functionality and "make curation a rewarding and useful experience." It wants to give curators the ability to put together "collections"-TotalBiscuit noted that he currently cannot create a list of his top ten games for 2016 and display it at the top of his curator's page, which by all rights should be a very simple and obvious thing for a curator to do-and is also looking at a level system for curators, with various unlockable perks.

Significant for developers is a plan for an integrated "key mailer system" that will enable studios to give games to Steam users without the need for Steam keys. That will presumably simplify the process of getting games into the right hands, but it will also help cut down on Steam key fraud.

[...]

Saturday - March 11, 2017

Steam - Updates Customer Review System

by Hiddenx, 09:50

Steam has updated the customer review system again - freely received games are not counting for the total review score anymore:

[...]

Changes To The Review Score

As a result of this, we are making some changes to how review scores are calculated. As of today, the recent and overall review scores we show at the top of a product page will no longer include reviews written by customers that activated the game through a Steam product key.

Customers that received the game from a source outside of Steam (e.g. via a giveaway site, purchased from another digital or retail store, or received for testing purposes from the developer) will still be able to write a review of the game on Steam to share their experience. These reviews will still be visible on the store page, but they will no longer contribute to the score.

This does mean that the review score category shown for about 14% of games will change; some up and some down. Most changes in the review score category are a result of games being on the edge of review score cut-offs such as 69% positive or 70% positive. A change of 1% in these cases can mean the difference between a review score category of "Mixed" and "Positive". About 200 titles that only had one or two reviews will no longer have a score at all until a review is written by a customer that purchased that item via Steam. In all of these cases, the written reviews still exist and can easily be found in the review section on that store page.

[...]

Friday - February 10, 2017

Steam - Steam Direct replacing Greenlight

by Silver, 20:10

Steam is going to be rolling out a replacement for Greenlight called Steam Direct by Spring 2017.

Evolving Steam
11 February - Alden
When we consider any new features or changes for Steam, our primary goal is to make customers happy. We measure that happiness by how well we are able to connect customers with great content. We've come to realize that in order to serve this goal we needed to move away from a small group of people here at Valve trying to predict which games would appeal to vastly different groups of customers.

Thus, over Steam's 13-year history, we have gradually moved from a tightly curated store to a more direct distribution model. In the coming months, we are planning to take the next step in this process by removing the largest remaining obstacle to having a direct path, Greenlight. Our goal is to provide developers and publishers with a more direct publishing path and ultimately connect gamers with even more great content.

What we learned from Greenlight
After the launch of Steam Greenlight, we realized that it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system, but it still left us short of that goal. Along the way, it helped us lower the barrier to publishing for many developers while delivering many great new games to Steam. There are now over 100 Greenlight titles that have made at least $1 Million each, and many of those would likely not have been published in the old, heavily curated Steam store.

These unforeseen successes made it abundantly clear that there are many different audiences on Steam, each looking for a different experience. For example, we see some people that sink thousands of hours into one or two games, while others purchase dozens of titles each year and play portions of each. Some customers are really excited about 4X strategy games, while others just buy visual novels.

Greenlight also exposed two key problems we still needed to address: improving the entire pipeline for bringing new content to Steam and finding more ways to connect customers with the types of content they wanted.

To solve these problems a lot of work was done behind the scenes, where we overhauled the developer publishing tools in Steamworks to help developers get closer to their customers. Other work has been much more visible, such as the Discovery Updates and the introduction of features like user reviews, discovery queues, user tags, streamlined refunds, and Steam Curators.

These improvements have allowed more developers to publish their games and connect with relevant gamers on Steam. One of the clearest metrics is that the average time customers spend playing games on Steam has steadily increased since the first Discovery Update. Over the same time period, the average number of titles purchased on Steam by individual customers has doubled. Both of these data points suggest that we're achieving our goal of helping users find more games that they enjoy playing. (You can read a more detailed analysis of our recent updates here[www.gamasutra.com].)

