As of today, the Steam Spy sales tracking service will no longer be able to operate. Valve has pushed out an update for Steam that automatically sets users’ Steam libraries to private, with the option to make it public. Previously, Steam profiles were automatically public and users were able to opt out.
Due to these changes, SteamSpy will no longer be able to use the Steam API to reliably scrape user sales data as all data will be, by default, hidden from view.
“Valve just made a change to their privacy settings, making games owned by Steam users hidden by default,” said SteamSpy creator, Sergey Galyonkin.
“Steam Spy relied on this information being visible by default and won't be able to operate anymore.”
SteamSpy uses much the same method as we use here on GD to automatically import your Steam library to the site. You can still do this on GD, exactly the same way as before (there’s a button to sync your Steam library on the right-hand side of your profile page), only now you’ll need to actively make your Steam library profile public in order to do this.
I should imagine publishers and developers are pretty pleased about all this. Some have made it no secret that they would rather this data remain private, but it’s always proved to be an interesting, if not wholly accurate insight into game sales.
Anyway, the changes came about as a result of Steam’s new profile privacy settings which are going live today. It’s quite the hot topic as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sits down for a half-arsed testimony. Each user will now have an expanded Profile Privacy Settings Page that provides them with more control over the privacy of their Steam account. Each section will have more detailed descriptions and players will be able to decide exactly what can be seen, such as the games you own, your wishlist, whether you’re in-game, the title you’re actually playing, and more. On the plus side, everyone who buys them weeb games can keep theirs, and their waifu’s, sordid lives private.
Last but not least, Valve is working on a new ‘invisible’ mode for the ultimate in stealthy gaming. On top of the existing ‘offline’ presence, players can appear offline but actually be online, able to view friends lists, send and receive messages. “Sometimes you’re feeling social, and sometimes you’re not; this setting should help Steam users be social on their own terms,” explains Valve. “We hope to have this feature ready for beta release soon.”
All change for Steam then, and if you want your profile to remain public you're now going to have to actively change it.