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PCGamer: Steam's Discovery update is making things worse for some indie developers

Oct 25, 2017
4,662
Conflicts of interest don't discredit, but they definitely reduce the validity of the site's editorial conclusions. That isn't a "conspieacy theory," it's one of the basic tenets of journalism.
Honestly... What have anything to do with this news. Was PC Gamer also biased when they reported than one dev that refused Epic's deal? Or that was a totally noteworthy news compared to this one? Are they lying on this? Reporting something inaccurate? Why they shouldn't report on this but they should totally report about that one dev that refused Epic's deal?
 

Schlorgan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,927
Bountiful, Utah
Honestly... What have anything to do with this news. Was PC Gamer also biased when they reported than one dev that refused Epic's deal? Or that was a totally noteworthy news compared to this one? Are they lying on this? Reporting something inaccurate? Why they shouldn't report on this but they should totally report about that one dev that refused Epic's deal?
Schrodinger's Conflict of Interest.
 

Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
7,802
The fact that people are getting so trigged by game store is just immature. You ether like it or you don’t simple. People treating death or hacking someone’s home is just wrong and should be banned permanently from this site have the cops called
Yeah lets not use the word "triggered" so flippantly like that. No reason for it.
Honestly... What have anything to do with this news. Was PC Gamer also biased when they reported than one dev that refused Epic's deal? Or that was a totally noteworthy news compared to this one? Are they lying on this? Reporting something inaccurate? Why they shouldn't report on this but they should totally report about that one dev that refused Epic's deal?
Reporting on something is different to taking an editorial stance on something, and by both commenting on the situation directly:

My own recommendations are as random as they've ever been, though that's not surprising given that I've got nearly 1,000 games in my library. It's a diverse selection, I guess, at least in terms of genre, but they're almost exclusively well-known games, and the closest things to an unreleased indie game is Risk of Rain 2. The bottom of the homepage, meanwhile, recommends the massively popular Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Gears 5 and House Flipper because of my interest in stealth.
and by barely commenting on the 'other side' of the matter, PC Gamer has definitely taken an editorial stance on the matter. The article isn't called "The update has had varying levels of success for different indie developers," (which is true and represents the whole situation) it's called "this update is making things worse for some," (which is true and only represents a small part of the situation) and that, to me, is a less-than-impartial reporting of the news.

Schrodinger's Conflict of Interest.
Why not reply to me directly instead of someone who agrees with you? I was gonna see this snarky post either way lol

Two people have had speaking privileges taken away.

One called me subhuman.
The other was that one.
When did Alexandros call you subhuman? Not that I'm disagreeing with you but if you're gonna make that accusation then some extra info is really needed because there's nothing in the thread where you said it that implies such a disgusting comment.
 

eonden

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,975
Actually three, you are already losing count.
I dont think nitpicking is the best thing. And again, now that he is not a mod, you have the option to add him to your ignore list if you dont want to see his posts.

When did Alexandros call you subhuman? Not that I'm disagreeing with you but if you're gonna make that accusation then some extra info is really needed because there's nothing in the thread where you said it that implies such a disgusting comment.
I think it is fair not to remember all the instances you say something that comes from inside you very personally.

Edit: also seriously, lets move away from this derail.
 

Komo

Member
Jan 3, 2019
3,721
Why would you post something like this?
Because I've had to experience them do it. PCGamer clickbaits a lot of their articles I mean they've got many many fortnite articles on their site. EGS sponsored their entire show.

They want to push a narrative to discredit any of the complaints in the article.
There's no narrative I just don't see PCGamer as a unbiased source, they took money from EGS and that's simple. Just because I talked against a outlet doesn't mean I'm trying to push something.

Conflicts of interest don't discredit, but they definitely reduce the validity of the site's editorial conclusions. That isn't a "conspieacy theory," it's one of the basic tenets of journalism.
Lol thank you for understanding. I never meant to discredit their site, but if they push hit pieces against Steam with misinformation in the article it should be known they were paid by Epic multiple times to promote fortnite, and had Epic even sponsor their entire Show this year. I should mention sure they have been sponsored before by AMD for that show, and as a result I do not use them for GPU nor CPU reviews as they wouldn't be unbiased in their reviews.
 

