Speaking at the Business Conference for Games Industry event in Russia—part of St Petersburg's White Nights 18 festival—Valve business development head Jan-Peter Ewert addressed Steam Spy's shortcomings. He also vaguely outlined Valve's future plans.
As shown below, indie developer Michael Kuzmin asks Ewert about Steam Spy, and if Valve plans to provide an official alternative. He suggests the loss of a fully-functioning Steam Spy has restricted developers' means of interpreting the market.
Here's Ewert's reply, as shared by Oleg Chumakov:
@kuzmitch_ru asking Mr. Jan-Peter Ewert from @steam_games about @Steam_Spy future. pic.twitter.com/kw8g0TwzkaJune 28, 2018
"Our general approach has always been to provide open APIs so that when we don't offer the amount of tools that we should, the community can step in," explains Ewert above. "[This] has allowed things like Steam Spy to happen. We had two problems with Steam Spy. One is that the GDPR can be wrong, and the other thing is Steam Spy… it had a broad variance in how accurate it was. It was very accurate for some games, it was very inaccurate for some others."
Kuzmin interjects: "Yes, it's not original data, it's not the number of sales, it's just predictions. We know that, but it helped us."
Ewert continues: "I'm essentially trying to explain why we think you need something better than Steam Spy. So, to be clear, we don't have a business selling iPhones. The only way we make money is if you make good decisions in bringing the right games to the platform, and finding your audience.
"So, yes, we are very much working on new tools and new ways of getting data out of Steam, and we hope that data can be more accurate and more useful than what Steam Spy previously offered you."