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Steam introduces new discovery tools

Steam games are now split across 48 genre categories, eight theme categories, and seven player mode categories, for a total of 63 new categories

Valve added several new options to browse Steam and improve discoverability on the store.

This is part of its Steam Labs Experiments, which users need to opt in to take part in, and aims at providing new points of entry for players, the announcement said.

The first new tool introduced by Steam is a "New & Noteworthy" menu, giving access to current events running on the store, "including game festivals, publisher sales, and other seasonal celebrations."

Valve also added new categories, essentially expanding on the list of genres that was previously available as a default. For example, the RPG category now has sub-genres such as action RPG, CRPG, dungeon crawler, rogue-like, and more.

The experiment also aims at providing more ways to find a game to play by using player motivations, which can be essentially grouped into three categories: genre, theme (fantasy, relaxing, horror, LGBTQ+, etc), and player mode (multiplayer, co-op, MMO, etc).

"These player motivations can be organized and expressed using our existing tags and metadata," Valve said. "Categories grouped under the Genres and Themes entry points are defined by tags, whereas categories grouped under Player Modes are defined by metadata provided directly by the developer."

With this new organisation, Steam now showcases 48 genre categories, eight theme categories, and seven player mode categories, for a total of 63 new categories, the announcement said. As a result, it's introduced a new way to browse the store as well, with landing pages dedicated to specific types of games, each with their own carousel, top sellers, new & trending, possibility to narrow the search by tag, and so on.

"With this experiment, we aim to increase the surface area of the store by introducing a broader set of ways to browse Steam's catalog of games from the outset -- no login or complex searching required," Valve said.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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