Valve has revealed eight notable updates coming to Steam in 2019.
This information comes as part of a recently published 2018 “Steam Year in Review.” While most of the information provided will only interest data hounds and investors, Valve also revealed some new features that will address some of Steam’s lingering issues.
The highlight feature of the planned updates is an updated machine learning system that is designed to improve a user’s ability to discover new games on Steam. Details regarding how the system will work are thin at this time, but it sounds like the new program will be a little more versatile in terms of how Steam recognizes and manages which games it recommends to you. Ideally, this means that the algorithm won’t be quite as reactive if you happen to check out the store page to a kind of game that you’re really not that interested in. Instead, it will create a series of recommendations based on your overall preferences and activities.
Also of note is the Steam China update, which will reportedly finally bring Steam to China in full. Previously, Valve has struggled to properly launch the service in China due to various restrictions and other lingering problems. It sounds like a recent partnership with a Chinese game studio named Perfect World might have made the process a bit easier.
Most of the other updates fall under the “quality of life” banner. For instance, Valve has promised an updated library system that should be more user-friendly, a new Steam Chat mobile app, expansion of the Steam Trust system (designed to recognize and combat in-game cheaters), an improved event system, and a renovated PC Cafe Program that will improve the Steam experience for those who use the platform at gaming cafes.
All of these updates sound like they will be welcomed by Steam’s still massive userbase, but whether or not such updates will be enough to challenge the rising threat of Epic’s game store and their growing library of exclusives remains to be seen.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.