Steam just turned 10 — and it’s giving gamers a present

September 12, 2013

This cake and this birthday are not a lie. (Brian Timmermeister)

If you play PC games, chances are you use Steam, Valve's massive online game distribution and multiplayer gaming service. Well, get ready to feel old: Steam just turned 10.

But as Kotaku reminds us, Steam wasn't always the routinely lauded gentle giant of online gaming services. It was introduced as a beta system for delivering online game patches in 2003, and hit some major pitfalls during the 2004 launch of Half-Life 2. By major pitfalls I mean server issues that stopped gamers from being able to play the much anticipated title for days.

But now, it's hard to find a PC gamer who doesn't swear by Steam. And they will be even more excited to learn that Steam has a birthday present for users: It will soon be beta-testing a new Family Sharing plan. The plan will allow games to be played on up to 10 total devices at any given time. Alas, not all games will be available in the plan because of registration or subscription restrictions, and only one person can play a game at a time.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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