When Steam arrived, many were angry. We had to be connected to the internet and download the games, with ADSL connections which often did not exceed 25Kbps. It was crazy to think that something like this was going to work, given that we had DVDs to install our purchases on the computer faster. But Valve was ahead of the times, at a time when a threat was stalking the entire PC ecosystem. gaming.
The turbulent 2000s
In 2003 we lived in a permanent download culture. Napster and MP3s, eMule and movies screener and of course pirate games, which in those days were a scourge that no one seemed to stop. What’s more, there were times when, Because of anti-copy systems, it was less problematic to use an illegal version of a game than the original that was sold in stores.
The arrival of Steam not only began to put an end to this problem, which has never been eradicated but has been mitigated, but allowed developers to have a faster and more reliable distribution window, who were able to get rid of the enormous cost of launching physical editions of their games in dozens of countries – box, manual, disc, printing, etc. Finally, the market allowed small studios without resources to program a title, upload it to Steam and have it simultaneously available in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia… and any other territory you can imagine in the world practically at no cost, just giving up a percentage of sales to Valve. Without more intermediaries.
Thanks to Steam the panorama indie flourished, it gave security guarantees to publishers and simplified the steps necessary to bring a game to markets anywhere, which promoted and laid the foundations for the PC gaming that we currently have and that, Later, it was copied by the big players in the console market: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Not to mention Apple or Google with their application stores.
Everyone thought the PC was dead
As we tell you, That pre-Steam era was nothing but a cluster of bad omens in which many companies were already announcing their production cuts and threatening to stop bringing their news to computers. PSP, for example, died due to the systematic piracy of those years and the PC, if it did not, was thanks to the guarantees that Steam soon put on the developers’ table. A success that is far above any other milestone – or problems – that he has experienced in these two decades that he has starred in later.
Today, The PC is the platform with the most users –well above PS5, Xbox Series gamers to play with their exclusives. It is the pretty girl (allow us the expression), the one that performs best, the one that best adapts to each time and the one that keeps our purchases alive forever thanks to practically endless backward compatibility.
And all this started with Steam. Don’t forget it.