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Steam Reaches 13 Million Users

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the lot-of-hot-air-out-there dept.

PC Games (Games) 72

Gamasutra is reporting that Valve's PC game download service Steam has reached 13 million users. The company's offering has 150 movies and games on offer. "Looking further at its stats, Valve says Steam sees over 7 billion player minutes a month, and has served over 2,500 updates to its titles since its first release. Valve also says that summer will see new announcements from more publishers bringing their games to Steam ... Said Valve president Gabe Newell, 'We've approached the development of Steam the same way we treat our online games; we release something we've tested, we internalize the feedback, and then we release new features and functionality based upon the feedback received. In the past year, we've added over 100 new titles from third parties ... This growth has taught us a lot and inspired many additional features and services that we'll be releasing later this year.'"

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Plus: (3, Informative)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19268801)

Not covered here are their plans [computeran...ogames.com] to create an XBox Live Gold type of service later this year - without the fee. Oh, and don't forgoet about EP2, TF2, and Portal.

Add all that to how successful and powerful Steam has become, and I'd say times are pretty damn good at Valve right now...

AC (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19268937)

You can't see me nerr nerrr /me moons you

Re:Plus: (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269583)

That is awesome. Add that to the earlier story about how Valve doesn't want to charge for extra content on XBox Live [slashdot.org] and you're doing a great job of making Microsoft look bad. I wonder if MS will try to sabotage Steam within Vista as from what I've heard there is a lot of emphasis on locking down gaming and promoting Windows Live in the new OS. I've always really liked Valve and it would be interesting if they got to a point with Steam where they had a real centralized chunk of the PC gaming community and could do something with that like say, promote gaming on Linux as an actual viable alternative. There is no doubt they are fully backing DX10 for the foreseeable future, but that's a business decision. Valve was formed by two ex-Microsoft employees, obviously not happy working at the company. Just wild speculation there, but in the very least Steam could turn into something that can throw its weight around with the likes of Microsoft. The less power Microsoft has over PC gaming the less relevant they become to a lot of people stuck with Windows for little other reason at the moment.

Re:Plus: (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19276147)

Valve has stated that even in WinXP, people with DX10-capable cards will be able to access the available features.

Looks like a big middle finger to MS's statements of "You need Vista to use DX10". :)

Re:Plus: (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283633)

Wow. Now that is good news. I'm surprised they can even do that. Do they just treat the DX10 features as extensions on XP or what? I don't see my negative attitude towards Vista changing anytime soon, so I actually had no reason to upgrade to a new DX10 card, but if this is true then I sure would. I think it might even be smart for MS to migrate DirectX as a multi-platform graphics API, though I'd still rather the world just use openGL...

Re:Plus: (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19288693)

No idea on the implementation, they just said you'll still see improvements.

Besides, even running at DX8 or DX9, an 8600GT will still yield a better framerate than a 7600GT. ;)

So that means... (1)

UberOogie (464002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19268999)

... that the first users are just going to be able to authorize their games.

how many of those users approve of steam? (0, Flamebait)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269021)

i'm 1 of those 13 million, and i despise the service. unfotunately, valve has made it so you cant play their games online unless you use steam.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (3, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269093)

Steam beats playing the "find the latest patch" game. Not to mention the with server browser I can view ALL servers for ALL GoldSource/Source games I have, instead of having to pick which game I want to play FIRST and then checking the servers from in-game. Friends finally works now, which is itself neat since it integrates with GoldSource and Source so nicely.

Lastly it serves as a convenient launcher menu if nothing else.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19269705)

Games have had automatic patchers for years. Start up e.g. Doom 3, if for some reason you feel it needs patching you can hit "check for updates", then you're done.

Gamespy does the server browser thing with ALL your games, not just Steam ones.

Friends management, well, I use IM so I can talk to all my friends, not just ones who have Steam.

The launcher thing - you've heard of the Start Menu, right? Quick launch icons? See that Desktop? You can put icons on that too you know...

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

toolie (22684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19271143)

Gamespy does the server browser thing with ALL your games, not just Steam ones.

Did you really just try to defend that steaming pile of fecal matter known as Gamespy? Jesus... I'm speechless.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19271441)

i didnt like gamespy either, but there were others that did the same thing. i used All Seeing Eye (i think it was/is called)

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19271951)

Nah, that was just trolling, you caught me :)

That said, pretending Steam's server browser is something special is pretty dumb.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (4, Interesting)

bryce1012 (822567) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269131)

I like it. When I reformat my computer, it's hit-or-miss which games I reinstall. Basically, whatever CDs I have handy, I might toss in. Except for my Steam games. I install the Steam client, spend 5 minutes getting all the downloads started, and a few hours later there are my games. I've never had a problem with it.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282079)

I've never had a problem with it.

