Steam Blog - andrewl
Returning to our monthly series, we are happy to announce The Top Releases of January 2021.



As with previous months, this list showcases the Top 20 games released in January, measured by the revenue they generated during the first two weeks after release. As always, we highlight the top 5 free-to-play games as well, measured by the total unique players they acquired after release.

Happy Year of the Ox!

Steam just wrapped up our annual Lunar New Year sale last week, and we hope that players all over the world are having an amazing New Year holiday with family and friends. If you've taken some time off for the holiday and need some inspiration for what to play next, January's Top Releases tell the story of what other players are enjoying. Roguelike fans discovered several unique and repayable experiences this month, including Skul & Home Behind 2, while players looking for the next automation & simulation hit got their new year's wish with Dyson Sphere Program. It was no surprise to see Tale of Immortal and Heroes of the Three Kingdoms 8 performing well in China, as both offer heavy doses of Chinese history and mythology, To cap it all off, Sega unveiled the PC debuts of not one but three fully remastered entries from their legendary Yakuza series, which are sure to keep fans busy and nostalgic.

Unprecedented Early Accessing

One of the most evident themes with January's Top Releases is the huge number of games entering Early Access - 12 for the month. The feature has come a long way in the eight years since it debuted on Steam, with developers embracing the model and shaping it into the healthy and effective tool that is tied to so many awesome games today. Just as exciting is the fact that the success of these products in January demonstrates just how comfortable and excited players are to experience games using Early Access. Between sources on Steam including user reviews, the new Steam News hub, and community hubs, players have never had more information to help them choose which Early Access launches are the right fit for them. And with 12 debuts in January, some players may even be choosing more than one!

Eight Releases from Teams New to Steam

Meanwhile, we continue to see new development teams landing a spot at the top of our charts. This month eight games are coming from teams releasing their first-ever Steam product. To Adglobe, Live Wire, Nussygame, SCP: Escape Together development team, SouthPAW Games, TeaForTwo, TPP Studio, Typhoon, and 鬼谷工作室, welcome and congrats on your success.

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The full list of games is available on this handy sale page - The Top Releases of January 2021

And if you're curious about previous months, here are more Top Release lists:

Steam Blog - seapunkcaptain
The Steam Lunar New Year Sale is on now, featuring popular titles plus recommendations tailored just for you. Save on tens of thousands of titles, now through February 15th at 10am Pacific.



Shop your favorite genres and themes
Browse recommendations and featured sale titles by genres and themes, using tags to drill down to the games that fit your favorite playstyle. Popular genres like Action and Adventure are just a starting point. Be sure not to miss our round up of Co-Op games and more.

Refresh your profile and enhance chat messages with Points Shop Bundles
Start the year on a beautiful note with the Year of the Ox 2021 animated profile, miniprofile, avatar frame, and animated avatar. And for you big spenders—big Bundles are now available in the Points Shop! Save 10% when you purchase a Points Shop Bundle. Already own a few items in a Bundle? You can even complete the set and save. We're starting with a small set of Bundles, and will be expanding the list in the future.

Claim your gift Oxen!
In celebration of the New Year, claim a free animated sticker each day of the sale, featuring this year's zodiac star: the Ox!


Sticker art and animation by André Dias.

Join the celebration all weekend long at https://store.steampowered.com/sale/lunar2021
Steam Blog - andrewl


With the year reaching an end, we're announcing the final Top Release list of 2020. As a reminder, we look at all games released during the month of December and gather the Top 20 based on revenue generated during the first two weeks after release. Because some games provide a free option for players, we also list the top 5 games with a free-to-play model, ranked by total unique players they acquired.

December is often marked by the excitement of the year-end Steam Winter Sale, with 2020 being no exception. But amidst the huge volume of discounts and exciting developer events, plenty of new releases still made noteworthy and successful debuts. On top of being one the most anticipated releases of the year, Cyberpunk 2077 quickly became one of Steam's most played games ever. Players were also excited to jump into the latest online offering from Rockstar's Red Dead series, along with getting their hands on the long awaited combat flight-sim, Project Wingman. Other successes include the debut RPG from acclaimed artist, OMOCAT, along with the Early Access graduations of Ratropolis, Founders' Fortune, and Monster Sanctuary.