A better path for digital distribution
The next step in these improvements is to establish a new direct sign-up system for developers to put their games on Steam. This new path, which we're calling "Steam Direct," is targeted for Spring 2017 and will replace Steam Greenlight. We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.

While we have invested heavily in our content pipeline and personalized store, we're still debating the publishing fee for Steam Direct. We talked to several developers and studios about an appropriate fee, and they gave us a range of responses from as low as $100 to as high as $5,000. There are pros and cons at either end of the spectrum, so we'd like to gather more feedback before settling on a number.
[...]

Saturday - December 17, 2016

Steam - Star Wars Collection on Sale

by Silver, 10:33

On Steam the Star Wars Collection is on sale for 77% off until December 20th.

 

Wednesday - November 02, 2016

Steam - Actual Screenshots Required

by Silver, 21:52

On a thread at facepunch user Sanjuaro shared some information he has received from Valve. Apparently there are some new guidelines for developers on screenshots.

We haven't been super crisp on guidelines for screenshots in the past, so we'd like to take this opportunity to clarify some rules in this space. When the ‘screenshot' section of a store page is used for images other than screenshots that depict the game, it can make it harder for customers to understand what the product is that they are looking at. Additionally, we're going to start showing game screenshots in more places as described above, and these images need to be able to represent the game.

We ask that any images you upload to the ‘screenshot' section of your store page should be screenshots that show your game. This means avoiding using concept art, pre-rendered cinematic stills, or images that contain awards, marketing copy, or written product descriptions. Please show customers what your game is actually like to play.

For elements such as marketing copy, awards you'd like to show off, or descriptions of your Deluxe Edition, we ask that you use the specific spaces already available on your store page to put that content rather than including it in your screenshots.

Dota 2 is an example of where we were doing it wrong ourselves. We're now in the process of updating Dota 2 to use screenshots of the game rather than artwork.

Friday - October 28, 2016

Steam - Versus Evil Weekend Sale

by Silver, 09:50

On Steam the Versus Evil catalogue is on sale this weekend. Titles include the Banner Saga games, Guild of Dungeoneering, Kyn and Skyshine's BEDLAM amongst others. The offer ends Monday at 10am Pacific Time.

 

Friday - October 21, 2016

Steam - Witcher, Fallout On Sale

by Aubrielle, 15:19

If you've been waiting for a big sale to pick up The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, or any other title in their respective series, now's the time.

First, The Witcher: in celebration of the fantasy action-RPG series' ninth birthday, last year's esteemed third main series entry, The Witcher 3, is subject to a 33 percent discount, selling for £16.74/$26.79. Its Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine DLCs—the latter of which is essentially a full game in itself—are also going cheap at £6.79/$8.49 and $13.59/$16.99 respectively. Going back a little further, the Enhanced Editions of both the first and second series entries—The Witcher Adventure Game and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings—are going for just £1.04/$1.49 and £2.24/$2.99 with 85 percent discounts.

The Fallout sale, on the other hand, sees Fallout 4's price tag cut in half, now selling for £19.99/$29.99. The Season Pass edition of the same—which includes the base game and all of its add-ons—costs £26.79/$33.49, while Fallout 3 costs £4.99/$4.99. The original Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics are going for £3.99/$4.99 each, however the Fallout Collection rounds up all three for £6.99/$9.99. 

Fallout: New Vegas is easily one of my favourite games of all time and is half price at £4.99/$4.99. If you're yet to play it, I recommend picking it up and, if you can splash out on the Ultimate Edition—now selling for £8.99/$11.99—you'll also net yourself its four add-ons which are totally worth the extra four quid/seven dollars.

Source: PC Gamer

Wednesday - October 12, 2016

Steam - Early Access Denied

by Silver, 00:12

@PCGamesN they talk to the developer behind Starpoint Gemini 2 and ask how the early access experience has changed for developers and players.

Starpoint Gemini 2 was one of the first games to enter Early Access after being scouted by Valve as a good candidate for the program. "I think we were the fifth or sixth game ever to get into Early Access," explains Little Green Men Games CEO Mario Mihokovic. "We weren't some great visionaries that knew how this was going to play out. Basically, we were developing the game - we'd never heard about Early Access because it didn't exist - and one day some people from Steam came to see it and said they were preparing a new program. They will be releasing unfinished games, and since we were talking to our community quite a lot, we would be a very good addition."