Eh. I have, but I believe it was due to a bad Windows TCP/IP stack. I bough Red Orchestra which requires steam even if you buy the store copy. Didn't work no matter what I did.

Eventually, the computer was reformatted for another non-related reason and out of curiosity I tried reinstalling steam and it worked fine. I couldn't tell you want configuration caused it to not work or if it was just windows.

Even though this is anecdotal, I've heard lots of similar complaints and not everyone is going to completely reformat their computer just to play a game or two.

Yes, and regular boxed games trojan Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19269135)

I bet a lot of those are people who just bought a boxed game expecting to be able to just install and play it like normal and were surprised to have it install Steam before running.

Still, it's a very impressive number, however they did it. More Steam users than Xbox 360 owners. Hell, WoW alone has 8.5 million compared to 10 million 360s - and they say PC gaming is dead :)

Re:Yes, and regular boxed games trojan Steam (1)

Volatar (1099775) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269553)

and they say PC gaming is dead :)

Anyone with brains knows that consoles will never defeat PC's. The plain fact that by the time a new version of the console has come out the hardware is already outdated and surpassed by PC's.

PC's also will always have more flexibility then consoles. You might be able to IM on the 360, you might be able to browse the internet on the Wii. But you can do both of those, type, draw, 3D modeling, code editing, and more.

Consoles can't do one single thing PC's cant do (except for the Wii's motion sensing, and you can use that on your PC if you hook it to your Wii anyways).

Consoles have controllers? Try plugging that 360 controller into your PC. Yes, you can now play the same Need for Speed game, or Halo 2, on your PC, but with more updated hardware! You can download movies onto your 360? Try iTunes. You can see what all your gamer friends are playing, and chat with them while you two are playing different games on the 360? XFire was doing that same thing quite long before the 360 was released. [My-favorite-console-only-game] cant be played on the PC! Well, thats because its crappy more then likely, but have you ever heard of emulators?

Real Time Strategy games are better when played on the PC with a Mouse and Keyboard.
MMORPG's are better when played on the PC with a Mouse and Keyboard.
First Person Shooters are better when played on the PC with a Mouse and Keyboard. Yes, you may prefer to play them with an XBox controller. But two control sticks however will never match the speed and accuracy of a mouse. Period.

You can install Linus on a PS3? Well, it isn't a console really now is it?

Re:Yes, and regular boxed games trojan Steam (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269845)

Anyone with brains knows that consoles will never defeat PC's

Actually, anyone with a brain knows it isn't a war.

How many players per PC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274231)

Consoles have controllers? Try plugging that 360 controller into your PC.

Yes, I have my PlayStation and Nintendo 64 controllers plugged into my PC. But how many controllers can I plug into a USB hub and have games actually recognize them? Where is the PC-native equivalent of Bomberman, Smash Bros., Mario Party, or other four-player funfests? I want to let the kids and their guests play at once, but I want to use the SDTV a few meters from my PC rather than spending $2400 for four PCs and four monitors.

[My-favorite-console-only-game] cant be played on the PC! Well, thats because its crappy more then likely, but have you ever heard of emulators?

Where do you suggest I buy a game dumper for my NES, Game Boy, Super NES, Nintendo 64, and GameCube? I can't just stick the media in an optical drive and start the game the way I can with PS1 games. And how well has PlayStation 2 emulation progressed?

Real Time Strategy games[,] MMORPG's[, and] First Person Shooters are better when played on the PC with a Mouse and Keyboard.

What about arcade style sport games? What about fighting games? What about action puzzle games?

And what's the PC fan's alternative to handheld gaming systems such as Nintendo DS and PSP? A laptop?

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19269181)

> unfotunately, valve has made it so you cant play their games online unless you use steam.

. . . which is why i no longer will buy their games.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19269193)

i'm 1 of those 13 million, and i despise the service.

Easy to say: Care to explain yourself?

And care to explain why, although you 'despise' the software, you're still using it?

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

KingJ (992358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269355)

I approve of Steam. It's made getting patches for the game much easier and any problems I've had where quickly sorted by the support department. Also means that I don't have to go searching for those potentially scratched CDs every time I reinstall (which is fairly regularly).