Exzyleph

Member
Oct 25, 2017
606
People are trying to find the perfect way for Steam to help developers, and no such thing exists. As has been pointed out, it's a zero-sum game, with someone always losing. So, move away from Steam as the central tool by which new games are found in the PC ecosystem.
Moving away from discovery on Steam won't solve the problem either.
Countless books fall through the cracks despite sites like GoodReads, simply because there are more and more authors putting out more and more works. The barrier to entry for authors was greatly lowered thanks to easy self-publication via sites like Amazon, much like what we are seeing for indie games these last few years, and the result was pretty much the same as today. Nobody can keep up, not individual websites, and not the audience. That said, I'd still love to have an equivalent of GoodReads for games.


Two people have had speaking privileges taken away.

One called me subhuman.
The other was that one.
 

Parsnip

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,267
Finland
User Banned (3 days): antagonizing other users over a series of posts
I dont think nitpicking is the best thing. And again, now that he is not a mod, you have the option to add him to your ignore list if you dont want to see his posts.
As a former mod he should be very familiar with the forum functions as well and use the ignore feature instead of being all don't @ me bro.
 

kylecoley182

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,252
User Banned (3 days): trolling
Yeah lets not use the word "triggered" so flippantly like that. No reason for it.


Reporting on something is different to taking an editorial stance on something, and by both commenting on the situation directly:



and by barely commenting on the 'other side' of the matter, PC Gamer has definitely taken an editorial stance on the matter. The article isn't called "The update has had varying levels of success for different indie developers," (which is true and represents the whole situation) it's called "this update is making things worse for some," (which is true and only represents a small part of the situation) and that, to me, is a less-than-impartial reporting of the news.



Why not reply to me directly instead of someone who agrees with you? I was gonna see this snarky post either way lol



When did Alexandros call you subhuman? Not that I'm disagreeing with you but if you're gonna make that accusation then some extra info is really needed because there's nothing in the thread where you said it that implies such a disgusting comment.
People are being trigged it’s a fact
 

Absolute

Member
Nov 6, 2017
906
Attacking the community seems to have derailed the thread. What a shock! We need to be better.

Given the huge amount games on Steam it seems like a hard task to make sure everyone gets equal exposure and relative success.

I think other stores need to pick up the slack here and give exposure to these devs that are struggling on Steam. The onus to solve this issue shouldn’t rest solely on Valve. The PC market as a whole is much bigger than Steam.
 

Tain

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,055
Well, yes, but how do we actually do that? There are thousands of creators and a very finite budget of user attention. This is not really a solvable problem. No matter what you do, there are going to be more games that don’t succeed than do.
it's only an unsolvable problem when limited to the scope of the market. I'm taking about how anybody interested in supporting small creatives should push for broader leftist policy so that works don't HAVE to be smash hits.
 
Anonymous Steamworks Dev offers thoughts
OP
OP

Deleted member 42

user requested account closure
Banned
Oct 24, 2017
16,939
To try to get things back on track - an anonymous dev with Steamworks access saw I was curious about what was going on, and was kind enough to look into it a little bit and reach out!

Note: This is obviously from the dev's perspective themselves, but I trust them. They asked to be anonymous, so that they will be!

Main concern from devs on the blogpost seems to be tied to the "More Like This" carousel pointing to more popular/AAA games (though the devs on the blogpost seem to be considering Blaphemous as popular/AAA, which would be odd).
Some devs noted that the More Like This carousel was just showing all of their old games as well

The dev who reached out noted that their "More Like This" carousel looked properly relevant in terms of games being shown to them. They posited that it may make some type of algorithmic sense for Valve to show more popular games/games people are more willing to click through, since clicking through can mean more sales, and the popular games have 'something' that grabs their hooks. They weren't certain of this, however. It's a tough cookie to crack!

Harshest criticisms on the Steamworks page seem to come from devs who have unreleased games coming. The dev noted that it seems devs who haven't released a game on Steam ever are being hit the hardest - which makes algorithmic sense, as that's a good way to cut out the chaff/potential clutter.

Last bit: The dev also took the time to click through to look at some of the dev's games, and while they weren't asset grabs/cluttered junk, they noted that they were mostly games that wouldn't pop up in the hidden gems list, be talked about much on Era, etc. They're the kind of games that launch at a low price, don't break into new/trending, and tend to show up in PC game bundles.
 

eonden

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,975
it's only an unsolvable problem when limited to the scope of capital. I'm taking about how anybody interested in supporting small creatives should push for broader leftist policy.
Yeah, UBI would greatly benefit the arts, as it would remove the pressure of selling out / making money and lead to more abstract work.

