Valve is working on its own replacement for Steam Spy, the game sales tracking software that was forced to shut down in April due to new privacy settings implemented on the online platform.
Users looking for a Steam Spy alternative will soon don't have to look beyond Steam itself. Unfortunately, it appears that not everyone will be able to access the tool.
Steam Spy Shuts Down In April
For customers who want to know how many copies has a Steam game sold, the go-to software was Steam Spy. The tool worked by using the information taken from the public profiles of Steam customers to estimate game sales.
Unfortunately, in April, new privacy settings rolled out by Valve made the games that Steam users have purchased hidden by default in their profiles. This resulted in a Steam Spy shutdown just hours after the announcement, as the tool will no longer work due to the updated rules.
The reactions on the news of Steam Spy closing were mixed. Some game developers and customers used the Steam sales tracker to gauge demand for genres and check how a title is performing, but others thought that user privacy is more important than accessing such data.
Steam Spy returned later in the month, but it was very different. Instead of estimating game sales from data acquired in Steam profiles, it uses machine learning to predict the figures.
Valve To Launch Steam Spy Alternative
A few months after the updated privacy settings, Valve's head of business development Jan-Peter Ewert said that the company was developing new tools to gather data from Steam.
The new tools, Ewert said, will hopefully be "more accurate and more useful than what Steam Spy previously offered."
Ewert made the comments in a Q&A session after a presentation at the White Nights games business conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Valve executive noted that Steam Spy's random sampling of user data to estimate sales widely varied in accuracy, pushing him to think that developers needed "something better than Steam Spy" in tracking Steam sales figures and trends.
Sergey Galyinkin, the creator of Steam Spy, said on Twitter that he was looking forward to Valve's new tools.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Steam Spy replacement that Valve is working on will only be made available to developers and publishers. For customers who want to see a game's sales numbers on Steam before deciding to pull the trigger, they might want to base their purchases on other things such as reviews.