While these games are all exciting in their own right, December's list also exemplifies the overwhelming variety that we saw throughout 2020. It's seen in everything from the stories, themes, and mechanics of the games themselves, to the number ways they can be played and the many options they support. This continued variety doesn't just come from thin air - it's the result of developers meeting the demands of a community of millions and millions of players, each with unique tastes. With the Steam player base reaching all time highs in 2020, we're thrilled to see that variety continue in the coming year.

We'd also like to congratulate the 12 development teams who made December's list with their first ever Steam release. Congrats and welcome to Cassel Games, Dionic, HES Games, Humble North, Moi Rai Games, https://store.steampowered.com/app/1150690/OMORI/, Out of the Blue, Proletariat, Inc., Romero Games, Sector D2, Tlön Industries, and Uncasual Games.

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December's Top Releases

Here's the list of December's top releases ordered by release date (we've organized this list on a handy sale page too):


Empire of Sin
Romero Games (Ireland)


Project Wingman
Sector D2 (Australia)


Ratropolis
Cassel Games (Republic of Korea)


Red Dead Online
Rockstar Games (USA)


Worms Rumble
Team17 (UK)


Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate
Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd. (Japan)


Creeper World 4
Knuckle Cracker (USA)


Haven
The Game Bakers (France)


Per Aspera
Tlön Industries (Argentina)


Phoenix Point: Year One Edition
Snapshot Games Inc. (Bulgaria)


Shadow Empire
VR Designs (France)


DRAGON QUEST® XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age™ - Definitive Edition
Square Enix (Japan)


Call of the Sea
Out of the Blue (Spain)


Monster Sanctuary
Moi Rai Games (Germany)


Cyberpunk 2077
CD PROJEKT RED (Poland)


Medal of Honor™: Above and Beyond
Respawn Entertainment (USA)


Ancient Cities
Uncasual Games (Spain)


Founders' Fortune
Dionic (Germany)


Futa Fix Dick Dine and Dash
Cyberframe Studios (USA)


OMORI
OMOCAT, LLC (USA)

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December's Top Free Releases


And here are the Top 5 free-to-play titles from December, ranked by total unique player count:


Spellbreak
Proletariat, Inc. (USA)


Leaf Blower Revolution - Idle Game
Humble North (Germany)


Soccer Manager 2021
Soccer Manager Ltd (UK)


Slapshot: Rebound
Oddshot Games (Belgium)


Sabotaj
HES Games (Turkey)

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If you're curious about previous months, here are more Top Release lists:

Dec 26, 2020
Steam Blog - andrewl
With the year coming to a close, we're ready to unveil our Best of Steam lists for 2020. You can jump straight into the lists here, or read on below for more specifics.

Also, don't forget to check out the Steam Winter Sale, which is going on now until January 5th. Many of the titles in these lists are discounted, making this a great way to browse games that players loved in 2020.



Top Sellers

This list is straightforward - a look at the 100 games earning the most revenue on Steam during 2020. To get the total revenue for each game, we look at game sales, in-game transactions, and DLC sales from January 1st, 2020 through December 18th, 2020.

Since we've been organizing top sellers now for five years, it's interesting to take a look at how the top games have changed from year to year, or in some cases stayed exactly the same. GTA V, Dota 2, and CS:GO all have the honor of making the platinum category five times since we began these lists in 2016. Rainbow Six: Siege and PUBG are not far behind, both with four appearances in the platinum category. Several brand new 2020 releases have also gone straight to the top, with DOOM Eternal, Cyberpunk 2077, and Fall Guys each having tremendous 2020 success. We've linked previous year's Best of Steam lists at the bottom of this post for those who want to jump in and compare even further.

Here are the Top Selling Games of 2020

Top New Releases

This list showcases the top releases for each month in 2020, along with the top 25 new releases for the entire year. We generate top new releases by looking at each game's total revenue during the first two weeks after its release.

As we were building out the Top 25 list for the entire year, we were curious which months were the most represented. October & March both stood at the top, each with four of their releases making the yearly Top 25. After that, June, August & September had strong representation, with three new releases a piece. Sadly, May was the only month without a new release in the Top 25 this year, but we have our fingers crossed for 2021.