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269793)

What is so horrible about Steam anyway? Really? I always hear people complaining about it but what is the big deal? When I fire up Counterstrike, it does just that, launches Counterstrike and Steam launches in the background. When I leave Counterstrike, I go down to the system tray, right-click, press exit, boom, Steam is gone again. Wtf is so hard about that? Oh yea, sometimes it pops up an ad about some new game that 9 times out of 10 is actually something interesting to me. In fact, I can think of no other advertising in my life that is more targetted to my tastes then that little window that occasionally pops up from Steam. Hell even most gaming sites don't advertise games that I find remotely interesting.

Other than that I don't do anything with Steam. I don't leave it running, I don't launch games from it (I launch them from their own icons like any other game), it doesn't eat my lunch, it doesn't date my sister, it does download patches for you, it does mitigate somewhat the prevalence of cheaters and griefers, it does promote independent games to some extent, but for the most part, it doesn't do anything much at all but sit in the system tray until I right-click/exit it after a game. Why so much whining?

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269931)

i take it you're not one of the many who has had their account mistaken blocked for several days. give it time.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19270325)

I've had 4 accounts for three years and I've never had trouble with any of them. I like steam. Updates and patches are handy, installation is a breeze and you always get a good deal when you pre-order some hot new game.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

Stregone (618612) | more than 7 years ago | (#19279619)

I've seen many people mention having multiple accounts. What is the purpose of having more than one account?

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#19272705)

Y'know, I never realized it, but you're right about that Steam ad.

It only shows up once, but I think their ads have an almost guarenteed click-rate on me. I click them almost every time. I only just now realized that I've been clicking on a pop-up...

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19273327)

It's a first-party popup that comes up fairly predictably (always on launch) on a service you're choosing to use. That's nothing if not targeted. If Steam were to start popping up "your PC needs optimization" or adverts for gaming keyboards during random game or server browsing, I suspect the clickthrough on those owuld drop precipitously. As it is, I tend not to click on them, since I'll see the same thing on the landing page anyway. Still, Steam's taken nearly a couple hundred bucks off of me already, and it's money well spent.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19276317)

Not only that, you can turn off the Steam News thing... it's in the Settings window.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19270847)

Im probably counted as 1 of those 13 million, even though i uninstalled steam 2+ years ago.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

Tenareth (17013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19272231)

I absolutely love steam. The concept is perfect, I've never had an issue with the service over the years, and the first time I had an entire system take a hard-drive hit, it was great.

It's the only way I buy games now, when I upgrade my computer, I just grab my saved games, and tell steam to install all the games I own overnight. Get up in morning to all my games being there without any pain.

I've done the computer migration 5 times now, without a hitch... and I have quite a few games through steam. No hunting down CDs and activation codes, finding a scratched CD, etc.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#19272793)

Oh I've had plenty of issues. When it was first introduced it was pure crap. Resource hog to start with, plus a memory leak to make it even worse. Frequent lock-ups. I preordered Ragdoll Kung-fu and DoD:S, both pre-order discounts did not occur because the credit card billing system screwed up and instead of playing at release at a discount, I had to wait 3-4 days longer to have it reset, then had to pay full price.

However, overall Steam has improved considerably and I actually like Steam. It just hasn't been perfect. The resource issues have been solved AFAIK, and I can only hope the pre-order problem has also been resolved. When Steam works (I've bought several times on it) it's a great program. Given the option between Steam and retail, I choose Steam.

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

jbanglin (961234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19272281)

Steam works well if you have a constant broad band connection. It is nice for keeping the Valve games organized and updated; and it really helps with finding servers. However, if you are one of many who do not have a constant internet connection (or none at all) then you're out of luck, Valve gives you the finger and you're out $50 (until you return it). This was my case with HL2, I installed it, was so excited, got all my hopes up, clicked on the icon and got nothing but Steam's account and game verification crap. What's worse, is that because I have no connection in my room, I had to rip out my rig and reconnect everything where I could get a connection, but as if that wasn't enough, after I thought I had finally appeased the Steam gods, I took it back up to my room, tried to play, and the f***ing thing still wouldn't work! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Anyway, I think Steam is a great idea, but very poorly executed, you shouldn't need to have an internet connection to play single player games. (Yes, I know about the off-line mode, but it's been my experience that getting it to work is a craps shoot at best).

Re:how many of those users approve of steam? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19276347)

The only thing I can recommend in this case:

1. Plug your machine in, start Steam, update all the games.
2. Log out, unplug the connection, start in offline mode.
3. Start the games to make sure they'll run in offline mode.
4. Turn the machine off, and move it to your room (or whereever).
5. Play. :)

true combat elite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19269045)

true combat elite .49 free download was just released, awesome...

truecombatelite.org

13 million accounts maybe (3, Interesting)

j235 (734628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269051)

The half life collection I bought years ago came with three valid half life 1 cd keys. So I have three steam accounts. How many do you have?

