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Visibility on Steam

Overview

Prominent visibility of products on the front page of the Steam Store is a careful balancing act. We want to show products that customers are interested in buying and are going to be happy with, while also giving new games and software a chance to find their audience.

Ultimately, we aim to optimize for happy customers. There are definitely more changes and improvements to this process in the works, but what follows below is a look at how things currently work.

Early Access Launch Visibility

When your product launches in Steam Early Access, it will appear in a couple places in the Steam store. This is a great time to make sure that you are spreading word about your product through as many external channels as well to reach potential customers wherever they are. The amount of exposure your title gets on Steam will depend on how customers are responding to your product by purchasing, playing, reviewing, and other such factors.

Your game or software will appear in a couple of places:
  • In the "All New Releases" tab in the Early Access section.
  • If any people have your title on their wishlist, they may receive an e-mail notification of its release.

Additionally, your title may appear in some other places:
  • It may be recommended to specific users in various sections of the home page based on those users' preferences and tastes.
  • It may appear on the "New and Trending" section in Early Access if the title is doing well.
  • It can appear on 'top sellers' list on the store home page and on relevant genre and tag pages if it has achieved sales rank.

Once your title transitions from Early Access to fully released, the visibility guidelines below applies

Full Release Launch Visibility

At launch, your game or software will appear in a couple of places:
  • The first thing that happens if your title will start appearing in the 'New On Steam' queue and on the New on Steam page for users. This provides a baseline of views against which to measure customer interest. See Baseline Visibility below for details.
  • Your title will also appear on the All New Releases list, which is linked from the Steam home page.
  • If any people have your title on their wishlist, they may receive an e-mail notification of its release.

Additionally, your title may appear in some other places:

It may be recommended to specific users in various sections of the home page based on those users' preferences and tastes.
It may appear on the "New and Trending" section on the home page if the title is doing well. Your title may be bumped off this list quickly if many other popular products are releasing at the same time.
It can appear on 'top sellers' list on the store home page and on relevant genre and tag pages if it has achieved sales rank.

Baseline visibility

As a baseline, your product will appear to customers in the 'New on Steam' queue when released fully. Here's how it works:

  • As soon as your product releases, it is added to a pool of titles that have also just released.
  • Each time a logged-in Steam user visits the 'New on Steam Queue', the system generates a queue from that pool, prioritizing the titles that have the least amount of views since release.
  • Depending on each users' preferences, your title may not be included in a queue. Titles can be filtered out based on associated tags or the type of product it is.
  • When the user then clicks through their 'New on Steam Queue', they will land on your store page and it counts as a view in our system.

Organic visibility

If your product is doing really well, it may get bumped up into the Main capsule on the front page.

Your title will also get additional, organic visibility along the way. Your title may appear on "New and Trending" lists on the front page or on genre or category pages. It can appear on various "Top Sellers" lists if achieved. It can appear on "Specials" sections if you are running a discount. And it will appear in friends' activity feeds as customers make purchases, share screenshots, earn achievements, and discuss the product. Your title might be recommended by Steam Curators or appear in the Discovery Queue.

Any visibility your title may have in these other places is in addition to the visibility generated through Launch Visibility and Update Visibility Rounds features.

Update Visibility Rounds

When you make major updates to your application, add new content, release new DLC, or ship new features, is a great time to remind new and existing customers about your product. We've built a feature for doing exactly that.

With Update Visibility Rounds, we've dedicated space on the front page of the Steam store to highlighting products where the developer has a major update they would like to tell customers about. These appear to customers that have your game in their library or on their wishlist.

Updates announced in this way are also displayed on the Recently Updated page, where customers can see all recently updated titles or filter to just titles they have bought or activated on Steam.

You can use these rounds regardless of whether your product is in Early Access or fully released.

How this works

  1. When you have a major update that you'd like to communicate to customers, simply click the 'start round' button on your applications' Marketing admin page.
  2. You will be prompted to enter a short description and select a recent community announcement where customers will be able to learn more about your update.
  3. When you get everything entered in, you're ready to start.
  4. Your product will be added to a pool of titles that are opted in, and randomly selected to appear each time a customer views the home page until your visibility round ends.
  5. Each visibility round will appear on the front page of Steam for up to 30 days. The number of impressions and clicks will depend on how many customers your game has and how many users have your game on their wishlist.
  6. Your product and announcement will also be displayed on the Recently Updated page.