Here are the Top New Releases of 2020

Top Selling VR Games

This list showcases the bestselling VR-only titles of 2020. Just like the Top Sellers list, we look at total revenue for each game, including game sales, in-game transactions, and DLC sales from January 1st, 2020 through December 18th, 2020.

VR continued to gain popularity and grow its catalog in 2020, with more than 800 new VR-only releases on Steam over the course of the year (~30% increase from 2019). Many popular games added or launched with VR support, along with VR-only experiences releasing for many fan-favorite franchises. We're excited to see what new experiences players discover in 2021 as developers continue to push the boundaries of VR.

Here are the Top Selling VR Games of 2020

Top Early Access Graduates 

This list recognizes top games that transitioned out of Early Access during 2020. These are measured by gross revenue earned in 2020, during Early Access and after full release.

2020 was another strong year for Early Access, with plenty of new debuts and successful graduations. This development model continues to benefit developers eager to get direct feedback, while rewarding players who can't wait to get their hands on new content. These successful graduations are a testament of how that relationship can produce some amazing products on Steam.

Here are the Top Early Access Grads of 2020

Most Played Games

While the previous lists are all based on commercial success, the Most Played list highlights games that reached the highest peak concurrent player counts throughout 2020. We've included all games that had more than 30,000 concurrent players at some point during the year, grouping them into buckets based on how many players they reached. We've excluded brief spikes in player counts due to things like giveaways and free weekends in order to highlight the games that have built large player bases.

The first thing that immediately jumped out with 2020 was just how much higher the peak concurrent numbers were compared to 2019. For example, Steam saw 12 titles reach more than 100,000 peak concurrent players in all of 2019. That number more than doubled in 2020, with 26 games going above 100,000 players. This increase happened across the board, so we've doubled the size of each bucket for 2020:
2019
2020
100,000
200,000
50,000
100,000
25,000
50,000
15,000
30,000
Here are the Most Played Games of 2020

Top Controller Games

This list recognizes the 100 games that found the most success with players who use controllers. We create this list by looking at the highest number of unique controller players a game reached on any given day. The games are further grouped into buckets based on how many controller players each game had.

When we talk about controllers on Steam, we are referring to the dozens of different input devices that players use on Steam. These include the always popular Xbox and PlayStation controllers, as well as joysticks, gamepads, and a multitude of other devices. So, if you're a player who prefers to use something other than a mouse & keyboard with your games, make sure to check this list out for inspiration. 

Here are the Most Played Controller Games of 2020

Notes

We don't disclose revenue breakdowns for these lists, so we sort the games into buckets to give an idea of how they compare. The games within each bucket are sorted randomly:

Platinum: 1st - 12th Top Seller
Gold: 13th - 24th Top Seller
Silver: 25th - 40th Top Seller
Bronze: 41st - 100th Top Seller


You may also be curious about previous years, which are linked here:


-Happy Holidays from everyone on the Steam Team!
Steam Blog - Lawrence


The Winter Sale has begun, with deep discounts on thousands of games! But as always that’s not all there is to the event. The Steam Awards nominees have been chosen, there are holiday gifts to pick up, and both Steam Points and Steam Chat have been updated with new features and content.



Grab your Holiday Gifts

This year we’ve teamed up with artist Eric Nyffeler, to help us create the Winter Sale theme, the Seasonal Profile, and... bird stickers!? Why birds, you ask? To that we ask you - why NOT birds? Claim a free animated bird sticker (each inspired by a popular game on Steam) every other day of the sale when you visit the Points Shop, where you'll find other new winter seasonal items.



Vote for the 2020 Steam Award Winners

Thanks to your tens of millions of nominations (a record!) during the Autumn Sale, we have our final nominees for the 2020 Steam Awards. Over forty titles are up for awards across ten categories, and the winners will be chosen by you, the Steam community. Make sure to visit the Steam Awards page to cast your vote before January 3rd, when we will be announcing the winners!



Steam Points Updates

New Profile Showcases and Upgrades
Don’t have enough room to display all your rare achievements or badges? Now you can upgrade your showcases, giving you more room to display your swag. Still not enough room? You can also get additional showcases for your profile, all for Steam Points. Check them out now in the Steam Points Shop. We've also added new showcases to choose from. You can now add the Community Awards, Game Completionist, Featured Artwork, and Video showcases to your Steam Profile.

