Steam, the famous gaming platform by the U.S company Valve, has nearly 100 million registered accounts. Over the years, Valve has developed many features for this platform, allowing players to support the development of game publishers, buy games, trade items, discuss game titles and more. The newest feature Steam will give its users is the ability to stream their games via the community section, friends menu or by invite from the user currently streaming.
This suggests that Valve wants to challenge Twitch, which is a similar owned by Amazon, who was acquired by Amazon for 970 million dollars and has 60 million viewers a month. Experts say that Twitch will not be influenced by Valve’s actions because it has the possibility to partner with many different companies which will allow it to dominate the streaming sector with little effort.
Even if Valve will allow players to broadcast their gameplays on the Steam platform, there are still features that make Twitch unique, for instance Steam players cannot embed a webcam during streams and they will only be able to stream games purchased from this platform while Twitch users can stream their online games with the possibility of making money from streams but Steam will only allow it`s users to do it for free without the possibility to get profit out of it.
More so, Twitch allows streams to be saved and watched back, while Steam will allow spectators to watch a live game, nothing more. Steam and Twitch are not the only two companies that are fighting over this sector, Google’s YouTuBe offers it`s users the same features, allowing them to record live games, save them and watch them later.
Steam will allow it`s new feature to be accessed three different ways :
- From the Community hub, where players can choose what game they want to watch, then choose a random streaming player.
- From the Friends menu, where they can choose to watch the game of a online friend currently streaming
- By invitation from a friend who is currently in game and streaming.
Even if users will not get any profit out of streaming online on Steam, this is a step forward from Valve, who has taken an interest in what the customers have to say and provided them with the means to show-off their skills on online gaming, taking gaming one step closer to being a spectator sport.