Steam Spy—the analytics site used to discover stats such as game ownership and play times among users of Valve’s platform—is shutting down. Operator Sergey Galyonkin said that the decision is due to an update in Steam’s user privacy settings, which in most cases will hide the information relied on by Steam Spy.
In a recent blog post, Steam announced that its new profile privacy settings allow users “to manage how you are viewed by your friends, or the wider Steam community.” It’s likely that the change has been at least partly prompted by the new industry focus on user privacy—a result of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica saga. Steam claims, however, that it came about from user feedback.
One of these changes makes games owned by Steam users hidden by default. This data is required by Steam Spy, and as such, the site “won’t be able to operate anymore.” Some people may choose to opt-in and make their owned games viewable, but Galyonkin writes that this wouldn’t be enough for Steam Spy's estimates.
“To reiterate - it's not because of the new privacy settings. It's because Steam just made everyone's gaming library hidden by default (this wasn't in their blog post),” tweeted Galyonkin, who said that Steam Spy would probably remain only as an “archive.”
To reiterate - it's not because of the new privacy settings. It's because Steam just made everyone's gaming library hidden by default (this wasn't in their blog post).— Steam Spy (@Steam_Spy) April 11, 2018
Another privacy change Steam is introducing is the “invisible” mode. This sits alongside the “online”, “away” and “offline” options, allowing you to appear offline but still able to view your friends list and send and receive messages. The feature will be ready for a beta release soon.