Dota 2 - Valve
* Reduced the TI Battle Pass Shovel cooldown from 60 to 20 seconds
NBA 2K20 - Valve
NBA 2K20 is Now Available on Steam!

2K continues to redefine what’s possible in sports gaming with NBA 2K20, featuring best in class graphics & gameplay, ground breaking game modes, and unparalleled player control and customization.
IMGN.PRO Advertising App - Valve
Today's Deal: Save up to 85% during the IMGN.PRO Publisher Sale!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends September 13 at 10AM Pacific Time
Fade to Silence - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 50% on Fade to Silence!*

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*Offer ends Sunday at 10AM Pacific Time
- christen


Since launching Steam Labs, Community feedback on our initial Store discovery experiments has lead us to create a number of new features and improvements we're excited to share.

What we've learned

We've received really positive feedback since launching the Interactive Recommender. We've heard from many of you that the Interactive Recommender is helping you are find interesting games, and we also see this reflected in our early data. One way we study what’s interesting to users is to look at how frequently a visit to a store page turns into a positive action like adding the item to a wishlist, or purchasing it. That frequency varies depending on how users arrived at the store page. We also look at how frequently people choose to visit a store page via the recommender.

Our initial data show the Interactive Recommender is performing very well by those measures. We do of course take these signs with grain of salt, given the novelty and promotion of our experiment likely make for an unfair comparison. Next up, we will work to evaluate the recommender in ways that eliminate this potential bias.

Furthermore, we're especially pleased to see that users are being exposed to a broad range of titles. In fact, nearly 10,000 different games have been added to wishlists from the Interactive Recommender page so far. So yeah, initial signs indicate the Interactive Recommender experiment is working!

Episode 1 of the Automatic Show, a half-hour algorithmically-generated video about Steam games, was received by the Community with a more mixed response. While much of the feedback we received has indicated that the show's utility and format have promise, we did hear from many users that 30 minutes is... a lot of minutes. If this rings true for you, we now offer three new short variations of the initial half-hour experience that we hope you'll enjoy.

If you're in search of your next favorite game, you can give the Interactive Recommender a try for yourself at https://store.steampowered.com/recommender/ and watch the new short n' sweet Automatic Shows at https://store.steampowered.com/labs/automaticshow.

What's new

The Interactive Recommender

New "exclude" feature

You can now tell the interactive recommender to exclude some of your recently played games when generating recommendations for you. By default, the set of games that are excluded in this way is taken from your global Steam ignore list here. If you've chosen to ignore a game via its store page, we won't use it to generate recommendations for you, but you can now interactively toggle excluded games on and off to see the effect that has on your recommendations. (Toggling the exclusion state of games via the interactive recommender in this way will not affect those Steam-wide ignore settings.) If you want to ignore a particular game across all of Steam, you can set that on the store page for that game. Let us know how this feature works for you!

User interface improvements

Your feedback has also informed a few minor improvements to the interface. For example, hovering over a played game in the left-hand column now displays the title of the game, which is useful when the thumbnail art itself is not so legible, and clicking a game in the played list now navigates to its store page, as one might expect.

Always training

The interactive recommender model adapts in two ways. First, it adapts right away to an individual user's behavior; as you play new games, or revisit old ones, the model uses that data to give you updated recommendations. The second way the model adapts is by periodically re-training itself to take into account global changes, staying up-to-date with the latest releases and the gradually changing patterns of player behavior. This re-training process is an intensive operation that crunches billions of data points and can take a whole day to complete. We've been doing some behind-the-scenes cleanup work to make the re-training process smoother and more automated, which will enable us to use the technology in new contexts, like other Labs experiments or the Store itself.

The Automatic Show

New short shows

  • Top Releases for June, covering 21 titles from our monthly roundup in a tight 2 minutes 34 seconds.
  • The 3-Minute VR Show, which covers some of the latest VR titles across all genres.
  • Rapid! Fire! Horror! In the first two shows, each game clip is 8 seconds long. This show experiments with 3-second clips. Can you handle it?

We hope you'll check out our new shows, then let us know what you think in the discussions.

What's next

We've heard your requests for more dynamic tag selection tools to help guide the Interactive Recommender's results, and we hope to build these soon. We will also continue to monitor and improve the Interactive Recommender's success connecting users with compelling content. The strong performance we're seeing so far may be due in part to the novelty of the feature, so we're continuing to monitor results and conduct additional tests to confirm our initial findings. Meanwhile, given your positive feedback, we're exploring ways to offer the Interactive Recommender's features in other parts of the Store.

As we're looking at next steps for each of our fledgling experiments, we are also embarking on a fourth, which we're excited to share with you soon.

Keep in touch

These experiments are guided in large part by the Steam community of players and game developers. We love to hear what you think of them in the Steam Labs community forum at https://steamcommunity.com/groups/SteamLabs/discussions/

-The Steam Team
Dota 2 - Valve
Over the next few weeks we'll be experimenting with toggling strict solo queue on and off, to see the impact it can have on match quality and matchmaking times. The primary reason we initially added this feature was because there was a much larger discrepancy in motivation between players competing for solo MMR and players competing for party MMR, resulting in a poor experience overall. This discrepancy is not as pronounced now as before, and each option that does a hard split of the matchmaking pools has to be considered carefully as it has a direct influence on the matchmaker's ability to find the best matches available.
Starpoint Gemini - Valve
Today's Deal: Save up to 85% on the Starpoint Gemini Franchise!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday 9/9 at 10AM Pacific Time
Wuppo - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 50% on Wuppo!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Saturday 9/7 at 10AM Pacific Time
Endless Space® - Collection - Valve
Save up to 90% on the Endless Franchise as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

If you already have Steam installed, you can play Endless Space 2 and Endless Legend for FREE until Monday at 10AM Pacific. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

*Discount ends Thursday at 7AM Pacific Time



Fantasy General II - Valve
Fantasy General II is Now Available on Steam!

Armies once again draw battle-lines on the war-torn land of Keldonia, and a new generation of commanders will test their bravery and tactics against each other. Fantasy wargaming is back!
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