The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

Steam is the face of PC gaming these days, but this platform for buying, playing, and updating PC games didn't come a hundred years old overnight. The face of this digital games store has changed a lot over the years, from a simple portal to update Counter Strike 1.6 to a full-featured website and app where you can buy games, write reviews and even contribute to their development, of course. If you're not into selling $400 Team Fortress 2 hats, game cards, and knives on the user market!

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

Steam is the face of PC gaming these days, but this platform for buying, playing, and updating PC games didn't come a hundred years old overnight. The face of this digital games store has changed a lot over the years, from a simple portal to update Counter Strike 1.6 to a full-featured website and app where you can buy games, write reviews and even contribute to their development, of course. If you're not into selling $400 Team Fortress 2 hats, game cards, and knives on the user market!

Let's go back in time and see how far this popular platform has come. It has arrived here.

2003

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

On September 12, 2003, Steam was launched to simplify the process of updating games like Counter-Strike, as well as to prevent cheaters and give the audience easier access to content that the game developer has officially produced. Of course, not everything went according to plan. Many players saw Steam as a threat to PC gaming, as Steam required a constant Internet connection at a time when only 20% of American households had access to broadband. Another problem was that Steam's authentication servers had trouble keeping up with the high demand and kept cutting players off from the games they had purchased. Add slow download speeds, a clunky user interface, and frequent updates to the list of problems and you can see why many people's initial experience with Steam was not pleasant at all.

Pictured above, Steam's narrow focus in its early days. It's pretty obvious: the only games you see on the Steam client are Velo's own games, and there's no way to buy them from the site itself. The Steam client itself does not have a store section and its only use is to connect players to the server, not to encourage them to spend their money.

2004

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

The release of Half-Life 2 is perhaps the biggest motivating factor behind Steam becoming what it is today. Therefore, it is not surprising that the game has taken up a lot of space in the store. Velo didn't want you to forget the experience of this acclaimed shooter. You had to register on Steam to experience it.

2005

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

Ragdoll Kong Fu and Darwinia were the first games that were added to Steam, even though they weren't created by them. This was important news, as the nature of Steam changed from a download client and server browser to a real store.

2006

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

In 2006, Steam takes shape. The idea of digital sales (which was considered a new idea for that year) is born and promises the upcoming future. Free demos and HD videos are also added to the site. About 100 games will be available this year, so the visibility and searchability of games becomes an important issue.

2007

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

The addition of new features such as search functionality, average Metacritic scores, and filters such as best-selling games and new titles make the store much more efficient. With the addition of user communities, Steam shows that it considers its users as a valuable part of Steam.

Inside the Steam client, the establishment of the Steam Community platform brings with it many valuable features: such as tracking Statistics, friends list, social groups and voice chat.

2008

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

The addition of the link to categorize games by genre and the site's greater focus on the list of new titles makes it easier to find the desired game among the numerous list of games - which was expanding day by day. Also, new sections such as Spotlight, photo slideshow, and a large banner for advertising games make certain games visible to 20 million Steam users.

In the software field, the addition of Steam Cloud functionality Cloud) makes it much easier to experience the same game between several separate computers. Also, this feature keeps game save files, keyboard button layouts, and game settings consistent between different computers.

2009

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

Adding the option of games under $5 and under $10 indicates Steam's new policy: encouraging users to make impulsive and momentary purchases of games. This new policy is the foundation of jokes that gamers They talk about the list of cheap and numerous games they bought from Steam; Games that are in their backlog and will probably never be played.

2010

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

Discounts are now displayed as a percentage, making it easier to spot a great discount. The Steam Activity Stats Chart reminds visitors how big Steam is growing. Also, adding support for Mac games is Steam's first move to expand its market beyond Windows.

2011

The number of Steam games has reached more than 1000 titles, so Steam adds a new game recommendation widget to make the game discovery process easier. and combat the "too many games" problem. (Ah, how young and naive we were back then to think that 1000 games was too many!)

