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Valve has an entirely new recommendation system in the works for Steam

July 11, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

Valve has a number of changes to the Steam Store in the works that all aim to accomplish one major goal: connect the right customers with the right games.

Speaking at Unite Europe, Valve's Alden Kroll dove into exactly what the company is doing to make this possible, and how developers will ultimately be the ones reaping the benefits of each tweak. 

As the company has said in the past, reworking how its platform decides which games to recommend to which players could fix a big chunk of the discoverability dead zone many game developers encounter on Steam. 

“A small group of people from valve are not the ones dictating which games show up to all customers because we don’t think that’s the way to serve all customers,” said Kroll. ”So the approach we’re taking is to give customers the tools they need to be able to customize and personalize their store.”

These basic features begin with new sorting and filtering options and settings that allow people to directly highlight the kinds of games that they either do or don’t enjoy.

But beyond just that, Valve is in the process of completely rewriting a replacement for its existing automatic recommendation system. When complete, the new system should be able to examine a player’s library and individual playtimes to individually curate game recommendations based on their actual interests and gameplay habits. 

As Kroll explains, this means that the games the algorithm puts in front of players are more likely to be a better fit, ultimately boosting the chance a recommendation has to result in a purchase.

At the same time, Valve has a handful of changes for Steam’s existing discoverability features in the works. Part of this is an expansion of the Steam Curators section of the platform that brings live streams, video reviews, and other curator-created content to the forefront of the section.

There’s a number of other changes coming to Steam detailed in the video above, including closer looks at the new recommendation system and some of the changes coming to both Steam’s curator program and its built-in user reviews. 

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