I love Steam as a service, but I’m firmly in the basket of people who believe that service is in dire need of some major changes. The dawn of Greenlight a few years ago and the ease at which games could be published on the store made the entire platform extremely messy, not to mention a nightmare to actually navigate. The Discovery 2.0 update, which Valve just launched, was meant to fix a lot of that and, unsurprisingly, it hasn’t really done much.
For an update Valve has been touting for most of the year now, the revamp is oh so slight that you might no pick it up at first. The front page is slightly restructured, taking a focus on personalisation more than anything. What is nifty is the large bar of options down the left, which gives you quick access to friends, what they’re playing and any recent top selling titles. The rotating feature bar can also be tweaked to your preference now, which is quite handy.
The biggest change here is that, in line with Valve’s new policy, you’ll only be served screenshots of the game you’re looking at purchasing that come from the game itself. No concept art, no logos, just a clear view of what the game looks like. At least to the best possible degree (we all know how murky those waters can get prior to launch).
From there the front page is quite similar, listing deals, recently launched games and predicting what titles you might be interested it. It doesn’t make finding a particular game any easier than it was in the past, which is still a problem in the content heavy platform. Curators are given a bit more freedom to help sort that out, with each page allowing their admins to specifically recommend a game directly. It’s something, but if you aren’t already following a few curators it makes little to no difference.
It’s certainly not an update to get too excited over, and not at all indicative that Valve really understands the more serious issues their platform has with content discovery. It’s just a fancier front page for you to quickly click out of as you head to you library.
Last Updated: November 8, 2016