Valve has a private group for developers using SteamWorks where they were notified about some new changes being made to the Steam storefront. Not just little changes either... it appears as if the popular digital distribution outlet will be getting a facelift.
They're going to be overhauling the home page with bigger images and a new layout in navigating new games, old games, recommended games and discounts.
One of the really interesting things is that according to the post, Valve used to give games a 1 million impression run on the Steam storefront before cycling the game out for another title. It's an interesting mechanic based on high profile (or highly anticipated) games getting an opportunity to bring in new viewers while being advertised on the front page. The thing is, according to Valve, this method didn't work so well because a lot of games that were given the front page position didn't have very high click-through rates while garnering a million impressions.
Valve has decided that it would better suit gamers and game developers by highlighting titles suited for the audience interested in the game. This presumably means that not every major front page ad on Steam will be a game that everyone sees, but will instead be a game designed for the right people to see. It's an interesting setup, no doubt.
Valve is also overhauling the left column navigation to show new releases, top sellers, updated games and special releases, along with a brand new feature: what's popular among your friends. The new friend's activity feed will be similar to what's available for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Interestingly enough, Valve is taking a page out of the playbook of the home consoles by integrating the friend's feed activity onto the storefront of Steam.
They're also changing up the kind of games that appear on the storefront after being updated. The idea is to showcase relevant titles to people who might be interested in buying games by showing them the kind of updates for games they might actually want to purchase.
Additionally, they also have plans on modifying the curator presence on the steam store. Following multiple curators means that select curator titles will be highlighted and displayed on the main Steam page to recommend certain games to users.
They also have additional plans for modifying the way the Steam storefront looks, all of which will be rolled out over the course of the next few weeks.
It's cool that Valve is putting a little time and effort into changing up the way the Steam storefront looks. I'm more-so interested in when they will allow gamers to modify the Big Picture Mode dashboard? If the aim is to make it feel more like a console dashboard it would be nice if it were a bit more console-oriented, sort of like the PS4's dashboard or the Xbox One's dashboard. But I'm sure they'll get around to that after they give the Steam front page a facelift.