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PC Games (Games)

Steam Reaches 13 Million Users 72

Gamasutra is reporting that Valve's PC game download service Steam has reached 13 million users. The company's offering has 150 movies and games on offer. "Looking further at its stats, Valve says Steam sees over 7 billion player minutes a month, and has served over 2,500 updates to its titles since its first release. Valve also says that summer will see new announcements from more publishers bringing their games to Steam ... Said Valve president Gabe Newell, 'We've approached the development of Steam the same way we treat our online games; we release something we've tested, we internalize the feedback, and then we release new features and functionality based upon the feedback received. In the past year, we've added over 100 new titles from third parties ... This growth has taught us a lot and inspired many additional features and services that we'll be releasing later this year.'"
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Steam Reaches 13 Million Users

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  • Plus: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Southpaw018 ( 793465 ) * on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:27AM (#19268801) Journal
    Not covered here are their plans [] to create an XBox Live Gold type of service later this year - without the fee. Oh, and don't forgoet about EP2, TF2, and Portal.

    Add all that to how successful and powerful Steam has become, and I'd say times are pretty damn good at Valve right now...
    • That is awesome. Add that to the earlier story about how Valve doesn't want to charge for extra content on XBox Live [] and you're doing a great job of making Microsoft look bad. I wonder if MS will try to sabotage Steam within Vista as from what I've heard there is a lot of emphasis on locking down gaming and promoting Windows Live in the new OS. I've always really liked Valve and it would be interesting if they got to a point with Steam where they had a real centralized chunk of the PC gaming community and c
      • by Chabo ( 880571 )
        Valve has stated that even in WinXP, people with DX10-capable cards will be able to access the available features.

        Looks like a big middle finger to MS's statements of "You need Vista to use DX10". :)
        • Wow. Now that is good news. I'm surprised they can even do that. Do they just treat the DX10 features as extensions on XP or what? I don't see my negative attitude towards Vista changing anytime soon, so I actually had no reason to upgrade to a new DX10 card, but if this is true then I sure would. I think it might even be smart for MS to migrate DirectX as a multi-platform graphics API, though I'd still rather the world just use openGL...
          • by Chabo ( 880571 )
            No idea on the implementation, they just said you'll still see improvements.

            Besides, even running at DX8 or DX9, an 8600GT will still yield a better framerate than a 7600GT. ;)
  • ... that the first users are just going to be able to authorize their games.
  • i'm 1 of those 13 million, and i despise the service. unfotunately, valve has made it so you cant play their games online unless you use steam.
    • Steam beats playing the "find the latest patch" game. Not to mention the with server browser I can view ALL servers for ALL GoldSource/Source games I have, instead of having to pick which game I want to play FIRST and then checking the servers from in-game. Friends finally works now, which is itself neat since it integrates with GoldSource and Source so nicely.

      Lastly it serves as a convenient launcher menu if nothing else.

    • by bryce1012 ( 822567 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:52AM (#19269131) Journal
      I like it. When I reformat my computer, it's hit-or-miss which games I reinstall. Basically, whatever CDs I have handy, I might toss in. Except for my Steam games. I install the Steam client, spend 5 minutes getting all the downloads started, and a few hours later there are my games. I've never had a problem with it.
      • I've never had a problem with it.

        Eh. I have, but I believe it was due to a bad Windows TCP/IP stack. I bough Red Orchestra which requires steam even if you buy the store copy. Didn't work no matter what I did.

        Eventually, the computer was reformatted for another non-related reason and out of curiosity I tried reinstalling steam and it worked fine. I couldn't tell you want configuration caused it to not work or if it was just windows.

        Even though this is anecdotal, I've heard lots of similar complaints and not
    • by KingJ ( 992358 )
      I approve of Steam. It's made getting patches for the game much easier and any problems I've had where quickly sorted by the support department. Also means that I don't have to go searching for those potentially scratched CDs every time I reinstall (which is fairly regularly).
    • What is so horrible about Steam anyway? Really? I always hear people complaining about it but what is the big deal? When I fire up Counterstrike, it does just that, launches Counterstrike and Steam launches in the background. When I leave Counterstrike, I go down to the system tray, right-click, press exit, boom, Steam is gone again. Wtf is so hard about that? Oh yea, sometimes it pops up an ad about some new game that 9 times out of 10 is actually something interesting to me. In fact, I can think of no oth
      • i take it you're not one of the many who has had their account mistaken blocked for several days. give it time.
      • by Kelbear ( 870538 )
        Y'know, I never realized it, but you're right about that Steam ad.

