Steam rolls out new Playtest feature

Steam rolls out new Playtest feature

Valve has revealed its latest big update for developers on Steam: playtests.

The firm announced this in a blog post, saying that this new feature allows developers and publishers to test their games via the platform rather than having to mess around with external keys or email mailing lists. Companies can hold these events on their store page, controlling how many people have access to the beta test and whether they are open or closed.

The functionality is handled in a similar way to demos on Steam via a second app identification stat, meaning that people taking part in these playtests won't mess with a company's wishlists and so on. Oh, and beta players cannot write reviews, developers will be pleased to know.

"We try to design these tools to be as useful as possible, and then put them in front of increasingly more developers so we can make incremental improvements," Valve wrote.

"If there are things you’d like to see from Steam Playtest, please let us know in the developer forums."

This functionality was teased earlier in the year with a test for Creative Assembly's Total Way: Elysium. It's the latest update that Steam has received in recent years, following a complete overhaul of the platform's library feature.

Valve has also rolled out the Steam Labs initiative to help show off what the company is working on behind the scenes. This shows experimental features that the firm is hoping to release to its wider platform, such as improving discoverability and implementing a language filter for Steam Chat.

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.


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