Discovery remains one of Steam’s most significant unsolved puzzles.
With the huge number of games hitting the service every week, the ability for potential buyers to find content relevant to them is crucial. Valve still believes its Curator program, which sees users following other users who maintain a list of recommended titles, can be a key factor in navigating this particular maze.
As a result, the company has announced a raft of upcoming changes.
Curator recommendations will be given more prominence, appearing not only in a store page feed but also at the top of tag and genre pages. Video embedding will also be added, both on a Curator’s page and sometimes alongside the recommendations. More lists will come, too, in the form of recommended and top Curators charts.
Curators themselves will be given the chance to create topical lists of titles, and to further personalise their pages with custom backgrounds. They will also be able to access graphs to see how and if their recommendations shape the buying habits of followers.
Developers will be given a better selection of Curator search tools. Furthermore, they will then be able to send titles directly to Curators. Curators will be able to access lists of titles sent to them and be given the choice to accept or decline. An accepted title will automatically appear in their library.
A closed beta involving a number of Curators has already kicked off.
“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,” Valve said.
“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.”