        It only shows up once, but I think their ads have an almost guarenteed click-rate on me. I click them almost every time. I only just now realized that I've been clicking on a pop-up...
        • by nuzak ( 959558 )
          It's a first-party popup that comes up fairly predictably (always on launch) on a service you're choosing to use. That's nothing if not targeted. If Steam were to start popping up "your PC needs optimization" or adverts for gaming keyboards during random game or server browsing, I suspect the clickthrough on those owuld drop precipitously. As it is, I tend not to click on them, since I'll see the same thing on the landing page anyway. Still, Steam's taken nearly a couple hundred bucks off of me already,
      • by Chabo ( 880571 )
        Not only that, you can turn off the Steam News thing... it's in the Settings window.
    • Im probably counted as 1 of those 13 million, even though i uninstalled steam 2+ years ago.
    • by Tenareth ( 17013 )
      I absolutely love steam. The concept is perfect, I've never had an issue with the service over the years, and the first time I had an entire system take a hard-drive hit, it was great.

      It's the only way I buy games now, when I upgrade my computer, I just grab my saved games, and tell steam to install all the games I own overnight. Get up in morning to all my games being there without any pain.

      I've done the computer migration 5 times now, without a hitch... and I have quite a few games through steam. No hu
      • by Kelbear ( 870538 )
        Oh I've had plenty of issues. When it was first introduced it was pure crap. Resource hog to start with, plus a memory leak to make it even worse. Frequent lock-ups. I preordered Ragdoll Kung-fu and DoD:S, both pre-order discounts did not occur because the credit card billing system screwed up and instead of playing at release at a discount, I had to wait 3-4 days longer to have it reset, then had to pay full price.

        However, overall Steam has improved considerably and I actually like Steam. It just hasn't be
    • Steam works well if you have a constant broad band connection. It is nice for keeping the Valve games organized and updated; and it really helps with finding servers. However, if you are one of many who do not have a constant internet connection (or none at all) then you're out of luck, Valve gives you the finger and you're out $50 (until you return it). This was my case with HL2, I installed it, was so excited, got all my hopes up, clicked on the icon and got nothing but Steam's account and game verificat
      • by Chabo ( 880571 )
        The only thing I can recommend in this case:

        1. Plug your machine in, start Steam, update all the games.
        2. Log out, unplug the connection, start in offline mode.
        3. Start the games to make sure they'll run in offline mode.
        4. Turn the machine off, and move it to your room (or whereever).
        5. Play. :)
  • by j235 ( 734628 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:47AM (#19269051)
    The half life collection I bought years ago came with three valid half life 1 cd keys. So I have three steam accounts. How many do you have?
    • Did you actually register all three keys with separate accounts? Because, you know, to actually get the steam account, you'd have to register them separately...not just get the cdkey.
      • by j235 ( 734628 )
        Yes. That's what I did.
        Because having three keys registered to one steam account would be... redundant to say the least (and impossible?).
    • I have 3 accounts too, from back when they gave you every hl1 game for 1 cd key. I used 1 cs retail cd key, a gunman chronicles cd key which I got for $5, and an op4 cd key I got for free.
  • Steam vs. WoW (Score:4, Insightful)

    by emj ( 15659 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @09:54AM (#19269165) Journal
    I wonder how many subscriberse WoW has, it was 7 Million in August, I'm guessing it has grown since then. Now I wonder if Blizzard is going to launch something similar to Steam, they sure have the user base to support it. And competition is badly needed, Steam has become alot better the last years, but an alternative would be great.

    I like the idea with buying online, it's so damn fast and gratifying. You can just get the game without searching for cracks and stuff. I've bought Half Life 2 on a whim, it's wonderfull for casual and non gamers.

