From July 1, Steamdisables support for “Google Analytics“. Apparently, in order to “sweeten the pill”, the platform promised to launch new tools for traffic analysis. About the upcoming innovations and the reaction of developers — in our material.

Rejection of “Google Analytics”

First, about the most controversial decision — the refusal to work with Google Analytics.

Steam explains this by saying that:

  • Google itself has been refusing to support Universal Analytics since July, which Steam was working with, and replaces it with “Google Analytics 4“;
  • Google’s tools don’t match Steam’s approach to user privacy.

Steam emphasizes that it is not interested in sharing personal information about players, as well as collecting and storing data about their age, gender and race.

Innovations in working with traffic

As for the innovations, they can be divided into two groups — those related to traffic analysis and those related to the analysis of UTM campaigns.

In traffic reports (we are talking about the Store tab & Steam Platform Traffic Breakdown in the admin panel) promised to add:

  • breakdown of visits to the Steam page of the game by country;
  • mention of the most common domains from which traffic is coming.

Steam is confident that these measures will be useful to developers in making the following decisions:

  • which languages should be supported first;
  • where to locate the server if the game requires online;
  • on which sites to launch advertising campaigns.

As for the UTM functionality (UTM Analytics bookmarks in the admin panel), the following changes have been announced when working with it:

  • improved tracking of situations when a user clicked on a UTM link from a website, opened a Steam client and made a purchase;
  • providing conversion data during the day;
  • adding segmentation of page visits by region;
  • adding segmentation of page spaces by device type (mobile and PC);
  • also, among the upcoming innovations, they promised to add a display of new and returning users (that is, they will begin to show what percentage of visits are for users who have just learned about the game, and what percentage is for those who already knew about it).

Recall that UTM, which stands for Urchin Tracking Module (miniature tracking module), is a standard tool that shows whether users click on promoted links.

Developers’ reaction

The reaction of developers to the news can be called contradictory. Some of them, judging by the comments under the post on Steam itself and in social groups, were dissatisfied with the disabling of Google Analytics support.

For example, a developer under the nickname jevon noted that many of the data that Google shares, Steam does not share: “It doesn’t answer the question of how many users are on the page at a particular time.”

InflexionJarrett agrees with him: “At the moment we use analytics from Google to analyze page traffic in real time. It allows you to track the peaks of visits and correlate them with our marketing activity (video release, publication of posts, etc.). We turn to analytics daily, often several times a day. Will Steam be able to provide real-time traffic data?

In the Telegram group “STEAMizdat + EGS“, where developers discuss publishing on PC platforms, attention was also drawn to this. One of the developers noted that Steam allowed you to “screw” analytics not only to the game page, but also to the pages of the developer, publisher and even curator. From July it will be impossible to track it

Also, some developers in the group noted that the rejection of “Google Analytics” is bad news, since tracking on Steam has always worked poorly. They say that with the advent of new tools, this situation is unlikely to change.

More about new studies

Also yesterday, on May 15, on the Steam page of Dead Space Remake, there was an opportunity to play a trial version of the game (that is, download the project for free and play its full version with a time limit of 90 minutes).

Steam did not write about this separately. Perhaps this functionality is still being tested or is only available for a limited pool of publishers.