Valve thriving at being average in a gaming monopoly

Valve the creator of gaming platform Steam seems to be content with being sloppy, error riddled and behind the times. The only scenario in which allows Valve to be in this state is because simply there is no alternative to Steam.

Steam released in 2003 is essentially a gaming social network and CMS. It stores your games, achievements, screenshots, reviews, friends, profile and forums. There really isn’t a comparison, Steam is the biggest meanest program for gamers on windows, mac and linux. Steam is famous for its sales mostly its summer sale BUT it has copped flak from its users for being over hyped and overrated in recent years. Steam has over 18 million users, 15,624 products all these grow daily. Steam is the first stop for gaming devs looking to launch and its quiet easy to get onto the Steam platform.

steam games

Part of the problem is Steam are making money day-to-day from games sales on its platform, so whilst they could pull in a lot more just sitting idle and doing average customer service is netting them money. The drive and pace from Valve to release a new game (half life 3) or Steam UI updates is low, very low. The Steam UI is poor for the modern application and the UX suffers. Slow, clunky and glitchy is my experience the Steam program is like a cross between application and web browser.

steam webpage

Recently Steam has been flooded with fake click bait games or games with an emoticon of a trademarked or meme ‘object’. These games are rubbish and not worth a buck but hey if they make even just a few sales it can be deemed a success. Fake votes, reviews and ratings on games and workshop items is very prevalent in Steam. If you wanna keep your sanity its best to just sticking to Steam as a game launcher, much less frustrating.

Valve do not let Steam users know what is happening in terms of progress and updates well it could just be that there is no progress of updating at Valve.

To me Steam is a case of quantity over quality and a lot of its features and product needs quality. Steam is a great place that has everything gamers need but the truth is most of Steams services are done better on different individual platforms like achievements on Xbox Live or PSN.

Communication is a weak point of Valve, it flows from their customer service but Valve do not let Steam users know what is happening in terms of progress and updates well it could just be that there is no progress of updating at Valve.

steam ui

VR and gaming hasn’t set the world on fire or done anything significant in generating sales, but Valve have put a lot of work into VR. I hope for Valve’s sake it pays of eventually but as of now VR gaming is a ghost town.

To me Valve need to just focus on the basics:

  • Customer service
  • Communicate (and listen)
  • Revitalise the Steam UI
  • Give back to its users (Half life 3)

Valves strangle hold over the gaming sector with Steam is not an excuse to sit back and do nothing whilst your product has issue and is becoming stagnant. Valve must give a shake up to Steam, focus on communication and listening to its users and be proactive rather than just sitting back and making money whilst having miserable users. Because eventually those will jump the ship.