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Happy Birthday to Steam as it turned 20 today

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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.

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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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Termy Sep 13, 2023
Back then i boycotted them because it was just anti consumer DRM-Bullshit.
Of course, nowadays it's a bit of a shame that my account is only 14 years old now ^^
On the other hand, that's an interesting testament that it took them 6 years to go from DRM to a platform that added some value for the customer.
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