SteamSpy looks to carry on with new algorithm

SteamSpy’s Sergey Galyonkin is looking into new options in order to keep popular Steam analytics service SteamSpy up and running. This comes after changes by Valve to its privacy defaults last week resulting in Galyonkin declaring on Twitter that the site "won’t be able to operate anymore." Resulting in much wailing from the press, ourselves included.

Well, it now looks as though that initially reaction was just that. With a bit of time to explore over avenues, Galyonkin has declared that he’s experimenting with a new machine-learning algorithm to try and get a reasonably accurate figure for ownership of a specific game without the full data set he was working on before.

"Frostpunk devs just announced that the game sold 250,000 copies and the new algorithm estimated it at 252,000 copies." Which sounds very promising, but then there are some serious outliers he reports as well. At present though 90 per cent of titles are sitting within SteamSpy’s old 10 per cent margin of error.

That all sounds pretty promising, but a lot of the graphs and data are still unavailable publicly as Galyonkin works with the new model. And some of the ranges for predicted ownership are far wider than before.

Even if the service can’t provide the same accuracy as before, it will still prove essential for anyone developing titles for independent release on Steam. As we stated before, the idea of Steam going dark to the industry as a whole is one that could have a hugely negative effect on the PC games market, generating massive uncertainty for those launching games on the now famously uncommunicative platform.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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