Profile and Discussion Awards
We’ve seen how Steam players have loved awarding reviews and workshop content, so the team has decided to expand this further. Starting today, you can grant community awards to Steam Profiles and Discussion Board posts as well. Learn more here.

New Community Awards
There are now even more places to award content, so it would be a shame if there weren't more awards to choose from. The team has nearly doubled the number of available community awards with this update - this includes the Clever, Wholesome, Wild, and Saucy awards, just to name a few.



Steam Chat Reactions

Steam Chat has gotten an upgrade as well with today's update - Chat Reactions. You can now react to messages within Steam Chat using your emoticons or animated stickers. Reactions appear in-line below the message, and other players can +1 your reaction or add reactions of their own. This update applies to desktop, web, and mobile versions of Steam Chat.


Enjoy the sale, and stay tuned for announcements about the best games of 2020 and the winners of the Steam Awards!
Steam Blog - andrewl


Continuing our monthly series, we're happy to announce the Top Releases of November. As a reminder, we showcase the Top 20 titles released during the month, measured by the revenue generated during the first two weeks after release. We also highlight the Top 5 free-to-play titles, based on number of unique players they acquired.

Now Hiring

Players have always appreciated how games allow them to see worlds they may not otherwise be able to. November demonstrated that theme in a fun way, with many players opting for the experiences that come with real-life careers. Whether it's the excitement of blazing danger in Firefighting Simulator, the feeling of worldwide musical fame in FUSER™, the challenge of attaining perfection in Football Manager 2021, or even the appetite for exploration in Mars Horizon, these games give players a taste of what these careers entail - now only if they came with the paycheck, too! Make sure to check future months to see if your job ends up becoming a Top Release.

Early Access

We're also happy to see four new Early Access debuts in November, each well on their way to creating collaborative and invested communities. Prodeus and Due Process are bringing new and exciting elements to the FPS genre, while Door Kickers 2 and Kingdoms Reborn give players two completely unique simulation experiences that are worth checking out. We're looking forward to watching these games and their communities grow as they progress through Early Access.

Welcome to Steam

About half of the games this month are coming from teams who are releasing a product on Steam for the very first time. Some of these teams have worked on games before, while others are completely new to development. A big welcome and congratulations to Bounding Box Software Inc., Chris Shanaz, Chronos Unterhaltungssoftware, Damian Schloter, Earthshine, Giant Enemy Crab, GSQ Games, Pillow Castle, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, Stellar Entertainment Limited, Vadim Slyusarev, and YS Net.

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November's Top Releases

Here's the list of November's top releases ordered by release date (we've organized this list on a handy sale page too):


Kingdoms Reborn
Earthshine (Thailand)


Door Kickers 2: Task Force North
KillHouse Games (Romania)


Due Process
Giant Enemy Crab (USA)


SpellForce 3: Fallen God
Grimlore Games (Germany)


Apex Legends™
Respawn Entertainment (USA)


DIRT 5
Codemasters (UK)


Need for Speed™ Hot Pursuit Remastered
Stellar Entertainment Limited (UK)


Superliminal
Pillow Castle (USA)


Prodeus
Bounding Box Software Inc. (USA)


FUSER™
Harmonix Music Systems, Inc (USA)


Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
Edelweiss (Japan)


Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (Japan)


Titanfall™
Respawn Entertainment (USA)


Firefighting Simulator - The Squad
Chronos Unterhaltungssoftware (Germany)


Mars Horizon
Auroch Digital (UK)


Shenmue III
YS Net (Japan)


Slasher's Keep
Damian Schloter (Germany)


Football Manager 2021
Sports Interactive (UK)


Amazing Cultivation Simulator
GSQ Games (China)


NEKOPARA Vol. 4
NEKO WORKs (Japan)

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November 's Top Free Releases


And here are the Top 5 free-to-play titles from November, ranked by total unique player count:


Apex Legends™
Respawn Entertainment (USA)


Super Buckyball Tournament Preseason
Pathea Games (China)


*NEW* SCUFFED EPIC BHOP SIMULATOR 2023 (POG CHAMP)
Chris Shanaz (Australia)