In response to the increase in account spoofing and fraud, Velo is adding Steam Guard, which makes the login process Added a two-step email and (later Steam mobile app) to the site. In the meantime, modders were happy with the addition of the Steam Workshop section, which they had been waiting for for a long time. This section allows users to distribute their own content directly through Steam.

2012

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

With the expansion of DLCs, the "Downloadable Content" filter will be added to the list of new titles. Also, "DLC" and "Demo" labels are added to the top and left side of the thumbnail image of the games. Steam's Greenlight system kicks in and emphasizes Steam's growing focus on transparency, but at the same time exacerbates Steam's content management problems. brings and releases its mobile app. In this way, chatting, buying the game and installing the game remotely and instantly are possible. After that, the Steam Marketplace will be launched, thanks to which players can buy and sell in-game items with the money in their Steam Wallet.

2013

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

Thanks to the Steam operating system (SteamOS), Linux support will be added to Steam and Macintosh will be replaced on the search bar. (Navigation Bar) and a new submenu is assigned to it on the Featured Games toolbar. Big Picture Mode will also be added to Steam, allowing players to play with the controller and on the TV screen. By adding this system, Steam shows that it wants to expand its territory into the living room - which until now was exclusive to consoles. Adding Early Access mode - meaning access to games before their development process is over - is Steam's new experiment. However, the minority-friendly nature of this feature makes it initially only have an advertising banner and a new search category. It is added and allows users to share their purchased games between other computers when they are not playing them themselves. In addition, user reviews are added to the site along with the Metacritic score, and the user profile section is expanded with a leveling system similar to role-playing games. The purpose of adding this system is to motivate users to use the site's social features (such as buying and selling items and writing reviews for games).

2014

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

The site's toolkit - which has just been updated - shows that the focus is shifting from 'gaming as a product' to 'gaming as a service' in It is changing. Due to the lukewarm response from players to SteamOS, Linux will be removed from the home screen search bar.

With the advent of In-Home Streaming, laptops and tablets are becoming wireless displays for powerful computers. Broadcasting functionality becomes Steam's own built-in replacement for Twitch, allowing Steam users to watch their friends play and share video of themselves playing. The Family View option allows parents to limit and control the content their children can access.

Late 2014 to 2016

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

In late 2014, the Discovery Update will be released, introducing the look and feel that Steam has retained to this day. . The main page is filled with options related to game recommendations based on users' personal tastes: from Steam's own Discovery Queue to recommendations from popular community curators who Their job is to introduce suitable games for different tastes. In 2015, a hardware section was added to support the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Devices. In 2016, on the occasion of the release of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, a virtual reality (VR) section was added to the site.

2017 to 2018 and the future

BingMag.com The history of Steam according to the picture; The evolution of the world’s largest digital store

Steam doesn't look that different these days compared to 2015 or 2016, but many of the differences They exist in the interior. For example, there is no longer Steam Greenlight and it has been replaced by Steam Direct. This system allows anyone to submit any game they want to the store and no longer requires the approval of Steam community members.

Thanks to this policy change, any game (as long as it is not illegal or "trolled") can published on this platform. A series of filters have also been added so that players can easily remove adult content from the list of content they see. Added. Steam also launched Steam.tv, which could have become a competitor to Twitch, but apparently that didn't happen. Steam devices also failed, but Steam did not give up on Linux, and through updates made more games available for this open source operating system - including SteamOS.

Steam also has a video section (although it is growing and the non-game software section of Steam, although it was controversial at first, has now become a normal part of the store, where you can buy photo and video editing software, etc. Although Steam has not been very successful in the field of hardware, it still focuses a lot on virtual reality hardware and software, and now the virtual reality section has become one of the main sections of the store. It also looks set to become Steam's first major hardware success, the Steam Deck, Steam's portable device. Thanks to Steam Greenlight and Steam Direct, the list of games available on Steam has been huge, but it looks like this list is going to get bigger and more diverse in the coming years. As the store's game selection grows, so do game discovery and game recommendation options. There's no doubt that the Steam of the future will look very different compared to the Steam of the present, just as the current Steam looks different from the earth to the sky with the Counter Strike update system that was kind of the starting point of Steam.

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