Valve Unveils Upcoming Interface Overhaul for Steam Library

Announced at GDC 2019

Valve is finally giving their Steam client library a much needed makeover. The announcement comes directly via the 2019 Game Developers Conference, where Valve also expressed the need to be transparent about their “priorities and principals” when it comes to PC gaming.

This of course, comes on the heels of EPIC Games continued assault and pressure via their EPIC Games Store.

Although Steam has been the dominant PC gaming platform for several years now, EPIC Games believes that they can take away that crown from Valve. Especially by offering a larger cut to game companies by selling on their platform vs Steam.

Even though Valve did not mention EPIC by name, it is clear why they feel the need to start making changes now after years of complacency.

The two major changes will be in the form of Steam Events and the aforementioned UI overhaul.

What are Steam Events?

Steam Events is a new way for developers to communicate with their players through Steam. Previously, announcements are tucked inside community page updates. Now developers can schedule big announcements with information sent out to interested players automatically.

These players can then set reminders with a single button press. Informing about the event through a calendar, Steam, e-mail or directly through their smart phone.

“We want to build the foundation for a communication platform where all of the interesting things happening in a game finds its way to customers,” said Alden Kroll, product designer at Valve.

What Does the New Steam Library Look Like After the Update?

“When players come in to play a game, we’re going to keep that as easy as possible,”  adds Kroll. “This provides an opportunity for players to see what else is happening.”

The most notable change in the game library view is the use of large game tiles. It looks more like a media library now instead of a simple text listing. The friends section is also fully integrated into the interface, instead of a separate launch.

Furthermore, the library listing can be refined into categories, much like other media libraries. This makes sorting large libraries much easier and accessible.

Ron Perillo

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