At that stage Steam were only accepting games in the very early stages of development, rather than the beta stage games that routinely enter the marketplace now. "The scheme insisted on the game being as unfinished as possible. It was their number one priority, they said, ‘if the game is in beta, or even close to beta, forget it'. The game needs to be as unfinished as possible so that people actually have enough time to be included in what they're investing in." For Starpoint Gemini 2 that meant basic controls for moving a ship around in space and nothing else - the collision box didn't work, most keys didn't work, firing didn't work and combat didn't work.

Tuesday - October 04, 2016

Opinion - Steam Should Better Control Early Access

by Aubrielle, 10:49

For some titles, early access has been a blessing. Others have made early access look like a disaster...or even a scam. PC Gamer pens their thoughts in an editorial.

It's not surprising that Steam's Early Access program has produced some disappointment.  Finished games fall short of our expectations all the time—why would we expect unfinished ones to be less flawed or controversial? But Early Access disappointments have broader consequences: when Early Access games fail, struggle, or their creator does something irresponsible, it harms the integrity of that label for everyone. As a Project Zomboid developer wrote in 2014, "[Early Access] failures tarnish the reputation of the entire model, so a failure (particularly a high-profile failure) is potentially damaging to the very developers who need this model the most."

Two years later, those words of caution remain relevant. An unscientific poll of PC Gamer Twitter followers suggests, at best, a lack of consensus about the value of Early Access. Early Access' reputation continues to be shaped by its worst participants, and in fact, we're grappling with new and inventive abuses.

Source: PC Gamer

Sunday - September 25, 2016

Steam - Changes Coming to the Storefront

by Silver, 07:30

@Techraptor Valve has told developers about upcoming changes to the Steam store. Expect these changes to arrive in the next few weeks.

"When we launched the Steam Discovery Update, we introduced a new and smarter Steam store built around personalization and recommendations. In the time since the Discovery Update, we've iterated on the features and made improvements to support the goal of helping each customer find the titles they are most likely to enjoy playing. We think our progress in this direction has been really valuable in supporting a broader variety of gaming experiences big and small, while better serving individual customer tastes. "

In the coming update, we can expect:

  • Home Page Visual Refresh: Mixing up how the front page appears, removing some visual clutter.
  • Additional Left Column Navigation: The left navigational column will be getting new direct links to main features of the Steam Store, such as New Releases, Top Sellars, Upcoming Titles, etc.
  • Friends Activity: A new section to the right of the front page will be dedicated to showing what your friends have been playing lately.
  • Top Selling New Releases: A brand new section will be added for when a new release becomes a top selling game.
  • Global Customer Preferences: A new feature that will allow customers to customize their Steam Store experience. Allowing them to opt to exclude certain products from being displayed, such as Videos, Early Access titles, Software, VR, etc.
  • Targeted Visibility For New Releases: New changes will be made to how new releases will be targeted to the appropriate customers. The goal is to show the specific customer new releases that will most likely appeal to them.
  • Targeted Visibility For Game Updates: Changes to how Update rounds will be made to be more direct to the customers who would want to see them. Customers who own the game or have it on their wishlist will be prioritized in showing the update.
  • New Steam Curator Options: Noticing that people are using Steam Curator to give information on a title, without necessarily recommending it, there will be new tools that will allow a curator to make a distinction about whether or not they are recommending, not recommending or just giving information about a title. This will also allow Valve to better understand what curated posts should be highlighted on the front page.
  • Curators In Main Capsule: The Main Capsule banner will be updated to include curators that the customer personally follows.
  • Improved Steam Curator Presence: There will be a new section on the Steam Home Page that is dedicated to recommendations from curators. This space will be for recommending more anything from popular releases to more "niche" titles. Additionally, there will be a new landing page to display many recommended titles from a curator.

