The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - Valve
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is Now Available on Steam!

Experience an epic story developed across three titles, and crafted for new and old fans alike. Also includes an interactive introduction to catch up new players to the ongoing story so anyone can dive right in to the world of Trails of Cold Steel.
Mar 20
Steam Blog - AndrewL

February may have been the shortest month of the year, but that doesn't mean a shortage of top releases on Steam.

As always, this months’ lists showcase the top titles released in February (measured by the revenue generated during the first two weeks after their launch) and the top five free to play releases (measured by unique player count). As always, we take a look at some of the trends in these charts. But as a special part of this post, we’ve also included a spotlight section with two of the teams featured this month: Flying Oaks Games (ScourgeBringer) & Ink Stains Games (Stoneshard).

A Big Month for Early Access
The first thing we noticed this month is the high volume of games using Early Access. With nearly half of the games this month graduating to full release or making their debuts, Early Access continues to be a successful option for developers and players alike. When we launched Early Access back in 2013, we hoped that the program would provide developers with an optional path to work on their game alongside data and feedback from players. It’s great to see so many studios finding success through Early Access.

11 Releases From Teams New to Steam
Meanwhile, we continue to see new dev teams scoring a spot at the top of the charts. This month an astounding 11 games are coming from teams releasing their first ever Steam product. To Comfy 千亿体育官网, DeGenerals, Echo Entertainment, The Elephant Crew, Mastfire Studios Pty Ltd, panstasz, Placeholder Gameworks, SouthPAW Games, Spiderling Studios, SukeraSomero, WOLCEN Studio, welcome and congrats on your success.

Developer Spotlights: Flying Oak Games & Ink Stains Games
Obviously, finding success with a first release is not something that every team achieves. For many developers, a first release can be challenging and rewarding experience, but one that doesn't lead to a spot on a monthly top release list. This month we thought it would be great to celebrate some of the teams whose first releases didn't make a top 20 list, but have found their way on to this month’s charts with a subsequent release. We asked Flying Oak Games (ScourgeBringer) and Ink Stains Games (Stoneshard) about the biggest takeaways from their first launches, how those translated to success this time around, and what they'd recommend to other developers who didn't make a top 20 list with their first launch.

Flying Oak Games
In 2016 Flying Oak Games released the twin-stick shooter, NeuroVoider, for both consoles and Steam. The team points out that not enough focus was put on the quality of that title’s PC features. So, when they set out to make this month's hit, ScourgeBringer, Flying Oak made it a goal to ensure that their PC features be fully developed.

As Thomas Altenburger from the Flying Oak team puts it, "Quality depended on properly responding to our PC players, so we put extra effort into including as many Steam features as possible: Extended settings (e.g., full control support and remapping), working toward a crash free release, and localizing the game in as many languages as possible."

The team also said they were much more aware of Steam tags this time around. Rather than waiting to see how players decided to tag the game, they put emphasis on researching and selecting appropriate Steam tags before release. By carefully researching similar games, they were able to target players who were more likely to be interested in ScourgeBringer.

"We noticed that Steam is targeting players with similar interests more efficiently than in 2016,” said Thomas. “Understand: Set your tags right! We're pleased to see that new players are already familiar with the genres."

Finally, Flying Oak emphasized the importance of their publisher, Dear Villagers, who were able to create a focused marketing campaign that targeted relevant markets by using content creators specifically tailored for them.

"It has been hard, but we're very proud of the result and more importantly,” said Thomas. “Steam players seem to acknowledge the effort!"

Ink Stains Games
When designing their latest title, Stoneshard, Ink Stains Games set out to create a product that was much bigger in scope than their first game 12 is Better Than 6. According to the team, the big difference this time around came from placing a greater focus on expanding their engagement with the community. Speaking with the team about the ways they made this happen, there was an emphasis on paying more attention to a global audience.