To try to get things back on track - an anonymous dev with Steamworks access saw I was curious about what was going on, and was kind enough to look into it a little bit and reach out!

Note: This is obviously from the dev's perspective themselves, but I trust them. They asked to be anonymous, so that they will be!

Main concern from devs on the blogpost seems to be tied to the "More Like This" carousel pointing to more popular/AAA games (though the devs on the blogpost seem to be considering Blaphemous as popular/AAA, which would be odd).
Some devs noted that the More Like This carousel was just showing all of their old games as well

The dev who reached out noted that their "More Like This" carousel looked properly relevant in terms of games being shown to them. They posited that it may make some type of algorithmic sense for Valve to show more popular games/games people are more willing to click through, since clicking through can mean more sales, and the popular games have 'something' that grabs their hooks. They weren't certain of this, however. It's a tough cookie to crack!

Harshest criticisms on the Steamworks page seem to come from devs who have unreleased games coming. The dev noted that it seems devs who haven't released a game on Steam ever are being hit the hardest - which makes algorithmic sense, as that's a good way to cut out the chaff/potential clutter.

Last bit: The dev also took the time to click through to look at some of the dev's games, and while they weren't asset grabs/cluttered junk, they noted that they were mostly games that wouldn't pop up in the hidden gems list, be talked about much on Era, etc. They're the kind of games that launch at a low price, don't break into new/trending, and tend to show up in PC game bundles.
Thanks you and anonymous dev. Blasphemous is a popular game (really sold a lot irrc), but yeah it is hard to say not to push small indiesl ike it too. And yeah, the upcoming thing is the problem for me, although as Wok mentioned, it is hard to find a way to make them work (due to smaller pool of data).
 

spam musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,111
it's only an unsolvable problem when limited to the scope of the market. I'm taking about how anybody interested in supporting small creatives should push for broader leftist policy.
Yeah, UBI would greatly benefit the arts, as it would remove the pressure of selling out / making money and lead to more abstract work.
Right, but that's not within the scope of steam to solve. So doesn't really contribute to the point here.

To try to get things back on track - an anonymous dev with Steamworks access saw I was curious about what was going on, and was kind enough to look into it a little bit and reach out!

Note: This is obviously from the dev's perspective themselves, but I trust them. They asked to be anonymous, so that they will be!

Main concern from devs on the blogpost seems to be tied to the "More Like This" carousel pointing to more popular/AAA games (though the devs on the blogpost seem to be considering Blaphemous as popular/AAA, which would be odd).
Some devs noted that the More Like This carousel was just showing all of their old games as well

The dev who reached out noted that their "More Like This" carousel looked properly relevant in terms of games being shown to them. They posited that it may make some type of algorithmic sense for Valve to show more popular games/games people are more willing to click through, since clicking through can mean more sales, and the popular games have 'something' that grabs their hooks. They weren't certain of this, however. It's a tough cookie to crack!

Harshest criticisms on the Steamworks page seem to come from devs who have unreleased games coming. The dev noted that it seems devs who haven't released a game on Steam ever are being hit the hardest - which makes algorithmic sense, as that's a good way to cut out the chaff/potential clutter.

Last bit: The dev also took the time to click through to look at some of the dev's games, and while they weren't asset grabs/cluttered junk, they noted that they were mostly games that wouldn't pop up in the hidden gems list, be talked about much on Era, etc. They're the kind of games that launch at a low price, don't break into new/trending, and tend to show up in PC game bundles.
I think it's pretty reasonable to have recommendations be geared to things you can actually buy/play right now, so excluding upcoming titles makes some sense. Also, you can't really judge the quality/tags/whatever of an upcoming game reliably, so it's not a strong recommendation.
 

Alexandros

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,755
I think it's pretty reasonable to have recommendations be geared to things you can actually buy/play right now, so excluding upcoming titles makes some sense. Also, you can't really judge the quality/tags/whatever of an upcoming game reliably, so it's not a strong recommendation.
Agreed, putting the focus on games that you can buy right away makes a lot of sense.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,662
To try to get things back on track - an anonymous dev with Steamworks access saw I was curious about what was going on, and was kind enough to look into it a little bit and reach out!

