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Indie developers are reportedly seeing their revenue plummet due to Steam recommendation...

By Polycount
Dec 4, 2018
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  1. One such developer, Jake Birkett (@GreyAlien on Twitter), says his revenue has dropped by a whopping "36 percent" after the bug popped up two months ago.

    So, what exactly did this bug do? According to Birkett, it caused Steam's game Discovery tool to recommend only the most popular games to its users, rather than smaller, but potentially more relevant indie titles.

    The problem was apparently fixed "within a week," but the destruction left in its wake has remained. Birkett, and several of his fellow indie developers, still haven't seen their traffic or sales recover.

    It's worth noting that perhaps this bug isn't a bug at all. For whatever reason, it's possible that Valve has merely made changes to its algorithms that favor some games and developers over others. If so, it wouldn't be unlike the many issues webmasters face with Google's frequent and mysterious algorithm updates.

    Maybe Valve's algorithm is looking at figures like time played, user engagement (via discussions, social shares, etc.), or even the number of updates a game receives to inform its ranking decisions - all of those factors are things indie games can struggle with when pitted against their AAA competitors. However, that is pure speculation on our part.

    Several affected indie devs have reached out to their contacts at Steam to obtain clarification on the matter, but so far, none of them have received particularly promising replies. For our part, we will be reaching out to Valve ourselves for comment and will update this article if we hear back.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,144   +3,565

    Steam had diminished greatly over the past few years leaving the user to feel just that; used. If they don't want to run a quality company, please sell it off to a more interested party that puts the end user 1st.
  3. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 372   +150

    What the vast majority of end users want is to not be bothered by the flood of "subpar" indie games.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    Their algorithm is completely irrelevant to how I search for games before purchasing.

    Shame though that some algorithm has to be altered before crappy games are no longer being sold. Even more of a shame it only lasted a week.

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