"From the very beginning, we chose Steam as one of our main community platforms, giving it priority over our other social networks,” said Andrey Tsypaiev from Ink Stains. “Here, we regularly published devlogs about our progress in several languages - this approach allowed us to build several regional communities around our game."

If you follow Stoneshard on Steam, you've probably seen these devlogs in the game's News Hub. Each one gives unique insights into the development path, along with sneak previews and colorful gifs showcasing upcoming features. Something that isn't always obvious to players though, is the fact that the team creates several localized versions of these devlogs. Regardless of what language a player has Steam set to, Ink Stains is able to share Stoneshard development with their entire community.

Andrey's advice to other teams, "Start working with the community as soon as possible. This strategy allows you to create the backbone of a community you will be working with later."

Thank you and congratulations to both Ink Stains Games and Flying Oak Games for sharing their experiences in creating a Top Release of February 2020.


February's Top Releases
If you've made it this far, here's the list of February's top releases ordered by release date (we've organized this list on a sale page too):

Flying Oak Games & E-Studio (France & Finland)

Ink Stains Games (Russia)

Azur Lane Crosswave

Being a DIK - Season 1
Dr PinkCake (Sweden)

Marvelous Inc. (Japan)

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem
WOLCEN Studio (France)

Metro Exodus
4A Games (Ukraine & Malta)

Yuzusoft (Japan)

Spiderling Studios (UK)

Mastfire Studios Pty Ltd (Australia & US)

Skul: The Hero Slayer
SouthPAW Games (Republic of Korea)

Echo Entertainment (Sweden)

Death and Taxes
Placeholder Gameworks (Estonia)

Tank Mechanic Simulator
DeGenerals (Poland)

panstasz (Poland)

Dungeon Defenders: Awakened
Chromatic Games (US)

Max Gentlemen Sexy Business!
The Men Who Wear Many Hats (US)

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection
CAPCOM CO., LTD. (Japan)

Spike Chunsoft Co. Ltd. (Japan)

OshiRabu: Waifus Over Husbandos
SukeraSomero (Japan)


February's Top Free Releases

Dota Underlords
Valve (US)

RISK: Global Domination
SMG Studio (Australia & US)

I Wanna Maker
The Elephant Crew (US)

Moe Era
Comfy 千亿体育官网 (Russia)

绝望监牢 / 絶望プリズン
Studio Wasabi (Japan)


If you're curious about previous months, here are more Top Release lists:

-The Steam Team
Mar 18
Steam Blog - Acquired Taste
Interactive Recommendations, Just for You

Today we released the Steam Interactive Recommender, a way for users to harness the power of machine learning to discover personalized, interactive recommendations, based on your patterns of play. Along with powerful tag-based filters, you can tailor your results on the fly, selecting your own balance of popular or niche, and recent or classic titles, to find just the right games you're in the mood to play.

Recommendations generated by the system will appear on your store homepage. The Explore and Customize button leads to the full Interactive Recommender, where you can adjust parameters and save settings. Any customizations you make will also be used on the homepage.

Originally Steam Labs Experiment 002: Interactive Recommender, this new feature is now available to all users in the Steam store.

You can also access the Interactive Recommender by visiting, or find it in the Your Store menu.

How It Works
The Interactive Recommender uses a machine learning model that is trained based on the playtime histories of millions of Steam users. It's not directly affected by tags or reviews—it instead learns about the games on Steam by looking at what users actually play. The basic idea is that if there are other players with similar play habits to you, who also play a game that you haven't tried yet, then that game is likely to be one you'll enjoy too.

We're also starting to apply the underlying model in other parts of the Steam store, where we think it can help players see the most relevant content or make more informed choices. For example, when viewing the page for a particular game, you may sometimes see "Players like you love this game" shown as a reason why the game is relevant to you, alongside other factors.