Tuesday - September 13, 2016

Steam - Updates to the User Review System

by Hiddenx, 09:56

Steam updates the user review system:

[...]

Changes To The Review Score

As a result of this, we are making some changes to how review scores are calculated. As of today, the recent and overall review scores we show at the top of a product page will no longer include reviews written by customers that activated the game through a Steam product key.

Customers that received the game from a source outside of Steam (e.g. via a giveaway site, purchased from another digital or retail store, or received for testing purposes from the developer) will still be able to write a review of the game on Steam to share their experience. These reviews will still be visible on the store page, but they will no longer contribute to the score.

This does mean that the review score category shown for about 14% of games will change; some up and some down. Most changes in the review score category are a result of games being on the edge of review score cut-offs such as 69% positive or 70% positive. A change of 1% in these cases can mean the difference between a review score category of "Mixed" and "Positive". About 200 titles that only had one or two reviews will no longer have a score at all until a review is written by a customer that purchased that item via Steam. In all of these cases, the written reviews still exist and can easily be found in the review section on that store page.
[...]

Friday - June 24, 2016

Steam - Summer Sale is On

by Aubrielle, 13:16

In case you haven't heard, Steam's "Summer Picnic Sale" is on until July 4.  Please don't get angry at me for the video.

loading...

Friday - June 17, 2016

Steam - Summer Sale Next Week

by Aubrielle, 05:08

Hang on to your wallets. PayPal has confirmed that Steam's summer sale will begin next week.

Steam’s Summer Sale will begin next week, according to ... PayPal?

That’s right, last month a Reddit user leaked the June 23 start date for Steam’s annual summer sale and today, PayPal, which has leaked previous Steam sales, seemingly announced the sale via a Tweet.

The sale will run from 9:45 a.m. PT on June 23 until July 4 at 10 a.m. PT., according to the previous leak.

No word on what sort of exceptional discounts we’ll be seeing, but if you game on PC you should be excited.

Given all of the news coming out of E3, news of Alienware’s second version of a Steam Machine and Valve’s doubling down on its own Steam controllers, I think we can expect a lot of good gets coming out of this sale.

I can see us getting a Steam controller discount, some nice VR discounts and certainly some price drops for games now getting sequels.

Wednesday - May 04, 2016

Steam - Review System Changes

by Silver, 03:56

Steam have updated the review system to better reflect how games are as a current experience rather than have old reviews front and center.

-Valve
One common theme we've been seeing in customer feedback about the Steam review system is that it isn't always easy to tell what the current experience is like in a game months after release. This new set of changes released today is designed to better describe the current customer experience in those games. We do this by better exposing the newly posted reviews and by calculating a summary of those recent reviews.

Visibility For Recently Posted Reviews

While there are plenty of new reviews posted every day, we saw that it was often difficult for newer reviews to be seen and voted on enough to become listed as most helpful. As a result, the most helpful reviews presented on a store page would often describe an outdated view of a game that might have changed dramatically over the course of Early Access or post-release development. By listing recently posted reviews more prominently and by defaulting to recent helpful reviews, Steam can now show a more current idea of what it's like to play the game now.

Recent Review Score


Another problem we identified was that review score that appears at the top of a product page didn't always reflect the dynamic nature of the game. For that review score, we'd previously only been compiling an overall score using a simple calculation of the percentage of all reviews that were positive. This let us be really transparent in how the score was being calculated, but didn't accommodate cases when a game has changed a lot (for better or worse) over time.

To address that, we've now added a Recent review score that calculates the positive percentage of reviews within the past 30 days (as long as there are enough reviews posted within those 30 days and as long as the game has been available on Steam for at least 45 days). The overall score is still present as well in case you still find that information helpful.

...

Friday - April 29, 2016

Steam - Anime Sale on over 200 titles

by Silver, 04:23

Steam has a weekend sale on over 200 anime titlesThe offer ends Monday 10am Pacific Time.

Thursday - March 03, 2016

Steam - Bundles Receive Dynamic Pricing

by Silver, 01:09

Steam has finally caught up to GoG and Humble Bundle by dynamically pricing bundles. Techraptor has the details on whats changed. (The changes are still ongoing.)

