Steam Curators: What’s that then?

You may remember that a few weeks back I wrote a largely speculative article about what to expect from some upcoming changes to Steam. It seems that I was pretty much spot on about what to expect from “Steam Curators”, although I was wrong on one crucial detail: Valve aren’t offering curators any commission in return for their work.

Bit of a shame for me, since I was quite keen on the idea of getting affiliate commission from Steam like I do most other major digital distribution outlets, but perhaps Valve realised that many people would be happy to curate their storefront for free. Or maybe some kind of commission structure is still in the pipeline.

What does this mean for you? Well that depends. Essentially Valve have replaced the old Steam front page with a new one. The new one will be tailored to you specifically, rather than being one front page for all customers. The new storefront picks which games to display based on games you have already bought and played, and recommendations pulled in from “Curators”, Steam users that collate lists of recommended games.

To improve the recommendations you receive, you can opt to follow a curator, and then the recommendation engine will pull titles from their recommended lists.

There’s a couple of issues I have with this system. There’s seemingly no mechanism in place whatsoever to prevent under the table payola arrangements between publishers and curators. I suppose this has been the case prior to Steam Curators, but there’s pretty big scope for abuse here. I also worry whether this system will be good for getting unappreciated games exposure, or will it just end up favouring games from established developers with a marketing budget?

Overall though, I think it’s a step in the right direction. Like many Steam features, it’s launched in an imperfect state, but I’m sure it will improve over time.

If you’d like to receive recommendations from SavyGamer on your Steam front page you can follow us here.

I’m planning to meticulously curate the store, I’ve already completed my first pass of going through the entire Steam catalogue and picking out my favourites, but I’ve probably missed out some obvious games. I’ll be sure to keep it updated as interesting new releases get added to Steam.

6 Comments Leave yours

  1. DGan1x #

    Interesting that they seem to have pulled the metacritic ratings from the specials section. Now it’s just user score.

    • Matze #

      Just install Enhanced Steam in your browser – Live price comparison via isthereanydeal.com, marking of your owned/wishlisted titles, and Metacritic reviewer + user ratings on every game.

      This small subset of features alone makes the (free) extension so extremely good that you will *never* want to browse *anything* Steam related through the Steam client ever again.

  2. chrisj #

    OT, but http://savygamer.co.uk/category/deals/pc/ currently doesn’t include any of the offers since 23 Sept – tagging problem? (Since they’re turning up on the front page you’re obviously putting stuff up :)

    • Lewie Procter #

      Hmm not sure what could be causing this. That page appears fully up to date on my end.

      Hmmmm.

      • chrisj #

        Now fine again here, too. It might just have been Firefox being odd, then, though it did last a few days (and through a couple of reboots) or I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Weird.

        • Lewie Procter #

          I did tweak with some things actually. Glad to hear it’s fixed for you, let me know if it happens again.

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