In late October, Valve began beta testing features to improve the Steam Curators system on its gaming distribution platforming, giving developers and reviewers alike more tools to help amplify game recommendations. And now, most of that update is rolling out, including a major portion intended to protect developers from scams.
Steam’s Curator Connect feature prevents developers from accidentally giving away their video games to ne’er-do-wells posing as journalists, livestreamers, and content creators. The idea is simple. Developers can use Curator Connect to send out review keys to curators who may be interested in playing a given game. Obviously, this centralizes the entire press key process through an official channel, and Steam itself serves as a powerful deterrent against scammers, turning Steam into a regulatory presence that trims down on fake accounts’ access to games.
The tool also comes alongside many other changes to Steam Curators, including video embeds for curators, promoting curators’ pages based on players’ personal tastes, recommendation grouping, and homepage customizations. Over on the developer’s side of Curator Connect, the new system also comes with a tag search where developers can look for specific curators that may be interested in a game based on their personal preferences.
The system itself works pretty decently, but it’s not perfect. For instance, Kotaku U.K.’s Rich Stanton chatted with an anonymous source who felt like Curator Connect is a little one-sided right now.
“The only thing I’m missing so far or can not see in the system, is a way for the curators to contact us developers (for feedback for example),” Staton’s source explained. “It’s pretty much a one way street where you send out your keys with a message and then hope. I can see if a request gets accepted and if a review has been written, but that’s it.”
Hopefully Valve will continue to work on the system over time now that the beta is finally over. In the meantime, check out the Steam Curators page for more info on how the system works.