Back in April, Valve announced new supposedly privacy-oriented changes for Steam that had what everyone assumed to be an unintended (and unannounced) side-effect: It would hide everyone’s owned games by default, effectively neutering extremely useful and popular tools like Steam Spy.
Steam Spy’s Sergey Galyonkin, the Epic Games employee who ran Steam Spy on the side, hasn’t seemed particularly perturbed over the last several months since the announcement; in fact, last week, he said he was “excited” at the idea that Valve was working on its own version of the tracking tool. “The reason I opened Steam Spy to everyone was to let smaller developers make informed decisions based on data and to remove some of the information asymmetry that is so pervasive in our industry,” he tweeted last week. “Naturally, I am excited by Valve’s decision to offer a better version of Steam Spy.”
But that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening.
Indie developer Tyler Glaiel (you probably know him from Succubox) came up with a workaround to keep SteamSpy online and public using achievement stats, only to find that Valve has again changed its API – in the last week, so it’s no coincidence – to break that too. And it’s nothing to do with privacy this time either. Devs and industry watchers have begun sounding the alarm on what Valve is up to.
It seriously seems like Valve privacy settings change was targeted towards SteamSpy's estimates methodology.
Someone found another method, Valve made it irrelevant shortly, this time user privacy wasn't part of the equation.https://t.co/hGhggTSNt1 pic.twitter.com/Evkmej7Bgr
— ? Thomas Bidaux ? Develop (@icotom) July 4, 2018
shocking few people, valve really did just kill steamspy out of spite and definitely don't want anything like it to exist ever again https://t.co/hbnq9AaYT4
— Katelyn Gadd (@antumbral) July 4, 2018
If you’ve found SteamSpy to be a valuable service providing data, now is the time.