Improving owner estimates on PlayTracker Insight

When I launched PlayTracker Insight, I made the data public and available to everyone because I believe it will be easier to fix and improve Insight with the help of the public.

During this unexpectedly big launch weekend, one issue has been at the forefront of discussion - incorrect owner estimates for some games. Many developers have come out and said that the figures on Insight are wrong, often by a large margin. I failed to effectively communicate that the number was a rough estimate and that games could have wildly incorrect data and I apologize.

While being accurate 100% of the time is impossible ever since Steam changes profiles to be private by default, I want Insight to be as good as it can possibly get. The basic tactic of sampling and extrapolating, which you can read about on the about page, needs some help getting there. Here's what I'm going to do.

First, I am going to start using public Steam data like reviews and concurrent players to determine anomalies in Insight's data. For example, if the number of reviews is significantly out of line with PlayTracker's owner estimate, the estimate will be adjusted and a warning will show up on the page telling users that this game is likely to have skewed data.

Second, I am fast-tracking full implementation of the bias system - a system which takes data voluntarily submitted by developers to detect large-scale biases in PlayTracker’s sample and slowly adjust the relevant estimates over time as well as shape future growth of Insight’s sample (which grows by a thousand every few days) to make it more accurate. If you are a developer and willing to share your data to make PlayTracker better, you can contact me at marijan@playtracker.net.

These changes will go live in an update on April 2nd. This is not a definitive nor instant fix. I will continue to adjust Insight and implement new ways to make it better for everyone.

I also noticed a lot of people asking about future plans so I've now published a post on Patreon.

Finally, I've been asked about who I am and if I am associated with anyone in the gaming industry, so I've addressed it on the about page (spoiler: I am a nobody).