Note: This is obviously from the dev's perspective themselves, but I trust them. They asked to be anonymous, so that they will be!

Main concern from devs on the blogpost seems to be tied to the "More Like This" carousel pointing to more popular/AAA games (though the devs on the blogpost seem to be considering Blaphemous as popular/AAA, which would be odd).
Some devs noted that the More Like This carousel was just showing all of their old games as well

The dev who reached out noted that their "More Like This" carousel looked properly relevant in terms of games being shown to them. They posited that it may make some type of algorithmic sense for Valve to show more popular games/games people are more willing to click through, since clicking through can mean more sales, and the popular games have 'something' that grabs their hooks. They weren't certain of this, however. It's a tough cookie to crack!

Harshest criticisms on the Steamworks page seem to come from devs who have unreleased games coming. The dev noted that it seems devs who haven't released a game on Steam ever are being hit the hardest - which makes algorithmic sense, as that's a good way to cut out the chaff/potential clutter.

Last bit: The dev also took the time to click through to look at some of the dev's games, and while they weren't asset grabs/cluttered junk, they noted that they were mostly games that wouldn't pop up in the hidden gems list, be talked about much on Era, etc. They're the kind of games that launch at a low price, don't break into new/trending, and tend to show up in PC game bundles.
1) My personal take if that's how is the algorithm working: I maintain the theory this change was made to please Steam bigger players to entince them to stay on Steam. I think we cannot be longer think about Valve decisions on isolation and that they are taking steps to fight back at EGS and other competitors.

2) Focusing on released games is the right thing if they want user revenue spending to raise. They probably saw that lots of games that get wishlisted way before release doesn't end in a sale.
 

Teeth

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,414
1) My personal take if that's how is the algorithm working: I maintain the theory this change was made to please Steam bigger players to entince them to stay on Steam. I think we cannot be longer think about Valve decisions on isolation and that they are taking steps to fight back at EGS and other competitors.

2) Focusing on released games is the right thing if they want user revenue spending to raise. They probably saw that lots of games that get wishlisted way before release doesn't end in a sale.
It's definitely possible that Valve is trying to appease the major players, but I also wonder if Valve is doing it to....not "save their store" but to look long term.

Valve may be looking at what gets people to come to the store in the first place; how large is the audience of people who search out underserved indie games? Not the Blasphemous/Binding of Isaac/Green Hell/Rimworld tier, but two or three steps below that? I would posit that that audience is small, but the lower tier games receive some sort of knock-on effect from the popularity of the huge games.

Basically, Valve may be looking towards being a hit-maker again, in hopes that it will have a waterfall effect on other games on the platform. They may be looking towards that because they are seeing the writing on the wall with regards to major publishers; EA is gone, Ubisoft is gone, Rockstar is probably on their way out now, Bethesda already tried to leave, so they've shown they'd be willing to. Activision is half gone. Once the Japanese publishers start doing their own thing (and it's only a matter of time), then well, it's down to major indies.

They may be looking at it as a cascading problem - with no major hits produced externally (ie through major pub marketing spend), there are less casual eyes on the store, which makes less people inclined to casually browse, which shrinks the market (or disperses it across multiple other avenues, such as subscription services), which makes more AAA pubs less likely to see the point in being on Steam, which pulls more from the market, and so on. The cycle spirals downwards and instead of a single conglomerated source, the audience is much more comfortable buying things from multiple sources.

Which, with little to no AAA support, Steam basically becomes itchio.

So Valve may be trying to combat that by being kingmaker of AA and indie games. Route traffic to the most popular games, which appear (or algorithmically) have the broadest appeal and make the store "relevant" for chatter. Big games make big games.
 

eonden

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,975
It's definitely possible that Valve is trying to appease the major players, but I also wonder if Valve is doing it to....not "save their store" but to look long term.

Valve may be looking at what gets people to come to the store in the first place; how large is the audience of people who search out underserved indie games? Not the Blasphemous/Binding of Isaac/Green Hell/Rimworld tier, but two or three steps below that? I would posit that that audience is small, but the lower tier games receive some sort of knock-on effect from the popularity of the huge games.

