Valve releases the Steam Discovery update 2.0, which is designed to be 'smarter,' 'more informative,' and offer users better and more personalized game recommendations.
As popular PC gaming platform Steam continues to grown in popularity, Valve, the company behind it, has had to make some significant changes. For example, Valve previously rolled out the Steam Discovery update, which hoped to deliver better recommendations in order to help gamers sift through the overwhelming amount of titles that are released on the platform each year.
Two years on from the original Discovery update, it's now time for Steam Discovery 2.0, as Valve is calling it. The update has officially been made available to users, following a recent leak detailed the Steam Store's new UI. Valve says that the new Steam Store is "smarter" and "more informative," with a Highlights section that will explain why a game was recommended (e.g 'because you recently browsed these tags') and who recommended it. The new and improved Highlights section even uses "new logic" to suggest games based on the user's playtime, what their friends recommend, what curators the user follows, and "more."
Other new introductions to Steam include the "recently viewed" list for quick access to games that the user has recently been browsing, "direct links to common destinations," a "friends activity" bar (users can see what friends are playing and easily buy the same game), and the ability to personalize the homepage too (add a game to the wishlist/click 'not interest' right from the homepage.)
There also seems to be a bigger space for offers, the updated games list now is "personalized' to only include games in the library or on a user's wishlist and Steam curators' recommendations and reviews are now available with a "clickable preview." Even the game lists have been given an overhaul; the top sellers, popular new releases, upcoming and specials lists do not include games that a user has said they're 'not interested' in as well as games that they already own, which will certainly be helpful if they're one of the millions of people who already own Grand Theft Auto 5.
An additional change that some may notice is that Valve has set guidelines that require developers to feature screenshots of content "that a player could realistically experience for themselves in the final game" on their store pages. In a move that some believe is inspired by the No Man's Sky advertising controversy, Valve wants developers to avoid using things like concept art, pre-rendered stills, or images that contain product descriptions/awards/marketing copy.
The new screenshot guidelines may be the least apparent part of the Steam Discovery 2.0 update, but like the rest of the new features, it should go a long way to helping gamers buy the things they really want.