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Steam recommendation engine no longer favors popular titles

Gamers were 15 percent more likely to click on a title in the updated version.
Amrita Khalid, @askhalid
September 12, 2019
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Steam has gone back to the drawing board with its game recommendation engine. The gaming marketplace today updated its recommendation feed to be more precise and diverse in the titles it suggests. The Steam Store's discovery system has taken some heat over the years, often coming up with titles that don't really fit user preferences.

Now, Valve has issued an update to the Steam Store that includes more than a few substantive changes.The update " features several algorithmic changes and bug fixes in an effort to be more precise and more diverse in how Steam presents tags in the Recommendation Feed, as well as the 'More Like This' and the 'Recommended for You' sections of the store," wrote Steam in a blog post announcing the change.

Specifically, popular games will be emphasized less. 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 company made some tweaks to make its recommendation engine more fair and tested the update on 5 percent of Steam users. The experiment yielded some promising results. Users in the experiment group were 15 percent as likely to click on games in the recommendation section as those in the control group.

Steam said that it's encouraged by the results and has rolled out the new recommendation engine to all of its users. You can try out the Interactive Recommender tool for yourself.

In this article: business, games, gaming, internet, steam, valve
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