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Are there too many games on Steam?

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Steam

Steam is a bit of an open market. The services front-page is littered with games you’ve never heard of and don’t care about – though many may be barely-hidden gems. Since the inception of Steam Greenlight it’s gotten worse, and there are perhaps just too many games available on the platform. Very many of them are complete twaddle. Some users and even game-makers think Valve needs to adopt a heavier-handed approach to content curation. Garry Newman, the chap behind Garry’s Mod and Rust thinks Valve would be “insane” to impose content restrictions.

“The focus should be on the users, not the developers,” he told the UK’s MCV. “Users getting the choice of thousands of games is a good thing. The attitude that Valve should only allow X games a month on Steam is insane. Why would you limit it? Have you released a game and it isn’t selling? Make it better. Do some marketing.”

“Steam is a digital distribution platform; they put your game on their store and allow people to buy it. Any extra exposure you get by being featured should be seen as an extra-unexpected bonus. It shouldn’t be relied on to sell your game,” he added. “I don’t think the Steam front page should be seen as a storefront. If your game is good and people want to play it – people will play it. Work at making your game as accessible as possible.”

What do you think? Is there too much chaff to wade through on Steam to get to the wheat? Or do you think Steam’s lax approach to content curation a boon to creators and users?

Last Updated: June 2, 2014

38 Comments

  1. Sk3tz0

    June 2, 2014 at 13:05

    I think there is.. especially old games. Steam needs to make better search engine for their games.

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 2, 2014 at 13:27

      Speaking about old games, I’ve noticed they’re releasing a lot of games that were previously only available on GOG.

      Reply

    • Alex Hicks

      June 2, 2014 at 13:50

      Half right. Not too many games – just needs a better search engine. I like that it’s not restricted – that’s what a digital store should be. I’m glad that indie’s now have a proper distribution channel for their games – beats buying disks from a dodgy street market.

      But a better search engine would go a long way to helping us, the consumers, out.

      Reply

  2. Admiral Chief Kilo

    June 2, 2014 at 13:05

    I can’t hear you over the weight of my backlog

    Reply

    • The Rich

      June 3, 2014 at 07:59

      You and me both!

      Reply

  3. RinceofFuturePast

    June 2, 2014 at 13:07

    Where is Trevor when you never need him?

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 2, 2014 at 13:14

      Not busy playing his backlog

      Reply

      • RinceofFuturePast

        June 2, 2014 at 13:17

        LOL

        Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 2, 2014 at 13:19

        Well in that case I am needed. Finished Blades of Time on Sat, started Bioshock Infinite & didn’t add anything to the backlog. Hah!

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 2, 2014 at 13:20

          Good man.

          Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 2, 2014 at 13:18

      Crying in the corner from the stinging rejection. You’re so mean.

      Reply

      • RinceofFuturePast

        June 2, 2014 at 13:24

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 2, 2014 at 13:25

          So you will touch me with a 10-foot pole? YAY! 😀

          Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 2, 2014 at 13:27

          Hahahaha

          Reply

        • Admiral Chief Kilo

          June 2, 2014 at 13:27

          Why is it holding a pink spray bottle?

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 2, 2014 at 13:30

            It’s full of sparkles & happiness. It’s a natural Ginger repellent.

          • Admiral Chief Kilo

            June 2, 2014 at 13:38

            Ahhhhhhhh

        • Hammersteyn

          June 2, 2014 at 13:27

          Toilets have backlogs don’t they?

          Reply

          • RinceofFuturePast

            June 2, 2014 at 13:27

            HAHA!

  4. frikkenator

    June 2, 2014 at 13:11

    How can there be too many games on steam, that is equivalent to saying there are too many books in a library. The review system works well and there is metacritic integration for even more insight.

    I also think Valve does a good job of highlighting the best ones on the front page of the store.

    This ties in with the article about the indie scene collapsing last week, the reason the indie scene is thriving is because for the first time there is a proper distribution network for the guys to get their games to market. It’s not a bubble that’s going to burst, the funding bubble for indie games might burst, but not the indie scene itself.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Kilo

      June 2, 2014 at 13:12

      Well said

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 2, 2014 at 13:14

      Agreed.

      Reply

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 2, 2014 at 13:16

    Think they could do with a serious client update. It’s becoming a chore to sift through everything that’s on sale on any given day, there’s usually over 100, never mind when there’s one of the big sales on. If you don’t look to see what’s released regularly (read: daily) you can miss out of a lot of games that may interest you. Don’t even get me started on the Greenlight thing – 75 games at a time, yeah I’m really going to browse them all.

