The Steam Community
Well well well.
Back in 1996, two Microsoft executives quit their spectacularly high-paid jobs, formed a games company and made the best game ever. Twice.
They didn’t like the way retailers were throttling the industry’s creativity, so they cut them out. They did like what a lot of mod teams were doing, so they hired them. They published any game they liked through their digital distribution network, however commercially risky, and saved several independent developers in the process. Their revolution was so successful that today, major publishers like Eidos and Atari come to them to sell their games online. Now they’re gearing up to do it again, by turning Steam into a giant gaming community.
The teaser’s headlines:
- “One-click matchmaking, both for new games and existing ones such as Counter-Strike. You’ll be able to jump straight into a game with players of your skill level, with no history of griefing, by pressing a single button.”
- A Halo 2-inspired party/clan system. “[Group] members can see when others are playing a game, join them, or schedule a match for a specific date and time. They’ll also have a dedicated chat channel to talk to each other on regardless of what game they’re playing, even between rounds.”
- “A personal gamer page that’s accessible via the web, with embarrassingly detailed stats about what you play, how much you play it, and what kind of player you are.”