Valve once again will be making some pretty big changes to the Steam Store. This new update will include a visual refresh for the home page, additional left column navigation, friends activity, and much more. These new changes were announced by Valve on the SteamWorks forums. While these forums are private we managed to get the general highlights of the upcoming update.
“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”
Home Page Visual Refresh.
The Steam home page will be getting a visual refresh to use bigger game images in some places, add some new ways of surfacing games, and remove some visual clutter.
Additional Left Column Navigation.
The left column of navigation on the home page will be getting a new section of links to main destinations such as new releases, top sellers, recently updated, upcoming releases, and specials. When logged in, there will also be links to sections for you such as popular among friends, recommendations by curators you follow, and your discovery queue.
We’re adding a prominent new ‘Popular Among Friends’ section right to the home page that will highlight what your friends have been buying and playing.
Top Selling New Releases.
We’re adding a new section to the home page for new releases that have reached the top sellers list.
Global Customer Preferences.
We’re adding some new options for users to specify their preferences for which product types they wish to see across the entire home page, rather than managing each section individually. This will let customers opt to exclude particular types of products, such as Early Access, Software, Videos, and VR from appearing on their Steam home page and on a couple other browse pages.
Targeted Visibility For New Releases.
We’ll be making some changes to the initial launch visibility of new titles to better reach appropriate customers. While we previously granted 1M impressions of each new titles on the home page, this approach was not scaling well and was an inefficient method for reaching the right potential customers. Click-through rates for most titles featured in this section were low, and it had become clear that not every new release is relevant to every user. We think we can do better.
With the upcoming changes, newly released titles will appear in a few different ways on the “New on Steam” page and in the “New on Steam” Queue. The goal is to reach a more engaged group of customers, and drive more relevant traffic directly to your store page. This change should result in your title appearing to a smaller, but better targeted group of potential customers based on their preferences and tastes. New releases will continue to be recommended to specific users on the Steam Home page and can appear in popular lists if doing well.
Targeted Visibility For Game Updates.
Update Visibility Rounds will be changed to show your game to a better targeted group of customers. While Update Rounds previously caused a game to appear for 500,000 impressions on the home page, we found this method to be too broad for effectively reaching interested customers. We’ll be changing this system to instead show the game to a more targeted group of customers. This will include your existing customers, users with the game on their wishlist, and other customers that Steam recommends the game to. This visibility will continue to be on the Steam home page and may show your title for up to a week in this spot.
More Steam Curator Options.
We’ve noticed that more than a few Steam Curators are using the curator feature to provide valuable information about games, while not necessarily recommending the title. We’re going to give Steam Curators the tools to indicate whether their post is recommended, not recommended, or simply informational. This helps us better understand whether a curation should be used to promote a game on the front page of Steam, or if it’s intended to be informational that should primarily appear on the individual product page.
Curators in Main Capsule.
The Main Capsule banner will be updated to include titles recommended by Steam Curators that users follow. This means we can better surface appropriate titles to individual users based on who they follow and trust to make recommendations.
Improved Steam Curator Presence.
When following one or more Steam Curators, users will see a specific section on the home page that highlights recent recommendations. This space can include popular new releases or smaller niche titles depending on which curators the user is following. This section is being improved to show off the games in a better way. Additionally, we’re creating a new landing page to highlight many of the titles recommended by all the Curators the user follows.
“We’re actively working on this set of features, and planning to roll out the update in a few weeks. We’re looking for your feedback on these changes and your suggestions for how we can best connect your game with the customers most likely to enjoy it”.
What do you think about the upcoming updates to Steam? Let us know in the comments!