One of Many Content Discovery Features of Steam
The Interactive Recommender isn't a replacement for our existing content discovery systems, but rather an addition to the variety of ways Steam recommends games to players. Although it's a powerful tool, there are some things it can't do. For example, it can't recommend new releases that nobody has played yet, while the Discovery Queue is designed to do just that. That said, we are starting to use the technology underlying the Interactive Recommender to power other features on Steam such as Steam Labs Experiment 008: Play Next, which recommends games you've already purchased but for whatever reason have not yet played. The result is a Steam experience that is more effective at connecting customers to games they'll love across a variety of scenarios.

Steam Labs Experiments
The Steam Interactive Recommender was first released as part of our Steam Labs initiative. Feedback from visitors to the Labs helps us evaluate and iterate on potential new Steam features like this one. While in development, your feedback led us to add tag filtering and saved settings for even more powerfully-guided recommendations. We also looked at quantitative data, measuring clickthrough rates, and conversion rates to wishlist and purchases of games from both the home page capsule, and the full Interactive Recommender page. The data compared favorably with other Steam features, not just in the few weeks after introduction, but consistently over the following months, giving us confidence that this tool is providing long term value in helping users find games they enjoy. It's also pleasing to note that games found this way covered a large portion of our catalog, not just the most popular hits, with well over 10,000 different games purchased as a result of visits to the Interactive Recommender page.

Thanks to everyone who helped us refine the Interactive Recommender for release. Check out other ongoing experiments at

Try the Interactive Recommender today!
Medieval Engineers - Valve
Medieval Engineers is Now Available on Steam!

Medieval Engineers is a sandbox game about engineering, construction and the maintenance of architectural works and mechanical equipment using medieval technology. Players build castles; construct mechanical devices and underground mining. There is an entire planet to explore!
Save 25% on SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

Beyond creation, four eras come together as one! Discover the latest entry in this iconic Tactical RPG series. Form your own team of SD Gundams and deploy for battle -- with units from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, SEED, 00, and Iron-Blooded Orphans!

Langrisser I & II - Valve
Langrisser I & II is Now Available on Steam and is 10% off!*

The battle between light and chaos comes to a head in this remake of legendary Strategy RPGs Langrisser I and Langrisser II.

*Offer ends March 17 at 10AM Pacific Time
Dreadlands - Valve
Dreadlands is Now Available on Steam Early Access and is 10% off!*

Dreadlands is a turn based skirmish game in which you control a gang of misfits and mercenaries, battling for survival and supremacy in a lush post-apocalyptic setting. Pick your crew from one of the playable gang factions, all distinctly different playstyles, lore and visuals.

*Offer ends March 17 at 10AM Pacific Time
Dota 2 - Valve
In this update we are introducing a new system for gathering data on the type of changes that are harder to evaluate or predict without very large number of games, such as gold bounty formula changes.

We expect the number of times that we actually do this during the year to be very low, however when we do it it'll be during weekdays only at the lowest point of user activity, between 4 and 6PM Seattle time. In addition, we are adding a convar "dota_disable_experimental_gameplay" that can be used by players to disable it. Any gameplay changes will only be active in matchmaking games where no players have the convar set. The changes will never be active in lobby and league games.

We recognize that in some cases players will back solve what changes were done, however we won't announce changes ourselves in part because we don't want players to overcompensate with knowledge of them and because generally we prefer to not reveal potential upcoming changes.

Although the type of changes we are thinking about, like gold distribution, take much more than a game or two to show their full impact, we will still be able to get meaningful data and analysis on the direction and scale of changes.
Broomstick League - Valve
Broomstick League is Now Available on Steam Early Access and is 10% off!*

Equipped with a broomstick, a wand and nerves of steel, players must hone their flying skills and use magic to dodge enemies, defend their goal, and pull off incredible plays in Broomstick League. Soar high through the magical arenas as you try to outscore the competition and gain victory over your opponents.

*Offer ends March 12 at 10AM Pacific Time
Dota 2 - Valve
- The rarity of “Very Rare” treasure items has changed to be closer to the halfway point between “Rare” and “Ultra Rare” items.

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