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Happy Birthday to Steam as it turned 20 today

By - | Views: 37,317

Where has all that time gone? It's pretty hard to believe that it was 20 years ago that Steam arrived, and with it that glorious green interface.

They weren't even close to being the first digital store to provide games, but requiring Steam to run Half-Life 2 regardless of digital purchase or a boxed copy was likely the defining moment that helped push it to success for Valve. This was likely my own introduction to Steam as well, back in the day where my PC could only just about run Half-Life 2 when you had long loading screens between sections. How time flies huh?

Pictured - Steam homepage back in 2004 after Half-Life 2 released

Valve has a long colourful history of expanding Steam from a basic launcher to a full store and later adding in the Steam Workshop, Early Access, Greenlight, Steam Direct, User Reviews, Virtual Reality, Steam Machines, Steam Deck, Remote Play, Points Shop, Movies and TV, Soundtracks and the list goes on and on.

Not everything Valve has tried went well like the original Steam Machines, and killing off their ambitions for non-gaming video content but they keep on trying and expanding and it seems there's really no stopping it. It grows every year with Valve's 2022 overview noting they had seen 83,000 new first-time purchasers every day of the year.

Naturally, without Steam and Valve, Linux gaming wouldn't be where it is today so we're doubly thankful for its existence. Just look at how Valve's Proton has changed things in the last 5 years.

Whatever will they announce next — more new hardware perhaps?

Do you have any especially fond memories of Steam over the years? Share them in the comments.

Article taken from
Tags: Misc, Steam, Valve
About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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pb Sep 12, 2023
Interesting. My steam account turns 10 tomorrow. ;-)
Liam Dawe Sep 12, 2023
Quoting: pbInteresting. My steam account turns 10 tomorrow. ;-)
I really wish I knew the login for my original account, but it has been lost to time :'(
dpanter Sep 12, 2023
What a year to be alive! You know which year it is...
Zlopez Sep 12, 2023
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What a ride, I remember using Steam even on Windows and that's plenty of years ago.

Happy birthday Steam! I hope you will support Linux in future as you do now!
pb Sep 12, 2023
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: pbInteresting. My steam account turns 10 tomorrow. ;-)
I really wish I knew the login for my original account, but it has been lost to time :'(

I created the account after HB delivered Shadow Warrior exclusively as a Steam key, to my annoyance. Now I'm more annoyed if the game is *not* delivered as a steam key. How the times change...
artixbtw Sep 12, 2023
I haven't used the platform for all that long, but its influence on Linux gaming was a life-changer for me. On top of that, other than being poorly maintained software, Steam's features are night and day compared to any competing platforms.

It could be even better if the client and games were made possible to be distributed on repositories like other Linux software, and that more of it was open source, but I can only dream.

Happy birthday, Steam.
WorMzy Sep 12, 2023
Happy birthday, Steam!
TangoBaker Sep 12, 2023
My account turned 20 today. I'm pretty sure I signed up to activate "Dark Messiah of Might & Magic".
Ehvis Sep 12, 2023
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The 20 years has much less meaning to me. I didn't run Windows when Steam was born and since gaming on Linux was very limited, I ignored most of it. I didn't even know Steam existed until fairly close to its Linux release. So to me it feels like something from the past decade.
StoneColdSpider Sep 12, 2023
Happy Birthday Steam.........
My steam account turns 20 next month........ I had to sign up to take part in a Counter-Strike clan war.......
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