Steam celebrates another year of serving PC gamers everywhere.
When Steam launched back in in 2003 it wasn’t exactly greeted with enthusiasm. Valve was bringing a system to gamers that would require them to have it installed to play games. What a preposterous idea.
On September 12 2003 the initial release was really no more than a patching platform, and although Steam is still not perfect, I think we can agree it’s come a long way. Eleven years on and PC gamers all over the planet use it. With the demise of retailers and the rise of digital downloads thanks to Steam, it’s fair to say that Valve got in early and are now reaping the massive rewards.
I’ll admit that I didn’t really embrace Steam. As a PC gamer who loved to actually have the physical box, the whole concept didn’t appeal. Valve were clever to make Steam a requirement when Half Life 2 was released, who wouldn’t install it out of principle if it meant they couldn’t enjoy one of the most anticipated sequels of all time.
I got over my boxed copy fixation a few years ago, now I hate the damn things. Now they fill cupboards in spare rooms because one day they may be worth something. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. That Collectors’ Edition of Ultima Online with its cloth map, copies of Half Life, Diablo 1‘s, Command & Conquers, they’re all sitting in those cupboards being completely useless.
In the past few years we’ve seen more PC games released than ever before and the convenience of Steam has made it an essential tool for PC gamers everywhere. Let’s also not forget that it’s also helped indie developers who now have direct access to a massive PC gaming community.
Steam is essential, but it’s not perfect. The terrible Steam Greenlight and a poor refund policy are two issues that get mentioned time and time again. PC gamers can complain as much as they want, Valve has it sewn up and they’ll make changes and improvements in their own time, Valve Time.
PC Gamers can’t complain, we all have large libraries of games in our Steam accounts, many of them having never been played. IncGamers’ Tim McDonald has probably purchased every game ever released on Steam and there’s many more like him out there in PC gaming land. This fact alone proves Steam works for gamers, the developers, and Valve.
So when did you join Steam? Are you an 11 year Steam veteran with a shiny badge?