Gamespot recently spoke with Valve’s Erik Johnson about ads on Steam. The general verdict? Not going to happen.
“We don’t see a case for that ever getting user value,” Johnson said with regards to a question about Dorito ads appearing on the platform. “So we wouldn’t do it. I don’t think that those ever work, either. To take it a step further, I don’t think anybody buys Doritos as a result of that.”
Johnson said that instead, the company tends to focus on long-term relationships—something that brings value to the customer. Advertisement programs that simply flash a product cost money, and would be “a bad business decision, let alone just dumb.”
Instead, Valve is focusing on creating new tools and functionality in helping its customers find games they’re interested in. The Steam Discovery Update was added to the platform in September 2014; its aim was to help users filter new releases. Since Valve’s library is currently at 6,000 games and growing—with a customer base of 125 million people—it’s important that the platform’s search algorithms are high-functioning.