    Reply

    • Mossel

      June 2, 2014 at 13:24

      Yeah the Steam client is fuck slow. I tend to browse steam with Chrome, that way I can make multiple tabs open and research whether I should add it to the pile (read:backlog).

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 2, 2014 at 13:29

        Me too. Tabbed browsing is the thing I’ve noticed the most as missing. Especially when you browse the week long deals that they release on Monday. You view one game from the list, then go back & they’ve reordered everything. That irritates me lol

        Reply

      • Schalk Engelbrecht

        June 4, 2014 at 13:56

        Worth a try :
        http://www.howtogeek.com/175502/3-ways-to-make-steam-even-faster/
        http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2470784
        And finally, turn off online cloud sync. Right click the game in Steam and go to Properties. There should be an option to disable Steam Cloud (this does mean off course, manually backing up game folders from here on)

        Reply

        • Mossel

          June 4, 2014 at 15:45

          Sweet! Will check it out tonight!

          Reply

  6. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 2, 2014 at 13:26

    Short answer. No.

    Reply

  7. Devourer of Small Bunnies

    June 2, 2014 at 13:28

    i think thats an odd thing to have an issue with. Perhaps a revision of front page filters etc, but heavier restrictions? No, then you end up with a very shitty market place like apple and the last thing anyone needs is that kind of shit. The PC for the most part is an extremely open platform and I really dont believe that an open product requires heavy handed restrictions on curation. It would ultimately end up badly

    Just because theres shitty games avail doesnt mean you HAVE to buy it…

    Reply

    • Brady miaau

      June 2, 2014 at 17:35

      Agreed, but I do not want to wade through them. So I do not. Um, ok, good point

      Reply

      • Devourer of Small Bunnies

        June 3, 2014 at 09:54

        😛

        Reply

  8. Dutch Matrix

    June 2, 2014 at 13:49

    Go and look at Amazon and their Kindle books. The amount of trash one has to wade through to get to something good is despicable to say the least.
    I say let there be some form of quality assurance put in place. It can only protect us gamers in the end.

    Reply

    • Brady miaau

      June 2, 2014 at 17:36

      I got a Kobo now, I find slightly trash on their default book store

      Reply

  9. ToshZA

    June 2, 2014 at 13:59

    I have to be honest, I think leaving it as-is is fine. Making more games accessible is great for many reasons. The problem lies with marketing. We’re used to the old Steam – where every game was basically worth looking at. Now, we need to get out of that mindset and realise that we need to look elsewhere for reviews and info etc. before coming on to Steam to do a quick search for the game we want in particular.

    And yes, the onus is on the devs to actually market their game through other channels besides Steam. If they don’t, their game just isn’t going to sell.

    Reply

  10. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 2, 2014 at 14:15

    So Geoff………Baconfest…..

    Reply

  11. Brian Murphy

    June 2, 2014 at 14:54

    What a silly thought, no, of course there aren’t too many games on Steam, it’s a freakin digital delivery platform for christ sakes. Next you’ll tell me steam doesn’t move enough retail.

    Reply

  12. Vixremento

    June 2, 2014 at 16:09

    I think there can never be too many games on Steam…however I do think there is a lot of crap on there at the same time and this makes it more difficult to find games you’d actually enjoy even if you’re buying them for cheap.

    However since we’re (well at least I do) buying these games after some (hopefully) research (even if they’re cheap) we’re getting something decent that will give us value for money. I do kinda miss being able to fire up trial versions though (let me try the first 30 minutes of the full game – if I dig it I’ll buy it otherwise let me just move on).

    Reply

  13. The Rich

    June 3, 2014 at 08:04

    I definitely don’t think there are too many games – on the contrary, I wish there were more. Particularly many older titles that I’d desperately love to play again with proper Steam support.

    My only criticism of Steam is that particularly for older games, the ‘Released’ date is very often wrong. The date displayed there is usually the date it was released to Steam, not the date the game was originally released to the public. With older titles, there’s often a big difference between the two. This is a problem when I’m pondering purchasing a sale title that I’m unfamiliar with (it happens – I discover a lot of cool games this way). I end up having to do other internet searches to establish what I’m looking at. A minor inconvenience, but still an inconvenience 😀

    Reply

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