When PC VR headsets first launched a year ago now, we worried that there wouldn’t be enough support from developers, and Oculus Rift and HTC Vive owners would be facing a content drought. In the end, the opposite turned out to be true.
In the past year well over 1,000 pieces of VR content have released for Vive and Rift on Steam. We’ve seen loads of great games like Fantastic Contraption and Arizona Sunshine hit the platform over that time but there have been a lot of lackluster titles too. That doesn’t just mean games that looked proming but had unfortunate issues; there are a huge number of titles that look rushed, under-developed and, frankly, a little lazy. But that’s a problem with Steam as a whole, and Valve might be doing something to fix it.
Following a rare press day at its offices in Seattle to discuss VR and more, Valve recently invited YouTubers John Bain, better known as TotalBiscuit, and Jim Sterling to its HQ to discuss content curation on Steam. Both personalities have heavily focused on that topic in past shows. There the company laid out plans for a future version of Steam that doesn’t allow developers to get away with quickly hashing together games, which they reportedly refer to as ‘fake games’.
Part of those plans include an overhaul of Steam that will apparently push good games to to the top of the pile while these other projects sit at the bottom. To ensure good games aren’t lost in that lower echelon, the company will be using a team of Steam Explorers — which anyone can apply to be — that play through low-selling games and can help boost the good ones for better recognition.
Sources of monetization for troubled projects are being changed too. Valve reportedly told Sterling that many of these titles make money off of Steam’s Trading Cards economy, which it’s looking to address too.
The company suspects that we’ll start seeing changes to Steam with its new Direct service, which allows developers to put their games straight onto the platform for a fee. We’re hoping this means that, as with the wider store, we’ll see less VR games but with overall better quality releasing on Steam going forward.