So Valve may be trying to combat that by being kingmaker of AA and indie games. Route traffic to the most popular games, which appear (or algorithmically) have the broadest appeal and make the store "relevant" for chatter. Big games make big games.
I think that is reading way too much into the algorithm changes. If we take their information about the 5% population focus group at face value, they saw also an increase of "unique games visited" by a big amount, which doesnt point out to a more focused stream of clicks into top heavy games, as well as that being the CORE IDEA OF THE ALGORITHM CHANGE (and also really noticeable, with less unrelated games being the recomendation).

About the "upcoming games" issue, I think it was just a byproduct of trying to put more emphasis on older games, which sadly had that focus and they didnt really notice, which is stupid and needs to be fixed somehow.
 

spam musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,111
I think that is reading way too much into the algorithm changes. If we take their information about the 5% population focus group at face value, they saw also an increase of "unique games visited" by a big amount, which doesnt point out to a more focused stream of clicks into top heavy games, as well as that being the CORE IDEA OF THE ALGORITHM CHANGE (and also really noticeable, with less unrelated games being the recomendation).

About the "upcoming games" issue, I think it was just a byproduct of trying to put more emphasis on older games, which sadly had that focus and they didnt really notice, which is stupid and needs to be fixed somehow.
You can always recommend an upcoming game when it comes out, better to focus recommendations on games you can actually buy. Purchase is a much better KPI than wishlist. It’s a win win situation.
 

Nome

Designer
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
2,611
NYC
I mean, it ensures longer term survival than buying exclusivity for one year. What are the long-tail (>1 year) sales going to be on Goose Game, if the number of games releasing on Steam continues at this pace? I can say that I'm going to wait for it to come out on Steam and buy it... but what happens if there's more interesting games that are more of a priority for me in a year's time?

Also, I wasn't talking "business tactics", I was talking just general survival. Clearly buying studios has to depend on each company's long-term plans, which is why Epic bought the Rocket League devs, but hasn't bought any other devs recently.
Buying a studio and paying for timed exclusivity are such different transactions in magnitude and objective that they’re only comparable to the least informed people. And again, no, it does not ensure longer term survival than an exclusivity contract.
 

Wok

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
2,701
France
Big games make big games.
Thank you for sharing.

While I doubt this concern has anything to do with the bug fixes mentioned in Valve's blog post, this is an interesting view, and an issue to tackle for Valve.

The more AAA games outside Steam, the lower the views for indie games, and the more worried the indie devs, which then backfires on Steam.
Automatic discovery tools bring AA games forward to alleviate the issue.
 

Pixieking

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,662
Hey I do my part.
My curator has 300+ reviews. All of them link to full 1000+ word write-ups with no memey bullshit*.
I'm well aware that the system is screwed, believe me. I used to write for one of the top 10 largest curators. They do a lot of scummy stuff to keep their spot.

*well maybe a little
Ah, yeah, sorry, I shouldn't have generalised. I think, to me, it's more accurate to say the system isn't very good, and that Curators needs to be integrated more into the buying and review experiences. But I'll also say I don't know how they'd do that. :/

Good suggestion. However, only Valve has the data required to do what Amazon does for books and movies. I would argue that Valve has even more data per user than Amazon, so the results should be even better.
Yeah, this is true.

Buying a studio and paying for timed exclusivity are such different transactions in magnitude and objective that they’re only comparable to the least informed people. And again, no, it does not ensure longer term survival than an exclusivity contract.

I mean, again, I wasn't comparing them, except in that I believe one is better than the other for a studios survival. So that bolded sentence is just arguing against a point I didn't make?

 

Leviathan

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,318
I have no desire to have more prime store real estate wasted on games that I can't buy and my interest in seeing indie games get top billing is minimal to non-existent.

Also, it's a PCGamer article about EGS, so...
 

YukiCT

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,032
Some of the changes sort of makes sense. Focusing on games that have released or near release rather than games that out far out there. There was also the thread about developers abusing the system for games that were completely far out and still charting so I think this addresses that as well.

Discovery is always going to be a challenge in a storefront with so many games. The recommendations are clearly having to go somewhere and unless we know specifically type of titles that are getting more or less recognition, it's hard to gauge whether it's more success or catastrophe but thus far, with the more released titles getting more increase tells me it's at least partially successful to what it set out to do but there also needs to be a balance to how far out the game can be for unreleased titles getting spotlight as well. When you've got titles releasing in 2020 with uncertain release dates most of them major titles, that doesn't seem fair at all.

