If a lack of Steam Spy has been making it harder for you to win arguments in forums in regards to how well a game is doing, Valve has some good news for you. While the third party data-gathering service is no longer available, Valve recently confirmed that they are working on an alternative internally, and they're saying it's going to be even more accurate than its predecessor. Of course, the real winners here are the developers, who will have more reliable statistics to base their decisions off of.
According to a report from PCGamesN, Valve realizes the closure of Steam Spy has had an impact on developers and gamers alike. As a result, head of business development Jan-Peter Ewert has stated an alternative is coming. He made this announcement during the Russian White Nights industry conference, explaining that Valve aims to provide more accurate tools in the future.
Steam Spy was shuttered earlier this year, primarily as a result of compliance with new GDPR efforts. In short, profile privacy was tweaked so that everyone's account now defaults to private and it's more difficult for folks to simply grab user data. Access to that information is what drove Steam Spy, which was able to offer details on game sales.
That sounds a lot more nefarious than it actually was. Steam Spy wasn't tracking individual players' information, transactions or anything like that. Instead, it provided information that's tricky to pin down for some games markets: Units sold. If you wanted to know if The Evil Within 2 or Pillars of Eternity sold well, you could just pop onto Steam Spy and check out the data. This was, of course, used by many gamers to defend statements about whether or not a game was moving units. If a publisher wasn't offering those kinds of details, they could be found on Steam Spy.
More importantly, though, developers could use the site as a decision-making tool. If you're working on a game and trying to decide if it should lean more Celeste or Shovel Knight, you could check out those games and similar titles and see which type of platforming adventure was getting the most traction with paying customers. You could break it down even further and figure out what time of year indie shooters seem to get the most attention, in case you're trying to decide on a launch window for your first-person blast-a-thon.
Since Valve didn't provide those tools, Steam Spy rose in popularity. Now that Steam Spy is gone, it sounds like Valve is realizing the value of those tools and aiming to build on it. Hopefully, users can expect even more accurate data, filters and options once whatever Valve is cooking up is ready for prime time.