Re:13 million accounts maybe (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269343)

Did you actually register all three keys with separate accounts? Because, you know, to actually get the steam account, you'd have to register them separately...not just get the cdkey.

Re:13 million accounts maybe (1)

j235 (734628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19271861)

Yes. That's what I did.
Because having three keys registered to one steam account would be... redundant to say the least (and impossible?).

Re:13 million accounts maybe (1)

Premo_Maggot (864012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19270639)

I have 3 accounts too, from back when they gave you every hl1 game for 1 cd key. I used 1 cs retail cd key, a gunman chronicles cd key which I got for $5, and an op4 cd key I got for free.

Steam vs. WoW (3, Insightful)

emj (15659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269165)

I wonder how many subscriberse WoW has, it was 7 Million in August, I'm guessing it has grown since then. Now I wonder if Blizzard is going to launch something similar to Steam, they sure have the user base to support it. And competition is badly needed, Steam has become alot better the last years, but an alternative would be great.

I like the idea with buying online, it's so damn fast and gratifying. You can just get the game without searching for cracks and stuff. I've bought Half Life 2 on a whim, it's wonderfull for casual and non gamers.

I would love to buy ordinary programs this way as well.

Re:Steam vs. WoW (1)

Volatar (1099775) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269625)

I agree, it is great to buy games online. I hadn't bought games for years before, but then I, also on a whim, bought Half-Life 2, Garry's Mod, and Counter Strike Source. It was so easy. Blizzard could compete with steam, they do have quite a few games to start them off, but World of Warcraft does not need a steam clone for it. No MMORPG does.

Re:Steam vs. WoW (1)

p4rri11iz3r (1084543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269697)

I totally agree. Steam is a great service, but could use a little competition. Blizzard definately should have the resources, and it would be cool to see them release something with Starcraft 2. EA has the resources as well, but I think most people would be wary of them.

The truly great thing about steam is that it integrates all of my game-playing needs. I can purchase and download games. They are automatically updated for me. If I want to check out a new game before buying it, I can download demos and trailers/videos. And this is all done from a single interface, rather than having to scrounge around the internet trying to find the various files. It is a relatively unobtrusive app, sitting in my tray until I call it up. I really don't understand those who knock it.

About the only thing I wish I could do (and granted, my computer's been down for a few months, so maybe they've added this) is uninstall the games I've downloaded. It would be nice to be able to clear up the space for other games/whatever.

Re:Steam vs. WoW (2, Informative)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19270089)

Steam will be distributing ATI drivers soon [gamesindustry.biz] . (see "How would you sum up the current state of the Steam business?" question)

The rest of the two part interview is quite interesting as well.

Steam Alternatives (1)

MDiehr (1065156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19273839)

There are a couple Steam alternatives out there already, though none are as robust as Steam is. I just recently used Direct2Drive to purchase STALKER, though unlike Steam they just give you a zip file to download, and you have to type in a cd key and an activation key that they send you. You also have to get the patches separately. In fact it's almost exactly like pirating a game, except instead of searching for a crack, you pay for them to give you the keys. The big problem I had with it was that it took about 20 hours to download. In comparison, I downloaded Prey off of Steam in about 2 hours. Steam has bunches of other benefits including no need to type in keys, automatic updating, almost automatic backups to cd/dvd, and the ability to access all your games anywhere with the Steam login. GameTap also has some games (or so they say!) but I haven't personally tried it yet.

Re:Steam vs. WoW (1)

BloodyIron (939359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19273851)

maybe not as stream lined as steam, but you can alreay buy, and download, WoW from worldofwarcraft.com . :O shocker!

Updates? (1)

krush666 (680000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269571)

"...and has served over 2,500 updates to its titles since its first release" And the friends system STILL doesn't work, how hard can it be?

Re:Updates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19270181)

I've had trouble with friends and favs in the past but they both work now - and have for about the last 6 months.

Re:Updates? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19276403)

I haven't had an issue lately either... they revamped the system a few months ago.

What issues have you had?

Re:Updates? (1)

NeuralClone (860360) | more than 7 years ago | (#19288581)

Actually, the friends system DOES work.

yea but who (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19269573)

25% of them must be banned accounts
10% Must be hackers
and the rest are f*****g pist the the hackers!

Not for me (0, Flamebait)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19269963)

I have no idea if HL2 is any good, as I won't buy a game that won't run unless it checks in with the steaming mothership first. Yes, I realize that through some arcane procedure you can get it to run without connecting, but if you accidently forget to do that while online and then go offline you are SOL. I choose not to support such schemes buy not buying anything that uses steam. Kind of like not buying games that use starforce.