Steam is the largest online digital gaming platform in the world, and some of that is due to the amount of sales we see from Steam Bundles. Tons of games at a discount is hard to pass up, and for years this has worked in Steam's favor. Now, however, Valve has announced a change is coming to Steam Bundles, one that will finally include dynamic pricing.

Dynamic Pricing is simple, Steam Bundles will automatically reduce their pricing based on games you may already own. So if a bundle contains a few games you have already bought, the bundle will effectively reduce in price to reflect your previous purchases.

"Past Complete Packs were sometimes a bad deal for customers that already [owned] one or more of the products in the pack," according to a Valve representative in documents acquired PCgamesN. "Either it made bad economic sense for those customers to purchase the pack, or they just felt bad about doing so since it [looked] like they were paying for products they already [had]. The new Steam Bundles system addresses this."

Sunday - February 07, 2016

Steam - Lunar New Year Sale Live

by Aubrielle, 00:42

Steam's Lunar New Year Sale is up, and thousands of titles are discounted.  Fallout 4, Witcher 3, Fairy Fencer F, Rebel Galaxy, and most of Crusader Kings II can be gotten on the cheap.

Source.

Source: Steam

Wednesday - January 13, 2016

Steam - Winter Sale Big for Smaller Games

by Aubrielle, 08:47

Despite all of its issues, Steam's winter sale was a really big deal for smaller indie titles.  RPS has some numbers.

Steam sales are renowned for cleaning out the wallets of many, but the last two have felt slightly lower key than previously because they featured neither daily deals, nor flash sales, nor complicated metagames. Perception can be misleading, though: a report by Valve – perhaps released accidentally – states that the recent Steam Winter Sale was the most successful ever.

The post was first made to the developer-only Steamworks group, then for some reason mirrored on the public SteamVR page. It was quickly taken down, but not before someone copied it and pasted it onto the SteamDB forum. As its introduction explains:

“As you already know, the format of discounts in this year’s Winter sale was a little different from past years. This year’s sale was centered around discounts that ran for the full length of the sale, rather than changing from day to day for featured titles. Our hypothesis was that this new format would be a better way to serve customers that may only be able to visit Steam once or twice during the 13-day event. We also saw this change as an opportunity to showcase a deeper variety of titles to customers each day, while having confidence that any game being highlighted would be at its lowest discount.”

The rest then goes on to back it up with graphs and numbers: a 197% increase in the rate of wishlist additions; 35% of traffic delivered to games outside of the top 500 best sellers; 45% growth in revenue generated by the same group when compared to the last winter sale, and more. In short: it was good for business.

Why do you care? I don’t know, but I care because I want to know that smaller games can still find an audience amid the quantity and noise of present day Steam. It’s in everybody’s interest that Steam not be solely hit-driven, that Valve are interested in spreading attention around, and that more unusual or niche experiences aren’t disappearing without trace.

More information.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Thursday - December 31, 2015

Steam - Update on Christmas Issues

by Hiddenx, 13:58

What happened on the Christmas Steam Sale? - here's an update:

What happened

On December 25th, a configuration error resulted in some users seeing Steam Store pages generated for other users. Between 11:50 PST and 13:20 PST store page requests for about 34k users, which contained sensitive personal information, may have been returned and seen by other users.

The content of these requests varied by page, but some pages included a Steam user’s billing address, the last four digits of their Steam Guard phone number, their purchase history, the last two digits of their credit card number, and/or their email address. These cached requests did not include full credit card numbers, user passwords, or enough data to allow logging in as or completing a transaction as another user.

If you did not browse a Steam Store page with your personal information (such as your account page or a checkout page) in this time frame, that information could not have been shown to another user.

Valve is currently working with our web caching partner to identify users whose information was served to other users, and will be contacting those affected once they have been identified. As no unauthorized actions were allowed on accounts beyond the viewing of cached page information, no additional action is required by users.