Our Life: Beginnings & Always
GB Patch Games (USA)


Disc Space
Vadim Slyusarev (UK)

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If you're curious about previous months, here are more Top Release lists:

Steam Blog - alden
Library
  • Added a new game properties dialog, which replaces the old dialog for all Steam games.
  • Fixed displaying the coming soon date for a pre-loaded game

Steam Input
  • Added support for software calibration of the PS5 controller gyro
  • Fix issue with Dpad emulation in games using the joyGetPosEx Windows API, ex: Shiren the Wanderer
  • Fix Nintendo Switch origins in Steam Input API not reflecting the current Nintendo/Xbox layout setting

Steam Cloud
  • Fixed an issue causing files to swap between users under separate Windows user IDs, and also with some file stored in paths with embedded 64-bit SteamIDs

SteamNetworkingSockets
  • P2P connections now may attempt to negotiate a direct connection (punch NAT), if needed, to prevent connections from having very high latency. Added an option in the In-Game settings panel to control when your IP address is shared.

Server Browser
  • Fix bug causing LAN server browser search to not show any servers

Linux
  • Improved performance of processing incremental Vulkan shader database updates
  • Fixed several issues around skipped Vulkan shader processing continuing in the background after a game has started
  • Disabled shader processing on NVIDIA while driver issues are being looked into
  • Fixed long delay in UI response when hot-plugging a controller

macOS
  • Disabled “Enable GPU accelerated rendering in web views” and “Enable hardware video decoding” settings on Apple M1 devices due to poor HW-accelerated performance currently through Rosetta.
Steam Blog - alden


Whether you're at work, on the bus, or playing at home, you can now browse your personalized Steam News Hub to easily find updates, announcements, and events for the games you play, wishlist, and follow.

https://store.steampowered.com/news/

The News Hub is designed to be flexible and personalized around your games and preferences, with many customization options built in. By default, the News Hub shows posts from the games you play, wishlist, follow, or are recommended. Or, if you want to take full control, you can change all that with a few quick setting adjustments in the left-hand menu. Plus, you can choose to follow and receive news from dozens of top gaming news sources across a variety of languages.

First launched as an experiment in Steam Labs in March, the News Hub has been developed with the feedback of players along the way. Today it becomes a full feature of Steam and replaces the previous news feed found at /news.

Personalized feed of news
By default, the Steam News Hub will show you everything posted by the developers of the games you play, games you wishlist, and games that you follow. From patch notes to weekend tournaments to Major Updates, the News Hub is a great way to keep up to speed with new developments and activities in the games you care about. But you can easily change these defaults to exclude certain kinds of posts or posts from certain categories of games. You can also mute individual games directly from the News Hub.

Explore your personalized Steam News Hub here: https://store.steampowered.com/news/ or by selecting 'store → news' at the top of Steam.



More gaming news choices
In addition to news from Steam and game creators, the News Hub allows you to follow gaming sites from around the world.

The old newsfeed only featured a handful of gaming news sites. Now, housed through the Steam Curator system, dozens of sites from around the world are now featured via a new menu item for “Steam News Curators” that allows you to explore all these sources. Here you can see what sorts of things they write about as you choose which ones you might like to add to your personalized hub.



Each News Curator brings different kinds of news and content, including rich media, screenshots, videos, and/or detailed guides and reviews. Some deliver blurbs that you can quickly scan in the News Hub, while other sources include full articles. Included YouTube videos are even playable right in the news feed. And there's always a link to explore more via the news source's own website.

Check out news sources here: https://store.steampowered.com/news/collection/press/

See what's coming up
Beyond info, the News Hub also makes it easy to explore events coming up and lets you sign up for email or mobile app reminders. Or you can just add the event to your Google Calendar or iCal so you can plan your weekend around interesting tournaments or community events.



Explore your upcoming events here: https://store.steampowered.com/news/?upcoming=1

Game updates and patch notes
Get more info on all the recent updates for the games you play: When you click to read news from games in your library that just updated, you'll find the Steam News Hub, filtered to just update notes about that game (note that not every developer is in the habit yet of posting patch notes with every update. We've got some updates coming soon that should help with that.)

