Everyone who uses the internet should have heard of “Steam” at least once. At first, you may think that it’s a word you learned when your history teacher was teaching you about the Industrial Revolution. However, this isn’t the steam you’re thinking of.
Steam is the largest and the most famous gaming platform on PC. It is so famous most people you know who are playing computer games use it. Some other game companies also cooperate with it and sell their games on it.
Before Steam, online gamers used to have another gaming platform called World Opponent Network (WON), which published the first versions of Half-life, Counter-strike, ARC, and different kinds of original games. However, as CS 1.6 and games that needed more powerful servers to run on came out, it started to weaken.
As WON started to weaken, a company called Valve started a plan called “Grid” or “Gazelle” to create a new gaming platform that could handle newer games. The result was what we know now as Steam, and it also successfully replaced WON. Eventually, it started to develop translation servers so more people from other countries could use it. Third party games also started to appear which made huge profits for Valve.
In order to play on Steam, you have to download its main program first. You will have to register an account and buy games under your name.There are two ways to store your money inside Steam: one is through credit card, and the other is by finding someone who sells gift codes and you can go to convenience stores to pay.
There are many different kinds of games on Steam, including FPS, RPG, music games, simulators, etc. The prices are also different with a wide range, from free to about NT$1800. Sometimes you will see games that are more than NT$3000, but that is because it has DLCs included in it. Most games are about NT$300-$450, so don’t worry if you don’t have enough money to buy games that are expensive.
If you want to trade with other players, you have to bind your phone number and confirm it. This mobile confirmation occurs because too many people have been scammed over email. Therefore, in 2015, Valve started to use mobile confirmation and made trade scamming much harder to do.
A way Valve earns money through Steam is to charge fees while using the community market, which has the most game items in it. They charge 5% of whatever you sell on it, so if today you want to sell an item for $100, the person who buys it will have to pay $105, which is a really large profit. Some games also charge fees on market, too. For example, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive charges you 10% on whatever you sell on the market, and makes large amounts of money everyday.
Another big problem on gaming platforms is the result of cheating. In 2002, Valve released their first anti-cheating system called VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) will detect cheating and ban you forever. In this case, being banned means that you will not be able to trade anything anymore, which also means that your inventory is frozen. It’s really scary because if you have something very valuable in your inventory, these things turn into nothing by the time you are banned.
Steam is a really successful gaming platform. It attracts billions of users and makes tons of money. People communicate on it and make friends all over the world.