Steam itself needs to change even despite the challenges of curation. They don't exactly make browsing easy with way too much waste space and large panels when you could get smaller, more meaningful information and packed without a lot of scrolling. Sections for indies on the main page giving lesser known titles spotlights.
 

Wok

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
2,701
France
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True Prophecy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,204
I feel it's too early to tell this sort of impact. And I mean PC Gamer presented Epic in their show as well as running ads for them since forever I find it hard to trust the validity of what they present honestly
 

bobnowhere

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,715
Elsewhere for 8 minutes
Hey I do my part.
My curator has 300+ reviews. All of them link to full 1000+ word write-ups with no memey bullshit*.
I'm well aware that the system is screwed, believe me. I used to write for one of the top 10 largest curators. They do a lot of scummy stuff to keep their spot.

*well maybe a little
A large number of curators with large follower counts 5k+ 10k+ etc... are just bot farms run the same few people to farm free games and then trade them on for others. I've been inside ones with more than 10k followers that in more than a year have generated less than 1 app view influenced per user. They even have less traffic in a year than mine that has a whopping 134 followers (around 60 views/follower). I don't know what devs see when they are looking at curators but follower count on it's own means nothing.
 

daxy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,093
Discovery is complicated and Valve is in a lose-lose situation whatever they do, because some views will come at the cost of others. I've been thinking about this topic a bit over the last few days because this stuff does interest me and rambling about it without being the actual person working on it is easy. Haven't read the thread all that much, so I'll probably be repeating what others have said already.

The most important question you can ask when looking at metrics, analyzing them and trying to change something for the better is: how do you define success? If Valve can see on their end that this change has been significantly increasing avg. views per game and increasing avg. unique games viewed per user, that's a net good -- assuming something didn't go haywire when implementating it store-wide. It's good for users/consumers, good for Valve and good for many developers. They managed to get more people to look at games but those views weren't limited to a select popular group of games. If success is defined purely as "more visibility for smaller games", it might not be achieving that, but I didn't see that said specifically in the announcement -- only more "diverse" games.

They talk about the recommendation streams ("more like this" and front page recommendations) being more personalized, so just thinking about it on a very simple level, it means that people see what they're already interested in. The increase in unique games viewed suggests as much. As we know, a lot of people are pretty basic. They're probably not going to be interested in super niche stuff. Niche is niche after all. And people who like niche tend to seek out niche already, so the gains from that audience would likely be minimal.

What is odd then is that supposedly wishlist adds are dropping for certain games. If we believe that popular games are now surfaced less than before, perhaps the games shown are still popular but just less of the mega hits like Monster Hunter or Hollow Knight. So the previous algorithm did surface comparatively niche games more regularly even though Valve said it was biased toward popular games. My guess is that the new algorithm quite likely shows you more diverse games, but that doesn't mean it shows more niche games to a person who isn't already interested in niche since we're to believe the new system is more personally tailored.

I think Wok who said earlier that a possible reason why upcoming games are shown less is because they don't yet have enough tags that will get them in the eyes of people those games might be targeted at. That is possibly an unintentional side effect. Together with what Valve put out in the annoucement, tags seem very important. If part of the algorithm is also based on people with similar tastes as you having played it (e.g. based on library similarity and narrowed down by occurance of tags), it can't feed that data into the recommendations. In addition to that, not all tags are created equal as we know. I'm sure this isn't an original idea and hopefully it was taken into account, but stuff like "action", "shooter" and "adventure" inherently come up a lot more than "visual novel" or even "platformer". There's possible bias resulting from that. Assuming people already view "basic" genre games more often than niche ones and so also games with common tags (i.e not niche) more often than those without, "more like this" will just do what it says. If this is even remotely how it works, these two factors just feed into each other to show you a lot of similar stuff that you probably like, even if the selection is more "diverse".

It can't recommend something out of left field. But maybe it did before and that's why some devs see lower traffic. Coupled with the front page recommendation steam being more personalized, if we assume that personization (aside from very popular games being shown less) means less randomness, you can expect games shown to start gravitating toward those with the most common tags. I would expect there to be measures to avoid that from happening such as tag weighting (tricky) or recommending games that, while related to whatever you're viewing, are a few steps removed from what you're looking at.
 
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Gentlemen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,104
Ten days later and more reports of indie devs getting negatively impacted are rolling into the dev forums


Report of wildly fluctuating daily rev