Last week, Valve’s storefront updated its search tool to give users more flexibility using tags.
VentureBeat used the feature to find out how many entries Steam has under the “Indie” category. The search returned over 40,000 results. All these entries do not necessarily represent different games. Sometimes it’s just various editions of the same titles, or just DLCs tagged “indie.”
Image Credit: GamesBeat
Still, the number is whopping, which is why Valve started to experiment with visibility in the first place.
However, VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb says this number is pretty standard across creative industries. After all, if you narrow down all books on Amazon to “indie” titles, you will get even more, 50,000. Unlike Steam, Amazon does not attempt to help users decide what to read next (not directly anyway: to be fair, this functionality is present on their GoodReads website that Amazon has owned since 2013). When it comes to books, recommendations are typically generated outside of the store, through social media, by word of mouth, and so on.
Valve’s Steam Labs suite of tools is great, but maybe there’s only so much stores can do to boost visibility. With tens of thousands of games on Steam, maybe a healthy thing is just to accept that you can’t make all games stand out.