Thursday marks 10 years of digital distribution on the PC platform.
September 12th will mark ten years since Valve introduced Steam. Initially, Steam's primary purpose was to standardize PC game updates, which when extended to 'Counter Strike' 1.6 and rather infamously 'Half-Life 2,' meant a client that served as the only way to install and run the PC game.
While the platform's initial struggles and DRM functions frustrated players, much of the frustration stemmed from the overload due to demand for the client on account of its associated Valve titles, which repeatedly overwhelmed Vale's expectations and servers. During the two years following 'Half-Life 2,' Valve slowly attracted smaller developers to its Store Front, and encouraged them to include Steam as a mandatory part of their boxed copies.
A series of moves starting in 2006 saw the platform attract major publishers, including the currently estranged enemy EA, who now hosts their games through an imitative Origin service, but still sells their games everywhere but on Steam. Several big Valve releases like 'Team Fortress 2' and 'Portal' helped to fuel a Steam explosion that was further bolstered by the debut of the Steam Community.
As Steam has continued to swell and to attract both major and minor publishers and developers while introducing features like Steam Greenlight and Big Picture Mode, the platform's sales have become notorious for encouraging players to load up on games priced in a way dissimilar to other platforms, even as competitors have caught on and aped the sale style.
While Steam has many detractors, most veteran PC gamers understand that the current success of Steam and success of PC games are not independent trends, and it has been long time since anyone mentioned "the death of PC gaming."
Author: Brian Hoss