Addons LS Public 2015

Addons LS Public 2015

Addons LS Public 2015

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This article is about the video game digital distribution software. For the video game console, see Steam Machine (hardware platform).
“Steamworks” redirects here. For the brewery, see Steamworks Brewing Company.

Steam is a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation offering digital rights management (DRM),multiplayer gaming and social networking services. Steam provides the user with installation and automatic updating of games on multiple computers, and community features such as friends lists and groups, cloud saving, and in-game voice and chat functionality. The software provides a freely available application programming interface (API) called Steamworks, which developers can use to integrate many of Steam’s functions into their products, including networking, matchmaking, in-game achievements, micro-transactions, and support for user-created content through Steam Workshop.

Though initially developed for use on Microsoft Windows, versions for OS X and Linux operating systems were later released. Applications whose main functions are chatting and shopping have also been released for iOS, Android andWindows Phone mobile devices. The Steam website also replicates much of the storefront and social network features of the stand-alone application.

As of September 2015, there are 6,464 Windows games, 2,323 OS X games, and 1,500 Linux games available on Steam. The service has over 125 million registered accounts. Steam has had as many as 12.5 million concurrent users as of November 2015. The Steam platform is considered to be the largest digital distribution platform for PCgaming; in November 2009, Stardock estimated it at 70% and then later, in October 2013, it was estimated by Screen Digest that 75% of games bought online were downloaded through Steam. In 2015, users purchased titles through Steam or through Steam keys from third-party vendors totaling around $3.5 billion representing 15% of the global PC game sales for the year, based on estimations made by the tracking website Steam Spy. The success of the Steam platform has led to the development of a line of Steam Machine micro-consoles and personal computers meeting minimum specifications, and SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system built around the Steam Client Server.

 

Before implementing Steam, Valve Corporation had problems updating its online games, such as Counter-Strike; providing patches would result in most of the online user base disconnecting for several days. Valve decided to create a platform that would update games automatically and implement stronger anti-piracy and anti-cheat measures. Valve also recognized, through user polls at the time of its announcement in 2002, that at least 75% of their users had access to high-speed Internet connections, which would only grow with planned Internet expansion in the following years, and recognized that they could deliver game content faster to players than through retail channels. Valve approached several companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo!, and RealNetworks to build a client with these features, but were declined.

Steam’s development began in 2002.Working titles for the product included “Grid” and “Gazelle”. It was first revealed to the public on March 22, 2002, at the Game Developers Conference, where it was presented purely as a distribution network. To demonstrate the ease of integrating Steam with a game, Relic Entertainment created a special version of Impossible Creatures. However, the game was not released on Steam until 2015. Valve partnered with several companies, including AT&T, Acer, and GameSpy Industries. The firstmod released on the system was Day of Defeat.

The Steam client was first made available for public beta testing in January 2003 during the beta period for Counter-Strike 1.6, for which it was mandatory to install and use. At the time, Steam’s primary function was streamlining the patch process common in online computer games. Steam was an optional component for all other games. 80,000–300,000 gamers tested the system when it was in its beta period. The system and website choked under the strain of thousands of users simultaneously attempting to play the latest version of Counter-Strike.In 2004, the World Opponent Network was shut down and replaced by Steam. The online features of games which required World Opponent Network ceased to work unless they were converted to Steam.

Around that time, Valve began negotiating contracts with several publishers and independent developers to release their products, including Rag Doll Kung Fu and Darwinia, on Steam. Canadian publisher Strategy First announced in December 2005 that it would partner with Valve for digital distribution of current and future titles. In 2002, the managing director of Valve, Gabe Newell, said he was offering mod teams a game engine license and distribution over Steam for US$995. Valve’s Half-Life 2 was the first game to require installation of the Steam client to play, even for retail copies. This decision was met with concerns about software ownership, software requirements, and issues with overloaded servers demonstrated previously by the Counter-Strike rollout.During this time users faced multiple issues attempting to play the game

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