Steam will undergo yet another tweak to its curation systems in an effort to ensure that better quality titles get the exposure they deserve.
Having played about with its user reviews policies last year, Kotaku reports that Valve has told YouTubers including Jim Sterling and John Bain that the company wants to implement a system whereby titles that are ‘asset rips’ (unoriginal titles that cut and paste a basic game design and dress it up with cheap or often free visual assets) are largely hidden from view.
Valve refers to these titles as ‘fake games’.
Harking back to its Curator system, the lynchpin of this new idea will once again be volunteers, or Steam Explorers, as they will be called. These people will wade through low selling titles in the hope of finding something that perhaps should be getting more attention than it has been. Said games will then be highlighted on the Steam homepage, as per a flagging algorithm.
In the same way that anyone can be a Curator, any Steam users will also be able to act as an Explorer.
Valve also apparently confirmed that many ‘fake games’ make their money off the Steam Trading Card system, so that’s going to be revisited too.
Curators themselves are also getting an overhaul, with the addition of embedded videos and Top Ten lists. Also in consideration is the ability to track how Curation impacts sales, and possible financial rewards for those who help titles to succeed.
This latter point seems to beg a few questions, however. If Curators are incentivised to boost sales, then that seems a little incompatible with a system designed to root out bad games. Valve will also be criticised for once again relying on select members of its community to put in the legwork that many believe the company itself should be doing.
Here's Sterling’s take on it all: