Now, the algorithm. The fact that it’s obfuscated to prevent exploitation is not the problem - it’s something I expect and respect. I also fully understand the problems with balancing such a system, and I outlined them in the review. My point is that the system has already been unintentionally “gamed” by a positive reinforcement loop, and it should be fixed or at least tampered. One can keep a trade secret while trying to fix it.
Is that really a problem that Itch can solve, though? Exposure begets exposure, and popular games are really all we can expect to see on the "popular" tab. Most of us will never make the kinds of games that attract the fickle attention of major platforms, regardless of how Itch organizes its content. What would you do differently?