Yesterday, players around the world had an excellent opportunity to arrange a gala dinner for themselves: Steam, one of the main digital distribution sites, celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. Today, PC gaming is hard to imagine without Valve and her client, but in 2003 everything was different. For 15 years, the platform has gone a long way: from universal hatred due to excessive demands and an obsessive method of distribution — to the people’s favorite and the foremost fighter against pirates.

The legendary platform Steam turned 15 years old

It all started in 2002: March 22, at the GDC conference, Valve presented its new project and launched the beta version. The main function of Steam at that time was the rapid distribution of updates and patches for Valve games, which had to be bought separately. On September 12, 2003, a full-fledged client came out, but gamers took him to hostility. There were two problems. First, the need to maintain a stable Internet connection, which few people could boast at that time. Secondly, an aggressive distribution model: in 2004, Half-Life 2 came out, and the corporation decided that it was a great way to increase the audience. To get the desired shooter to bypass the Steam was impossible.

Universal love for Gordon Freeman did her job — Steam went to the people. Manual realized: on the site, you can sell other people’s games. Works of third-party developers began to appear in 2005 — the first was the Rag Doll Kung Fu and Darwinia. A year later, the number of offers exceeded 100, and the site began to turn into a real platform for promotion slowly. In 2007, other tools added to the free demo: catalog search, Top Sellers and New Releases filters, integration of Metacritic ratings. At the same time, the social component also developed: lists of friends, groups, voice chats.

At the same time, user-loved traditions began to emerge: sales and collections of cheap games that stimulated impulse purchases. In 2011, Valve launched a fight against fraudsters and created Steam Guard, additional account protection. The development of the platform went at an impressive pace: the number of DLCs gradually increased, support for various operating systems appeared, a mobile application came out, and the company’s ambitions grew and grew. It is thanks to the constant striving upward of Steam that has become what gamers adore her so much for today.