UpdateVisibilityRounds_Highlight.jpg

How To Start An Update Round

You can start an update visibility round once your initial launch visibility has concluded. To start a round:
  • Select your product from your Steamworks home page to go to that product's landing page
  • On the product landing page in Steamworks, click "Marketing & Visibility"
  • There, you will see a section for "Product Update Visibility Rounds" where you can start an update round

Five Rounds to Start

Each product will start with five rounds that can be used for this visibility. These five rounds are shared between Early Access and full release, so if you use them all during Early Access, you won't have any available for major updates after your product has fully launched.

Additional rounds may be granted to products that are selling well.

Main Capsule Visibility

The main capsule (the large banner at the top of the Steam home page) has traditionally been a curated spot. With the Steam Discovery Update on 9/22/2014, this spot has turned in to a more flexible space that can better suit the needs of a growing Steam catalog and userbase.

This area now features games and software from a variety of sources and also allows for user-customization to exclude or include particular types of content. By default, the main capsule can include one or more popular new releases, top sellers, Early Access titles, personalized recommendations, software, or DLC for products the user has in their library.

For more details on this visibility and others across Steam, please see the Steam Discovery Update announcement page.

Tracking Your Visibility

With a personalized and dynamic store, it’s hard to tell where your game might be showing up and how customers are finding their way to your product page.

To address this we’ve introduced Steam’s new traffic data analytics. With this data, you can see where your game is appearing, how many times it has been shown, and how those impressions have translated into visits to your product page.

Of course this data is all anonymous, but it should give you a good idea of where your game is appearing and how many customers are clicking on those placements to get to your product page.

To dive into your traffic data analytics, please visit the 'Marketing & Visibility' section for your product in the Steamworks website and click on the 'Traffic Breakdown' tab for details.

Visibility_Stats.jpg

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I use an Update Visibility Round for my DLC launch?
A. DLC items do not have their own visibility rounds the way that base games or software titles do. So when you launch a DLC that you want to promote through a visibility round, you will need to use one of your base application's rounds.

The way we suggest doing this is by posting an announcement in your community about your DLC launch, and then use an Update Visibility Round to highlight your game or software. You can use the short description to describe your DLC launch.

This way, new and existing customers will be taken to your base application page where they can learn about your product and also see any other DLC is that currently available for your product.

Q. When can I start using Update Visibility Rounds?
A. You must wait until after your initial launch visibility has concluded before you can start using Update Visibility Rounds. If you are in Early Access, you must wait two weeks after launch before starting an Update Round.

Q. How often can I use an Update Visibility Round?
A. There is no limit to how much time must be between the use of your Update Rounds. You may use them all immediately one after the other if you wish. However, you may want to consider the future plans for your game or software to anticipate future updates that you may want to save an update round for.

Q. Do I need to coordinate with a product update?
A. Yes, these appear in a section called "Recently Updated" and are intended for use when announcing major updates to your application such as new content, new DLC, or new features.

Q. How do I know where my game is showing up?
A. Steam traffic data analytics show you the specific areas (or 'feature') on each page in Steam where your game has been shown to someone, how many impressions have occurred in each placement, as well as where and how many times customers have clicked to get to your store page.

Q. How can I get my game to show up to more customers?
A. Steam automatically shows games to customers in different ways and many different places. The visibility of any given game on Steam is based on many factors, including how customers are reacting to that product, and who the potential audience is for that product. Not every customer is interested in every game, so Steam works to figure out who your game should be recommended to and who is most likely to purchase your game.

Q. Does this change how I release my game?
A. The release process for you is still the same, but now your game may be able to appear in more places throughout Steam. You focus on making an awesome game and describe it accurately to customers on your store page and Steam will work to show your game in appropriate places based on customers’ interests, preferences, and feedback.

Keep in mind that you still need to make sure you get word out about your game as you lead up to your release date. Get the community excited and build an audience. Put up a 'coming soon' page, and post announcements. Some customers may need to see your game dozens of times before it catches their attention.

Q. Can I pay for my game to show up to more customers?
A. Nope. You focus on making a compelling, interesting, and unique game, and Steam will work out the best places to feature your game based on customers’ interests, preferences, and feedback.