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It does what it says on the tin: Steam’s big update is already helping indies get discovered


With the constant stream of new releases, Early Access games and Greenlight guff, it’s hard to get noticed on Steam. But for most developers, getting their game on the platform is key. While the Steam Discovery update is still in its infancy, and we’re all still playing around with it, getting our bearings, it’s already having a positive impact for some developers. 

Insurgency, based on the Half-Life mod, has been on Steam for a year, and developer New World Interactive relies on social media and word of mouth to generate interest in the game. According to creative director Andrew Spearin, store page visits have risen significantly, along with sales. 

“Since the update yesterday, we’ve added more than 3,000 members to the official game group, presumably from people clicking the Follow button on the Store page,” Spearin writes on his blog. “We’re gaining around 100 members per hour.”

That’s over 3000 more people getting updates on the game; 3000 more people that the developer can communicate with. Even with an indie game that’s already hit 400,000 in sales, that seems like a considerable number.

Spearin also notes that store page visits jumped from 5,800 on Sunday to 21,500 on Monday, after the update. Yesterday it rose to 82,284. Sales also rose beyond what was normal for a Monday.

He’s not certain what effect Curators have had on this number, though. 94 Curators, including TotalBiscuit, who is the most popular of them all at the moment, recommend the game, but Spearin reckons that its the recommendation system on the front page that’s helped the most.

That’s the system that spies on you and your pals and then generates a list of games that you might like based on that history. Since I just looked at the Insurgency page, I’m now seeing things like Red Orchestra 2 and Counter-Strike in my recommendations.

While Curators might not have had the same impact in the case of Insurgency, Spearin says that the list represents “high priority targets” for marketing efforts. “We now need those top Curator recommendations. They represent a potential new audience to reach that is already a few clicks away from purchase.”

How have you lovely lot been finding the new version of Steam? Has it been helping you find games with greater ease?

And remember, you can follow PCGamesN’s Curator page as well. I’ve got my own one too, simply because it’s the closest I’ll ever come to being the curator of a museum, which would just be the best thing.