    I would love to buy ordinary programs this way as well.
    • I agree, it is great to buy games online. I hadn't bought games for years before, but then I, also on a whim, bought Half-Life 2, Garry's Mod, and Counter Strike Source. It was so easy. Blizzard could compete with steam, they do have quite a few games to start them off, but World of Warcraft does not need a steam clone for it. No MMORPG does.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 )
      Steam will be distributing ATI drivers soon []. (see "How would you sum up the current state of the Steam business?" question)

      The rest of the two part interview is quite interesting as well.
    • There are a couple Steam alternatives out there already, though none are as robust as Steam is. I just recently used Direct2Drive to purchase STALKER, though unlike Steam they just give you a zip file to download, and you have to type in a cd key and an activation key that they send you. You also have to get the patches separately. In fact it's almost exactly like pirating a game, except instead of searching for a crack, you pay for them to give you the keys. The big problem I had with it was that it took
    • maybe not as stream lined as steam, but you can alreay buy, and download, WoW from . :O shocker!
  • "...and has served over 2,500 updates to its titles since its first release" And the friends system STILL doesn't work, how hard can it be?
  • Not for me (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Sporkinum ( 655143 )
    I have no idea if HL2 is any good, as I won't buy a game that won't run unless it checks in with the steaming mothership first. Yes, I realize that through some arcane procedure you can get it to run without connecting, but if you accidently forget to do that while online and then go offline you are SOL. I choose not to support such schemes buy not buying anything that uses steam. Kind of like not buying games that use starforce.
    • Re:Not for me (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @11:15AM (#19270333)
      I've never understood the whole mothership fear thing. All it does is check for updates, it's not like you can remove a purchased game from your account (you can delete local content, ie. the stuff on your computer, but the server side account record still shows that you are entitled to that game) so it's not authenticating your ownership or anything (that's why even 3rd party mod stuff triggers it; it checks for update entries for 'mod z' sees none and continues on.) What with the fear? Is it a fear of something hidden? A fear of loss of control? Or is it some fear/anger I don't understand, like dial-up?
      • One day the mothership won't be there. I don't want to get hooked on a cool game and then have it taken away from me.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I have no idea if HL2 is any good, as I won't buy a game that won't run unless it checks in with the steaming mothership first. Yes, I realize that through some arcane procedure you can get it to run without connecting, but if you accidently forget to do that while online and then go offline you are SOL. I choose not to support such schemes buy not buying anything that uses steam. Kind of like not buying games that use starforce.

      Uh, how is "Unplug network cable" before starting Steam arcane? Heck, if you we

      • "I understand that the early days of Steam, it was arcane to go offline, but things have changed a lot since then - it's improved tremendously."
        I can remember at a lan gaming event several years ago we had a ton of people that couldn't play HL2 because the internet connection the hotel blocked steam. That was all I needed to see to know I didn't want it. Maybe they fixed it, so maybe I should spend the $10 or $15 for HL2 and try it. I am glad I never spent $60 on it when it first came out though.
        • by Chabo ( 880571 )
          I think it sometimes had issues in the past when it could connect to the network at large, but couldn't connect to the auth servers, but I think that was fixed after the big debacle that happened when Seattle sank into the Pacific a few months back.

          Try HL2 out sometime, I really like it.
    • by glyph42 ( 315631 )
      Huh? You can play all you want without being online. Even if you've already run online updates on your game. I'm not sure if the steam you're not using is the same steam that I'm using...
  • Are people with accounts that had them raped from them? I personally know 11 people who had their passwords "reset" by the system. They didn't have access to their original email account any longer, hadn't made the changes to their steam accounts, and didn't have a security question so they lost their accounts. They basically just had the games they rightfully paid for stolen by Steam/Valve. In one case that was $300 worth of games that they can no longer play because Valve won't work with them to gain
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nuzak ( 959558 )
      So they didn't set up a security question, they lost their email access, changed their drivers licenses, and closed their credit cards? At the same time?

      Are you sure your friend is the same actual person every year?
      • oh, c'mon. Are you telling me that after 5 years you don't change things around? Different ISP... different Credit Card issued. And they didn't ask "security questions" when steam first started. In 5 years 2 of those individuals have moved twice or more.
  • How to sell Vista:

    1) Convince Valve to release Steam for Vista ONLY!

    2) Convince Blizzard to release World of Warcraft for Vista ONLY!

    3) ????

    4) Profit. (From selling several millions of Vista copies in few days)

  • I just figured this out last week in fact...

    My laptop (which probably has about 1/2 the horsepower of my Athlon X2 4600 desktop) seemed to start up to "usable" state (ie not chugging along on startup apps that prevent me from effectively opening a brower, etc) a good 20-30 seconds before said desktop. I finally tracked the cause down to Steam running on my desktop but not my laptop. Once I set Steam not to run on startup, my desktop now starts up blazingly fast (at least compared to what it used to do).


"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas