Valve just never stops tinkering. The latest experiment to hit Steam Labs is a huge expansion of Steam’s categories and even provides each one with its own landing page to boot.
“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,” reads the Steam Labs page for Experiment 010: Browsing Steam. The main aim is to provide new and useful points of entry to explore sub-genres, themes, and ways to play.
Right at the top of the store page are two new menu options. “New & Noteworthy” combines New and Popular together so that you can immediately see what’s both new and topping Steam’s sales charts. And beside that is the new Categories Menu that will help you explore all the many games Steam has to offer.
There are 63 different categories to work your way through, which have been grouped into three “points of entry.” Genres is the largest group and uses words were probably all familiar with to describe games, such as “Action Rogue-like,” “Walking Simulator,” and “City & Settlement.” Themes is a lot more general and breaks games down into things like Sci-Fi, Space, Horror, and LGBTQ+. Finally, Social & Players describes how a game is played, such as Singleplayer, MMO, Co-op, or Party Game.
Each new category also has its own dedicated landing page with its own URL that you can bookmark for later. And at the bottom, Steam’s charts that show new, top sellers, and popular and upcoming titles can be further narrowed down by applying tags popular in that particular category. So if you want an “Action Rogue-Like” in space, just hit the Space tag and you’ll have those charts only display games that fall under both categories.
So far it seems like a pretty great system and a big improvement over the previous storefront. Valve is looking for feedback, so opt in to the experiment from the Steamlabs page and tell ‘em what you think.
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