If you are someone who uses Steam Spy to see information about Steam games, then you might be out of luck right now. Valve just updated the Privacy Settings on Steam for users this week, and it allows you to hide your game details. We really like to tell you what all is going on in the world of Steam.
Valve has been making a ton of changes to Steam in the past several months, and the new privacy settings are just the latest change. For people who use or want to use Steam Spy, this means that the information from Steam Spy as a service is no longer going to be relevant or useful.
Steam Spy Virtually Useless with Steam Privacy Settings Changes
It is definitely a sad day if you are someone who would use Steam Spy to check out which games are performing the best. Steam Spy was a great way to figure out whether a game was on sale, how many people play the game concurrently, and if any sales were going on. It was also useful because it would show you statistics for YouTube, how many people owned the game, and the play-time for the games. Now, it appears that Steam Spy is rendered basically useless since Valve decided to change the privacy settings.
As far as what can now be hidden in the privacy settings, a Steam user could choose to hide the game details. These details would include things such as games that you bought, gaming time, and the option to hide all achievements. For the privacy-minded gamer out there, the new privacy settings are going to be very helpful and useful. You can also go invisible while you are on Steam, which would mean that you would appear offline to everyone.
If you wanted to, you could still communicate with other players and also see your friends list while in invisible status. The Steam Spy service required these key pieces of information in order to function properly. So while you are getting more options for privacy, it also harms you if you like looking up the Steam Spy statistics.
Steam Spy Sales Tracking Ability Essentially Dead
If the game purchasing information is not public, then the sales-tracking abilities of Steam Spy are essentially dead on arrival. These statistics will no longer be a reflection of the true sales and status of the games in question. There was always a little bit of room for these statistics to be faulty, but now, an even bigger margin of error is going to happen. If you want official numbers now, it looks like you will have to wait for the game publishers to release those details.
Steam Spy can no longer accurately track this information, leaving most people in the dark about the true game sales or player-counts. These settings previously were setup to be public by default, but now things are going to change. Steam also changed things so that the game libraries for each person are now set to hidden by default. That really puts the hammer into Steam Spy if you think about it.
Steam Changes Will Make Steam Spy Data Really Inaccurate
If this information was not hidden by default, Steam Spy probably would still be mostly functional and accurate. It still would not have been as accurate with the other changes in place, but would be more of a much closer estimate. Now, the data that is released is likely to be so far off base that it should not be considered anywhere near accurate. Valve does have a chart on the Steam Store, which could be why it is changing the privacy settings.
The Steam Spy statistics could have been see as the competition for the charts on the Steam Store page. Still, the Valve charts for Steam do not contain nearly enough information or really that specific of data. You only will see the best-selling games right now on Steam, without any other important data.
We want to hear from you on the latest news regarding Steam Spy and the changes by Valve. Are you more concerned about your privacy while playing games through Steam? Do you think these privacy settings are going to just kill off Steam Spy all together? What do you think your best choice is now to get accurate information about sales and which games are the most popular on the Steam platform?