GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS, PC gamers. The good news is that Steam has fixed its God-awful recommendation engine that would constantly show you the most popular games on the platform. The bad news is that you may need to up your game budget, because it looks like you might actually see recommendations that are worth a damn.
The problem, apparently, was largely two-fold. The Recommendation Feed "had a bug that top-rated games… were driving too much of what players saw", and the "timescale used to calculate popularity was too narrow, resulting in unpredictable visibility for some games," according to platform owners Valve.
Well, "several algorithmic changes and bug fixes" later, the recommendation engine is now both "more precise and more diverse", the company says.
In fact, it has data to prove it - c'mon, you weren't expecting a company the size of Valve to make changes to its main money-spinning algorithms without a test, were you?
Five per cent of players have been gaming guinea pigs, seeing the new algorithms ahead of a wider roll out. Amongst those players, Valve claims, people were 15 per cent more likely to click on games shown to them.
But that's not all: "To get a feel for the breadth of titles that were being visited, we measured how many games members of the experiment group visited via the ‘Recommended For You' section compared to a sample of customers who were not in the experiment for a few days," the company wrote.
"The results were very promising: we saw a 75 per cent increase in the number of unique games visited, and a 48 per cent increase in the average visits per game."
Here's that visualised for you, graph fans.
"It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but by increasing qualitative specificity and showing a wider range of titles, more customers found things they didn't know they wanted," the post concludes. No, it really shouldn't.
The changes have been rolled out to everyone now, so feel free to boot up Steam and see what new games await. Your wallet will be absolutely delighted. µ
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