Valve is working on its own 'more accurate and more useful' Steam Spy-like tools

Valve knows that Steam Spy has been a useful tool for developers but laments that the service is not accurate enough. The company hopes to introduce its own tools to solve this problem.

Steam Spy has been, up until recent privacy changes rendered the service unreliable, a useful tool in some cases for developers to keep an eye on the ebb and flow of digital sales on Steam, but Valve wants to offer developers “something better.”

Speaking at White Nights in St. Petersburg this past week, Valve’s head of business development Jan-Peter Ewert addressed the topic in response to a question from indie dev Michael Kuzmin about Valve’s take on Steam Spy’s utility. 

In short, Ewert notes that Valve is “working on new tools and new ways of getting data out of Steam” and hopes that the data provided by the company’s own tools “can be more accurate and more useful than what Steam Spy previously offered” developers.

“Our general approach has always been to provide open APIs so that when we don't offer the amount of tools that we should, the community can step in,” explains Ewert. Steam Spy filled this gap originally until privacy changes on Valve’s end prevented the third-party tool from gathering the data it used to make its estimations.

Steam Spy was taken offline following those changes at first, and was later brought back online, albeit in a less accurate form and with a different algorithm at its sails. But even the original incarnation of Steam Spy left some things to be desired, as Ewert points out, since the service “had a broad variance in how accurate it was,” with that accuracy differing from game to game.

"So, to be clear, we don't have a business selling iPhones,” said Ewert, explaining why both developers and Valve benefits from analytical tools in the vein of Steam Spy. “The only way we make money is if you make good decisions in bringing the right games to the platform, and finding your audience.”

Latest Jobs

Xbox Game Studios

Redmond, Washington
Technical Lighting Artist


Hamburg, Germany
Game Designer - Elvenar

Six Foot

Houston, TX
Six Foot Director, Player Relations

Hometopia Inc.

Lead Engineer
More Jobs   


Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more