Steam tweaks privacy settings, will soon let you be invisible while online

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Valve has changed profile privacy settings to make it possible to hide your "game details, ' including the games you own and have on your wishlist, as well as the related metadata like achievements and playtime".

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". Although it has not always been 100 percent accurate, PC gamers considered it as a useful tool to check if a Steam game title was worth the purchase.

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Unless most, if not all Steam users were to actively open those settings up, it's looking grim for Steam Spy, which has proven to be a brilliant source of statistics in the past that have helped popularise games and support game developers as they grow and update their titles. "Additionally, regardless of which setting you choose for your profile's game details, you now have the option to keep your total game playtime private".

"You no longer need to nervously laugh it off as a bug when your friends notice the 4,000+ hours you've put into Ricochet", Valve noted.

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Valve has also notified users that it's working on a new "invisible" mode that will allow people to hide being online while still having the option to send and receive messages. Sergey Galyonkin, who founded Steam Spy in 2015 and is now Director of Publishing Strategy at Epic Games, has said the changes leave him no choice but to stop collecting data. That changes this week in light of a Steam client update centered around new user privacy settings. Steam Spy will continue to exist as an archive, but won't pull any new data. Once a user sets their presence to invisible, they will still be able to access the friends list and use Steam chat, but they will appear as offline to outside users. "We hope to have this feature ready for beta release soon", explained Valve. This has huge repercussions for Steam Spy.

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