Concept

Steam (service)

Summary
Steam is a video game digital distribution service and storefront from Valve. It was launched as a software client in September 2003 to provide game updates automatically for Valve's games, and expanded to distributing third-party titles in late 2005. Steam offers various features, like digital rights management (DRM), game server matchmaking with Valve Anti-Cheat measures, social networking, and game streaming services. Steam client's functions include game update automation, cloud storage for game progress, and community features such as direct messaging, in-game overlay functions and a virtual collectable marketplace. Valve released a freely available application programming interface (API) called Steamworks in 2008, which developers can use to integrate Steam's functions into their products, including in-game achievements, microtransactions, and user-created content support. Many game publishers began distributing their titles on Steam that year. Initially developed for Microsoft
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