Explore posts from top games
Interested in what's happening in some of the most popular games on Steam? Check the 'featured' channel for major updates, live events, and news from top selling and top played games on Steam.

Check out featured articles here: https://store.steampowered.com/news/collection/featured/

Official Steam announcements
Keep up to date with the latest announcements directly from Steam, such as new feature announcements and exciting new events and festivals. Plus, if you are a game developer, this will include news and updates about Steamworks.

Browse official Steam announcements here: https://store.steampowered.com/news/collection/steam/

Fine-grained control
Of course, the whole goal behind the Steam News Hub is to give you a personalized view of gaming news, so you get to choose what kind of content you want to see and what kind you don’t. If you wish, you can ignore individual news sources from within your feed by selecting the little menu below a post by that source and selecting 'mute' to exclude their news from your feed.

Full Language Support
While your favorite game may not translate everything they post into your language, the News Hub supports it. You'll find official Steam news as well as news and posts from many popular games available in a huge variety of languages.

Mobile friendly
The event hub is designed with mobile use in mind so you can keep up with your favorite games when you're out and about.

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To get back to the new Steam News Hub, just select 'news' from the main store drop-down in Steam.
Or click "news" on the blue bar.

Check it out now: https://store.steampowered.com/news/



About Steam Labs
Launched in July 2019, Steam Labs is a place where experimental new features can be introduced early in development, tested, and developed in conjunction with the community. For more information, please visit https://store.steampowered.com/labs/
Steam Blog - Christen
Introducing New Ways to Browse Steam
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. Our new views provide greater exposure to the breadth of games available on Steam through new useful points of entry such as sub-genres, themes, and player modes. We hope you’ll opt into our Store Browse Experiment to give these new views a try, then let us know what you think in the discussions.

New & Noteworthy
Many users rely on our charts for quick snapshots of what’s new and popular on Steam. These are now accessible from one menu, New & Noteworthy, which also provides direct access to the biggest events currently running Steam—including game festivals, publisher sales, and other seasonal celebrations.

Categories
A basic list of genres, while easy to browse, falls a bit short given how large our catalog has grown. Our new Categories menu helps users quickly discover and dive into the breadth and depth of interesting games on Steam. This menu serves up dozens of new categories of games, which can then be explored further.




It’s not enough to simply offer good games on Steam—we also need to make sure they’re easy to discover. And to do that, we need to organize them in ways that make sense without being overwhelming. You might be able to fit the same amount of goods in an open-air bazaar as in a cramped warehouse, but you’re far more likely to find what you want in the former.

The first step in building such a system is to present meaningful entry points which reflect the various ways people typically want to browse a store full of games.

New Entry Points: Genres, Themes, and Player Modes

This experiment exposes entry points modeled after the three chief ways players tend to browse Steam—by genre, by theme, and by player modes. Each of these motivations broadly answers a different question:

Genres “What kind of game is this? What is it like to play?”
Strategy, RPG, 3D Platformer, Metroidvania, etc.

Themes “What is the game’s content like?”
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Cute, Relaxing, Anime, Horror, etc.

Player Modes “Who can I play the game with?”
Singleplayer, Multiplayer, MMO, Co-op, etc.

These player motivations can be organized and expressed using our existing tags and metadata. 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.

We arrived at these three top-level categories through a mix of formal research and intuition. But there’s also strong precedent for this scheme on Steam itself in the form of Steam Curators. We noticed many curators are building lists of specific types of games, almost all of which fall under one of the above three patterns: Gameplay and genre-based lists like City Builders, theme-based lists like Games with Dogs, or player mode-based lists like Games to Play with Your Significant Other.

New Browse Views

Among these three entry points we are currently surfacing 48 genre categories, 8 theme categories, and 7 player mode categories, for a total of 63 new categories. Clicking on any of these will take you to a dedicated content hub, a landing page dedicated to that kind of game.




Each of these destinations has its own URL, so you can bookmark them or share them with friends. Each features a carousel highlighting featured games, top sellers, and specials, as well as five specific tabs listing
  • New & Trending
  • Top Sellers
  • What’s Being Played
  • Top Rated
  • Upcoming

Players can narrow by popular tags within these hubs as well. The left column of tags surfaces popular genre and sub-genre tags common to this category, and the right column surfaces other types of popular tags (such as mechanics, visuals, themes, and player modes).