How it happened

Early Christmas morning (Pacific Standard Time), the Steam Store was the target of a DoS attack which prevented the serving of store pages to users. Attacks against the Steam Store, and Steam in general, are a regular occurrence that Valve handles both directly and with the help of partner companies, and typically do not impact Steam users. During the Christmas attack, traffic to the Steam store increased 2000% over the average traffic during the Steam Sale.

In response to this specific attack, caching rules managed by a Steam web caching partner were deployed in order to both minimize the impact on Steam Store servers and continue to route legitimate user traffic. During the second wave of this attack, a second caching configuration was deployed that incorrectly cached web traffic for authenticated users. This configuration error resulted in some users seeing Steam Store responses which were generated for other users. Incorrect Store responses varied from users seeing the front page of the Store displayed in the wrong language, to seeing the account page of another user.

Once this error was identified, the Steam Store was shut down and a new caching configuration was deployed. The Steam Store remained down until we had reviewed all caching configurations, and we received confirmation that the latest configurations had been deployed to all partner servers and that all cached data on edge servers had been purged.

We will continue to work with our web caching partner to identify affected users and to improve the process used to set caching rules going forward. We apologize to everyone whose personal information was exposed by this error, and for interruption of Steam Store service.

Friday - December 25, 2015

Steam - Data Security Problems

by Hiddenx, 22:48

Several sites are reporting that Steam has security problems right now:

Update: It now looks as if the Steam store may be down; numerous users, myself included, are unable to access it and are receiving an error when attempting to do so.

Also, while it's still unclear what's going on, Steam tracking website Steam Database has suggested this is all due to a caching issue. That said, the site recommends not attempting to remove your credit card, PayPal account, or anything of the sort. Whether that is indeed the best course of action remains to be seen, as Valve has still yet to officially comment on the situation.

Original Story: While there were concerns ahead of Christmas that hackers might take down services like PSN and Xbox Live, it appears that Steam may be the one having the most serious issues today.

Numerous users are reporting a pair of seemingly related problems. First, the Steam store's homepage is displaying in a language other than their own (in my case, it appears in Russian). More seriously, going to the Account Details page--accessed by clicking your username in the upper right corner--offers access to the page for other users' accounts.

[...]

Tuesday - December 22, 2015

Steam - Winter Sale Now Underway

by Aubrielle, 21:48

Steam's (in)famous Winter Sale is now underway.  Right now, the Witcher series, Elder Scrolls series, and the Might and Magic Heroes franchise are all on sale, 50-85% off.

More information.

Source: Steam

Friday - December 18, 2015

Steam - Winter Sale Starts 12/22

by Aubrielle, 04:38

Steam plans to cut it close with the start of its winter sale, which begins on December 22.  Thanks, Shacknews.

We reported last month on Steam’s Autumn and Winter sales, saying at the time they would start on November 25th and December 22nd, respectively. We were spot on as to when the Autumn sale would kick off, and it appears we accurately revealed the Winter sale.

According to a promotional image from PayPal, the Steam Winter Sale will kick off on December 22nd. Considering the majority of sales start at 10am PT, we wouldn’t be surprised if you could start saving on thousands of titles start at that time.

Just like with the Autumn Sale, don’t expect there to be flash and daily sales as Valve changed how its big sales function starting with its last sale. Anyone who is participating in the Winter Sale will need to submit just one discount, instead of two, one of which would be used for flash and daily sales.

More information.

Wednesday - October 21, 2015

Steam - About Those Paid Mods

by Myrthos, 12:51

Kotaku has interviewed Valve's Erik Johnson and Robin Walker about their ideas to start with paid mods again, even after their unsuccesful attempt earlier this year.

“We screwed things up in the details,” Johnson noted. When I suggested that perhaps they could’ve tested the waters with some survey-type forum threads on Steam or Reddit—slowly warmed people up to the idea instead of springing it on them cold—Johnson added, “I agree that we could’ve done it a lot better.”

