Valve Announces Steam Changes That Will Bury 'Fake Games'

Valve is looking to make changes to Steam that will make it better for everyone Valve

Notorious YouTubers Jim Sterling and TotalBiscuit both recently visited Valve’s headquarters in Seattle, and were treated to an inside look at the future of Steam, Valve’s digital distribution service. While both mention that what they saw was is still in the development stage, their account of the visit demonstrates there are some exciting things to come that will make Steam a better service for everyone.

The general theme of both videos is Valve’s approach to what they have dubbed “fake games.” These are the games that are low-effort cash-ins that have managed to earn money through the broken trading card system currently in place on Steam. Along with fixes to the trading card system, Valve is also planning on making these harder to get on Steam, thanks to the new Steam Direct program, and harder to find if they do slip through the cracks.

The goal is to bury these fake games with various algorithms and smart people things, while also having systems in place to avoid accidentally burying good games in the process. One idea mentioned is the Steam Explorers program. Explorers are gamers who would play through a series of underselling games, and have the ability to flag any games that are deemed a fun experience. If a game gets flagged a number of times, it’ll start bubbling to the top for other users to discover.

The benefit of being an Explorer is still being discussed, but could include extended return periods for games, the ability to play some games for free or something else. Of course, there could be problems with Explorers getting paid off by developers or other ethical dilemmas with this program, which is why everything is still in the development phase.

Regular users will also be given more information on why certain games are getting promoted over others. This could be based on friend recommendations, games that are similar to the ones you do play or something combination of things. The goal behind this initiative is to combat the notion that Steam is being overrun by bad and fake games.

The Curator system is also looking at a redesign. Instead of simply including a game on a list, curators will have access to all sorts of tools to make content. This includes the ability to make “Top 10” lists, embed videos and include different sorting features. Curators may also be able to get Steam keys from developers right in Steam, which reduces chances of fraud or something else going wrong.

Another point addressed in the videos is Valve’s desire to improve its notoriously problematic customer support services. An external team currently handles most customer support issues, with an internal team resolving more complex problems. This system could be getting revised, but Valve hopes the reduced frequency of fake games will help slow down customer support requests before they happen.

Again, it’s important to remember that many of these ideas are still in the planning and development stages. It’s also Valve we’re talking about here. These two things combined mean these changes and updates could end up being completely different from what has been revealed so far, and the changes may not come for years. Valve did mention it hopes to be more open and communicative about these changes moving forward, so we’ll see what happens next.

So what do you think? Are you happy to see Valve address many of the biggest complaints Steam users have had over the years? What else would you like to see addressed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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