Clicking on any of these will take you to a sub-view of the content hub. In the illustration above, we’re viewing Building & Automation Sims, but now we’re viewing only those which also include the Space Sim tag. Each of these sub-views gets its own unique URLs too.

Viewers can return to the parent category any time by toggling the filtering tag previously clicked, or by clicking another to display a different sub-view of the category.

Steam’s Special Sections

This experiment also moves some items previously found in their own top-level menus (such as Software and Hardware) into Special Sections under Categories. Now these and other potential points of entry are all consolidated in a single categorical browse menu.

Our Design Process
How can we be confident in our selection and definition of over 60 new categories? This is an experiment, and thankfully our process includes you. Your feedback on our decisions will help us refine our categorization. To date, our methodology has been a mixture of traditional Library Science and human intuition backed by numerical analysis, and is built leveraging previous Steam Labs experimentation.

  1. We organized all of our user tags into meaningful Categories such as Genres, Visuals, Themes, and Features. These categories were first used in Deep Dive to help determine similarity between games.

  2. We mapped out the semantic relationships between tags, so Steam could recognize that a Strategy RPG is both a Strategy game and also an RPG. This feature was first used in Query Expansion for Search.

  3. We’ve made some efforts to improve the quality of Steam tags. We built an internal tool that analyzes the quality of the tags of every game on Steam, flagging games that have too few tags, or are missing crucial tags like genres and subgenres, and now surface these and other warnings to developers. We paired this tag quality inspector with a new developer tool, the Tag Wizard, that helps our partners improve the sets of tags associated with their games.

  4. We identified a flexible hierarchy of genres using prior research in games classification, as well as statistical analysis of which tags appear most commonly alongside other tags on Steam.

  5. We built a system for defining tag clusters to reveal higher-level concepts like Card & Board Games rather than a single tag like Card Game. Now, a tag cluster like Card & Board Games isn’t defined as simply Card Game plus Board Game. Instead, it also includes tags like Solitaire, Card Battler, Deckbuilder, Tabletop, and so on. And naturally, it uses Query Expansion to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

  6. We gave each tag cluster its own permanent landing page as described above.

  7. We built a tool that analyzes which games fall into which categories, across the entire catalog. This helps us gut-check our choices and identify and resolve situations like:
    • Narrow categories too small to stand on their own that might be better served when merged with a sibling or two. This is where hubs like City & Settlement and Grand Strategy & 4X came from.
    • Overly broad or redundant categories that overlap too much with adjacent genres. These should be broken down into smaller categories or removed altogether. A good example is Action-Adventure; although we have a tag for this, in practice the concept of Action-Adventure doesn’t meaningfully distinguish itself enough from either Action or Adventure alone.
    • Games that aren’t being surfaced by any of our proposed categories. This is a wake-up call that we need to add new categories. This check kept us from overlooking the need for categories like Experimental and Exploration & Open World.

  8. And most recently, we launched this experiment in Steam Labs!

Now we want to hear from you! What’s missing? What seems redundant? What is most interesting, and what’s… just not? Share your feedback in the discussions and help us improve the Steam store through Labs.


Steam Blog - Casscolors


The 2020 Steam Autumn Sale is now live, with great deals across the Steam catalog through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ending at 10am Pacific on Tuesday, December 1st. Discover featured titles and franchises, personalized recommendations, plus browse top titles by tag when you shop the Autumn Sale now!

Steam Awards Nominations Open

Join us in our fifth annual Steam Awards by nominating your favorite new games of 2020 across 10 categories, and earn profile XP and badges for participating! Your nominations will help determine the finalists for each category. In December, you can vote on the winners for each category during the Steam Winter Sale. Select your nominations today!


Autumn Points Shop Items
We are also making the Autumn Sale art available in brand new animated Points Shop items, including a new Autumn profile, all available now. Additionally, the Debut Collection Badge will be removed from the Point Shop on December 9th @ 10am Pacific. This is your last chance to level up your Debut Badge.



New Autumn Profile, available now in the Points Shop.




New Autumn Sale animated avatar frames and background are also available now in the Points Shop.




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