Steam recommendation engine no longer favors popular titles

All of which Valve is very aware of, releasing a Store Discovery Update today to help rectify the issue.

Specifically, popular games will be emphasized less.

Steam's various recommendation pages and sections should now serve more accurate, interesting results to customers.

Valve has rolled out a new update to Steam aimed at, through the magic of "algorithmic changes and bug fixes", increasing both the precision and diversity of games it recommends to users.

So they went bug-hunting.

Valve's vague about exactly how these changes work - likely in an effort to prevent exploits of the system - but one of the changes is an expansion of the time period used to calculate popularity, which previously created "unpredictable visibility for some games". The finding came back that: "As it turned out, customers in the experiment group were more likely to click on the games shown in the recommendations section, at a rate nearly 15% higher than the control group". The changes will be reflected in the tags seen in the Recommendation Feed, as well as in the offerings displayed in the "More Like This" and "Recommended For You" areas of Steam. Steam said users had accused the site's "Recommended for You" section of being too biased towards popular games and not personalized enough for individual gamers. The new update should make the "More Like This" and "Recommended For You" section more precise and more diverse, according to the company. "The increased personalization means there is an even greater variety of games being shown in this section, and customer impressions are more evenly distributed among them. The results were very promising: we saw a 75% increase in the number of unique games visited, and a 48% increase in the average visits per game". You can check out its latest experimental features, the Steam Interactive Recommender experiment, on Steam Labs right now.

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