SteamSpy, the leading resource for tracking sales data on the PC digital distribution service Steam, is shutting down as a result of new Steam privacy settings.
Valve has added settings in Steam to hide ownership of games from public view by default. What this means is that games you buy and own on the service can’t just be viewed by anyone with access to your Steam profile or the underlying data. It can be opted out of, but it is on by default, and few people are likely to change it.
This causes problems for SteamSpy, which uses and aggregates that public data to display sales numbers for a game on the service. SteamSpy’s Twitter account announced yesterday that the service would have to discontinue. With every account’s library now going hidden by default, there is no way for the service to grab the data it needs.
“Valve just made a change to their privacy settings, making games owned by Steam users hidden by default,” the tweet concisely reads. “Steam Spy relied on this information being visible by default and won’t be able to operate anymore.”
In the past, indie developers have relied on SteamSpy for accurate if imprecise sales numbers of their games and similar competitors.
SteamSpy was genuinely useful, though I think many didn’t like numbers out there for in a way they couldn’t control. It’s sad to see it go regardless.