For Skyrim in particular—with its vast, established modding community, rife with room for drama over attribution, combo mods, etc—Johnson feels like Valve also miscommunicated why they chose to do what they did. “If you look back specifically at the Skyrim situation,” he said, “while it wasn’t our intent, it was really easy to read that as, ‘Remember that thing you love? You pay money for that now.’ That’s an awful plan. That’s a terrible plan.”

“I think the magnitude of the reaction was also like, ‘Did Valve just turn evil on us?’” Johnson continued. “We don’t think we did, but we can see how it got miscommunicated that way. I know Robin will say this too, but it was one of the most awful weekends I’ve had working at Valve. It felt really, really terrible reading through all of that.”

...

Then we moved on to the elephant in the room: thanks to an unsuccessful first attempt, people who would’ve otherwise been on the fence or slightly opposed to the concept of paid mods are now super opposed. Can Valve make this work in the future with all that baggage trailing behind them? Johnson thinks so.

“You need something that’s like, ‘Here’s the new thing. Somebody spent a couple years on it, and it’s amazing. It’s for sale,’” Johnson explained. “We didn’t really have anything like that [last time], so it came across poorly.”

“I think it’s about being really transparent and offering something that’s cool,” he said. “I think customers are pretty smart. I think they get it.”

Thanks Eye.

Thursday - August 20, 2015

Steam - Your target audience doesn't exist

by Hiddenx, 19:19

Sergey Galyonkin has written another interesting article for his 'SteamSpy' series:

Your target audience doesn’t exist

Why you shouldn’t talk about “MOBA audience”, “core gamers”, “female gamers” and instead think smaller.

[...]

What about “usual” games?

And here is the interesting thing — there is a market and audience for smaller games, otherwise Steam wouldn’t exist. Many people are trying many new games. They don’t spend hundreds of hours in one title, they’re, you know, your average gamers, you used to hear about a lot.

But there is a catch:

There aren’t many of them.

Classic “core gamers” — the ones that play most major hits or jump from indie game to indie game — are relatively rare when compared to overall gaming audience.

In fact, 1% of Steam gamers own 33% of all copies of games on Steam. 20% of Steam gamers own 88% of games. That’s even more than Pareto principle suggests.

So, to be a member of the “1% group” of Steam gamers you have to own 107 games or more. That’s not much considering how Steam is selling games at discount prices and how easy it is to obtain games in bundles.

We’re talking about 1.3M PC gamers that could fall into definition of “core gamer that buys several games per year”. And that’s including discounted games as well.

Of course we could extend it to, I don’t know, “softcore gamers” — the 20% that own 88% games. To be included you’d have to own 4 (FOUR) games or more on Steam — not exactly a huge number, right?

Let me repeat it once more, because it’s really important.

Various studies suggest that there are 700–800 million of PC gamers. It’s probably true, but it doesn’t mean much for your game. Because if you’re developing a downloadable game for Steam you’re not even fighting for 135M of its active users,

you’re fighting for the attention of 1.3 million gamers
that are actually buying lots of games.

The 1% group.

[...]

Friday - March 06, 2015

Ars Technica - 2014 Steam Sales Estimates

by Couchpotato, 05:31

Forum members Jhwisner & Silver submitted links to a new article on Ars Technica where the site posted Steam sales estimates for all 2014 PC games.

Here is more information form Jhwisner.

Ars Technica used data availible publicaly through steam's API to estimate sales, ownership, and playtime for the 400 most popular games on steam for 2014.  They did this for 2013 previously and it was pretty interesting. 

Some interesting tidbits (these are games released in 2014, numbers are estimated Steam owners and obviously does not include sales on GoG or other distribution systems)

Divinity: Original Sin ~ 802,315

Dark Souls II ~ 964,266

South Park: The Stick of Truth ~ 929,442

Wasteland 2 ~ 384,760

Banner Saga ~ 343,511

Final Fantasy XIII ~ 327,959

Shadowrun Dragonfall Director's edition ~ 313,082

To put this in some perspective, they also found there to be roughly 3 million new Skyrim owners on Steam since 4/14/2014. The good news there is that if you think Bethesda likes money, then they might not be at all disingenous when they said they were putting an increased focus on the PC going forward..

