Things are looking up for SteamSpy

Things are looking up for SteamSpy

Reports of SteamSpy's death might have been exaggerated, it would seem.

In a post on Medium, the site's founder Sergey Galyonkin said that he is rewriting how the third-party data site works. By his own admission, Galyonkin says that the new data being produced by the platform is "not very accurate" but points to the algorithm being pretty close with sales of Frostpunk.

The studio behind that title - 11bit - reported sales of 250,000 66 hours after launch; SteamSpy had 252,000, which is not bad as far as a margin of error goes.

However, overall he says that the data varies hugely when it comes to accuracy; some have a 10 per cent margin of error, while others have a 90 per cent gap.

Last month it was looking like SteamSpy was going to have to close altogether after Valve made changes to user profile privacy settings on Steam. The firm changed profiles from public by default to private, likely a response to privacy concerns following the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal.

Galyonkin and SteamSpy used information from public profiles to make very informed guesses as to how games were performing, but with user data private by default, this was no longer possible.

Galyonkin says that he received a wave of support following these changes, with several developers emailing him to tell him how helpful his service was.

"During that period I received over two hundred emails and messages from developers telling me how Steam Spy improved their lives," he wrote.

"There was an indie company from Berlin that managed to secure financing from the government for their niche title because they had the data to prove that this niche is big enough. The title got released and succeeded.

"Then there was a successful mid-sized publisher that entered the business after it was able to see which games are selling and which don’t.

"And then there were your usual stories of developers being able to navigate the space because they knew how the market behaves now."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.