Steam store getting a facelift as Valve prepares devs for visibility changes

Steam Store

Steam’s somewhat cluttered homepage will be getting a much-needed visual refresh in the next few weeks as Valve are preparing to roll out a series of changes to the store.

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In an announcement made this morning to Steamworks developers (and dutifully dug out by the GAF) Valve detailed changes coming to the Steam store in order to improve the way the marketplace caters to individual tastes, as they did with the last update, the discovery queue.

This involves a complete refresh of the front page, reducing clutter and adding a left-hand navigation column which will include links to personalised areas such as the discovery queue, followed curators and a new friends activity section.

The friends activity will show you what games your pals are buying allowing you to become and ever more efficient capitalist lemming, along with another section for top selling new releases.

You will also now be able to set global preferences that apply across all parts of the store as to what genres you’re interested or completely not interested in. For the vast majority of us I imagine that means we can finally stop seeing free-to-play MOBA-likes and anime visual novels in the recommendations carousel. You can also hide VR or Early Acccess or non-game things like videos or software tools if you’re just here for the good stuff.

Many of the changes also aim to improve targeted visibility of new games and updated games, the former appearing only to appropriate potential customers and the latter to people who own the game already, which makes a lot of sense and only raises questions as to why none of this was happening already.

Finally, curators are getting another looking at considering their flat landing after introduction two years ago. Curators no longer automatically recommend games they feature, as they are given the option of recommending,not recommending and just giving information about titles they curate.

Valve will now use these grades of curation to better decide which curators to stick next to the game or, in another change, in the main capsule banner of a customer’s homepage personally providing purchasing advice to those who want it. A major improvement over occasionally appearing in a thin strip between several other massive main page modules, I’m sure.