What is Steam? Steam is a digital distribution platform tailored to gamers and game devlopers. While it initially catererd to PC games, the platform soon expanded its availability to home video games consoles ex. Xbox and Sony PlayStation. With over 47 million daily active users, steam has been operating for almost 16 years. Its constant improvement to better accomodate users has made its development notable in the video game industry, consistently hailing as one of the top dogs of digital distribution platforms. Steam is also a convenient platform for game developers, whether for huge gaming companies or small indie creators. Any developer can partner up with Steam to add their games to the platform, as well as easily engage and inform the gamiing community through a store page. If game developers wish to update or fix their game, they case use Steam to release "game patches" for players to download. This allows game developers to improve their games without enforcing recall of their product.
Steam: A Video Distrubtion Platform As an online video game distribution platofrm, Steam has become a giant in its field of expertise. Its creation in 2005 ushered a new era in the video game industry. While it was intially created as a way for Valve developers to update their multiplayer games without inconveniencing its customers, the creators of Steam quickly realized the potential it had as a game distribution platform. Valve tested this potential with the long-awaited release of "Half-Life 2", but the online registration issue created backlash that caused gamers to look at Steam in a less than positive light. Valve then quickly worked to regain customer loyalty by improving their systems and adding games created by other developers. By 2007, Steam's standing within the gaming community had greatly improved. NOt only did gamers have a huge selection of games to enjoy, but Steam also made sure that its users were well-accomodated. This included the implementation of Steam Library, Steam Community, and Steam Support. For game developers, Steam created Steamworks, a subsidiary website where they can partner up with the platform. Here, game developers can improve their games with Steam's gaming tools and read up on tips in Steam Workshop. Creators can also create store pages where they can show and release their product, as well as interact with their audience through the page's community hub.
Why Has Steam been so Succesful? Firstly, Valve (competitor) had critical IP that it was able to use to attract its initial user base. Steam was launched in 2003 to support the viral growth on Counter-Strike, the most succesful first person shooter game of all time. With over 5 million copies sold to date, at the time CS, was growing exponentially, was plagued with cheating and piracy, and its player base was fragmented across multiple versions. Leveraging its ownership of the underlying IP, Valve was able to funnel all players through Steam platform and solve all of these pain points. Steam started out by offering only Valve games, Valve recognized that the degree of fragmentation of game developers, prohibitively high costs of physically publishing and distributing games, increasing challenge of digital rights management and rise of digital content distribution created an opportunity.In 2005, valve opened the Steam platform to allow non-Valve games to be sold and played through Steam. In doing so it became a two-side marketplace for game devs and players, and leveraged the enormous network effects to grow its market share. Multi-homing between games and platforms, Steam was designed to promote user adoption and stickiness. Steam was and continues to be free to download and much of the base game content is either free or relatively low cost. In fact, much of the revenue is generated from in game "microtransactions".
No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...