Steam Spy to End After Valve Changes Steam’s Privacy Policies

Steam Spy to End After Valve Changes Steam's Privacy Policies

Steam Spy announced that the service which calculate Steam game ownership (among other stats) “won’t be able to operate anymore” as a result of a privacy policy change at Steam by Valve.

This week, Valve announced that it’s expanding the Profile Privacy Settings to give players more control over how private they want to keep their Steam account. This includes blocking public eyes from viewing your purchased and wishlisted games, achievements, playtime, and online status. However, it’s where Steam announced that game ownership details will be hidden by default that’s hit Steam Spy.

“Steam Spy relied on this information being visible by default and won’t be able to operate anymore,” said Steam Spy creator Sergey Galyonkin. The popular tool scraped that publicly available data to estimate game sales, an important service in an area where sales figures are sometimes made hard to truly discern. While not 100 percent accurate, Steam Spy was a trusted resource that sites like USgamer relied on for information.

The privacy debate has gained steam in recent weeks after the fallout of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal which forced many online to examine how their personal informations are used and protected. And Galyonkin admits that the privacy changes at Valve are less about ending Steam Spy as it is revamping the pivotal privacy policies.

But other developers say they will miss the service. Speaking to Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail on Twitter, one developer said that Steam Spy served as a resource to formulate a business plan that can be used during all-important business negotiations.

Galyonkin has not stated whether there will be an attempt to get a Steam Spy style service to work after the privacy changes, but as it stands Steam Spy looks to serve now mostly as an archive.

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