In the past couple of years, Valve released two major Steam Discovery updates to connect users with games that they would likely be interested in playing.
According to the company’s UI designer Alden Kroll, the Steam Discovery updates have produced remarkable results. Last year, there was an increment of 46 percent in the number of games shown to users through the Discovery window. This also meant a larger coverage of smaller indie titles that would otherwise be hidden under the mountain of games available on Steam.
More interestingly, the chance that someone would buy a game after coming across it through the Discovery queue increased by 27 percent. This in turn also resulted in a higher number of hours being invested in game-time, as well as an increase in the number of games generating revenue.
The metric used to determine success is a game earning at least $200,000 within three months. According to the developer, more and more titles are achieving this milestone every year. This does not only include bigger, blockbuster games but also offerings from indie developers.
Kroll exclaimed that the positive results are a testament to how Valve has improved Steam Discovery in the past couple of years. A unique algorithm takes into account multiple factors to determine what games to show a user. This includes the games being played by their friends, previous “behavioral inputs” such as showing interest in similar products or adding them to the wish-list, and others.
“Additionally, we’ve provided customers with much-requested tools to filter out the types of games they’re not interested in,” added Kroll. “This filtering, combined with improvements to game featuring, has made the store dramatically more relevant for each customer.”
As such, Valve has more improvements in mind for Steam Discovery. These will be released when the time is right. For now, Valve is content with the current status of the queue.