Thursday - June 05, 2014

Steam - Updates FAQ on Early Access Games

by Myrthos, 12:11

Steam has updated their FAQ to make clear that Early Access games might not be released at all and that you should only get involved if you are excited about playing it in its current state. GamesBeat contacted Valve on this and they had this to say:

“The changes to the FAQ are intended to help set customer expectations of what may or may not happen over the course of development of an Early Access game. We frequently iterate on Steam features as we gather feedback and find areas for improvement.

“In this case, it became apparent that further clarification would help customers evaluate their potential purchase of Early Access titles. We think of Steam, Early Access, and game development as services that grow and evolve best with the involvement of customers and the community.”

Read all about it.

Saturday - April 19, 2014

ArsTechnica - Steam Sales Figures

by Couchpotato, 05:04

Jhwisner sent news about two new articles were ArsTechnica has data on Steam sales. I will post what he sent to save me time. Allow me to say thanks Jhwisner. 

ArsTechnica managed to produce some apparently decent estimates of total ownership/sales totals on Steam.   A few Devs have confirmed the accuracy with the author - some publicaly so.  Imporant takeaways from this are pretty positive for PC gamers in general and PC RPG gamers in general.  

Here's some interesting tidbits:

Skyrim - 5,942,000
Fallout: New Vegas - 2,630,232
The Witcher 2 - 1,725,513*
FTL - 1,651,734*
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition - 1,368,606

*Only represents steam sales totals as DRM free versions without Steam integration are on offer on sites such as GoG. 

Link - http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/

Second article contains an expanded top list - expanded to 100 games (page 2 of article)

Link - http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-addressing-your-questions-and-concerns/

Monday - January 06, 2014

Steam - Interview @ Washington Post

by Couchpotato, 04:38

The Washington Post has an interesting interview with Gabe Newell about Steam, and what makes Valve tick.

Valve is one of the most successful video game companies in the world. The firm's online game distribution and multi-player platform Steam has 65 million users. At next week's CES conference, the company will announce hardware partners for one of its most ambitious undertakings so far: a line of gaming console alternatives running on the company's linux-based Steam OS.

What makes Valve so successful? In November, I sat down with Valve CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell in the gaming company's Bellevue office for a feature story. Newell argues that attracting and retaining talented programmers and designers is key to the firm's success, and explained the company's strategy for doing that. This interview, the first of a two-part series, has been lightly edited for length.

Saturday - January 04, 2014

Steam - DDoS Attacks by Troll Group

by Couchpotato, 23:36

Steam was attacked by a trolling group who keeps DDoSing the service. It seems they are attacking other sites also, and Arstechnica has the news on what's happening.

The servers for Steam, Origin, Battle.net, and League of Legends were brought down temporarily overnight by apparent DDoS attacks that seem to be related to a swatting attack on an individual known for streaming games. All of those services appear to be working normally as of this writing.

A hacker group going by the handle DERP Trolling claimed responsibility for the Origin attack on Twitter, saying it used a "Ion Cannon" DDoS tool it's calling the "Gaben Laser Beam," after Valve founder Gabe Newell. DERP claimed responsibility for similar attacks on Battle.net, League of Legends, World of Tanks, EA.com, and more earlier this week. Meanwhile, a pair of Twitter users are claiming responsibility for last night's attack on Steam.

All of these efforts to take down various games and platforms seem to be related to a swatting attack directed at YouTube user PhantomL0rd. A thread on reddit lays out how those attacks advanced from targeting the games PhantomL0rd was playing (and monetizing through ads) to more personal harassment after his address and details were released online. In a recent stream, PhantomL0rd reported on being handcuffed after having police called to his address.

DERP, for its part, denies being part of these more personal attacks on PhantomL0rd. The group's Twitter includes a phone number where users can apparently call or text in requests for sites to be targeted by these DDoS attacks, suggesting that it may be simply pointing its software at locations suggested by others.

Thank you jhwisner for sending in the link.Wink

Information about

Steam

Homepage
Country: Unknown