Steam Spy ceases operations after Valve changes privacy settings

Valve kills Steam Spy

New Valve privacy settings force Steam Spy to shut down

Earlier this week, Valve announced that it was updating Steam with new privacy settings that were supposed to help gamers keep more information to themselves. Your basic details remain public, but your profile summary, friends list, badges, Steam Level, showcases, comments, and group membership are all hidden from view until you decide to share them with others. What do you think of the privacy changes? Steam Spy is an integral tool to finding out analytical information about Steam and its various game information tidbits.

Creator Sergey Galyonkin took to Twitter to voice his own concerns about Valve's changes, stating that "Steam Spy relied on [game details] information being visible by default and won't be able to operate anymore".

Steam Spy has been a tremendously helpful tool over the years, offering estimates on how individual games are selling and how many people are actively playing them, among other insights. That data will have to be largely historic moving forward though, as without easy access to game profiles, Steam Spy can not operate as it once did.

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This will basically stop snooping on people's profiles to note that they've put literal days into near-addictive games like Dota 2.

While the update prioritizes user privacy and choice - and better prepares Steam for the EU's privacy-respecting General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) due late May - it disrupts third party sites that use Steam to track aggregate sales data, in-game achievements, and user reputation, with Steam Spy perhaps the most prominent example.

As for more profile changes, Valve is working on implementing an invisible mode that will be available alongside to the current options of online, away, and offline. If you choose to set yourself to invisible, you'll appear as offline, but you'll still be able to view your friends list, send and receive messages. Likewise, those who specifically choose to do so may have a profile of their own, which wouldn't make Steam Stats' statistics representative of the entire Steam user base. "We hope to have this feature ready for beta release soon", explained Valve. The new privacy system allows users to hide their game details and habits.

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