Re:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19270145)

The game was very good, very fun. HOWEVER, if I had it to do all over again I would not have bought it for this very reason. I don't mind shelling out $60 or even more for a game, but I should be able to play on independently run servers without having to check in with Mommy Corp. every time I play.

Re:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19270209)

I won't buy a game that won't run unless it checks in with the steaming mothership first.

Why not? Do you have any actual reasons for this, or is it just a kneejerk reaction? Piracy is a serious problem in the PC game business -- companies that don't use some form of copy protection either have to release games that are so incredibly popular that they can just take the hit, or they go out of business. Steam is about as friendly as copy protection can get and still be effective.

Yes, I realize that through some arcane procedure you can get it to run without connecting, but if you accidently forget to do that while online and then go offline you are SOL.

There's no "arcane procedure" to it. You start Steam up when you're not connected to the internet. And no, you're not SOL, there's nothing special you have to do beforehand. You're in offline mode. It's as easy as that.

Re:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19276195)

Their concerns about piracy should not be turned into MY problems. As soon as that happens, I shop elsewhere. There are many games out there, so many that I can afford to be discriminating and not subject myself to "features" that annoy me.

Your comment about steam being an effective protection is also untrue. Every game on Steam is also available as a pirated version that, surprise, has the advantage of not requiring Steam! So once again the pirated version is the more attractive one.

Finally, there IS a problem with Steam's offline mode. It occurs when there is a network connection available, but the Steam servers are unreachable. You wind up not being able to play the game until you can connect to Steam again.

There are cases where the Internet is unavailable (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19280427)

You start Steam up when you're not connected to the internet. And no, you're not SOL, there's nothing special you have to do beforehand. You're in offline mode.
Except you can't install straight to offline mode. What if a computer has no Internet connection period, such as someone who uses a computer for word processing, single-player gaming, and shared-screen multiplayer gaming? Is someone supposed to buy a 12 month commitment to dial-up Internet access for each year in which he wants to install a retail game that uses Steam authentication? What about buying a retail game and then wanting to try it on a laptop while on a long flight?

Re:Not for me (3, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19270333)

I've never understood the whole mothership fear thing. All it does is check for updates, it's not like you can remove a purchased game from your account (you can delete local content, ie. the stuff on your computer, but the server side account record still shows that you are entitled to that game) so it's not authenticating your ownership or anything (that's why even 3rd party mod stuff triggers it; it checks for update entries for 'mod z' sees none and continues on.) What with the fear? Is it a fear of something hidden? A fear of loss of control? Or is it some fear/anger I don't understand, like dial-up?

Re:Not for me (1)

schizoid4 (1062340) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281439)

One day the mothership won't be there. I don't want to get hooked on a cool game and then have it taken away from me.

Re:Not for me (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19270909)

I have no idea if HL2 is any good, as I won't buy a game that won't run unless it checks in with the steaming mothership first. Yes, I realize that through some arcane procedure you can get it to run without connecting, but if you accidently forget to do that while online and then go offline you are SOL. I choose not to support such schemes buy not buying anything that uses steam. Kind of like not buying games that use starforce.


Uh, how is "Unplug network cable" before starting Steam arcane? Heck, if you were lazy, you could just hit the "standby" button on your cable modem if you were lazy. Or if you're technically advanced, prevent Steam from getting access to the Internet via your firewall. Windows Firewall can prevent egress packets per-application. All you have to do is prevent Steam from getting on the Internet.

And if you forget to go offline... just restart Steam. It's not like you have to reboot your computer or anything. It takes a minute, tops, to shut down and restart Steam. Most of it is waiting for Steam to try to connect to the Internet.

I understand that the early days of Steam, it was arcane to go offline, but things have changed a lot since then - it's improved tremendously.

Re:Not for me (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19271631)

"I understand that the early days of Steam, it was arcane to go offline, but things have changed a lot since then - it's improved tremendously."
I can remember at a lan gaming event several years ago we had a ton of people that couldn't play HL2 because the internet connection the hotel blocked steam. That was all I needed to see to know I didn't want it. Maybe they fixed it, so maybe I should spend the $10 or $15 for HL2 and try it. I am glad I never spent $60 on it when it first came out though.

Re:Not for me (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19276427)

I think it sometimes had issues in the past when it could connect to the network at large, but couldn't connect to the auth servers, but I think that was fixed after the big debacle that happened when Seattle sank into the Pacific a few months back.

Try HL2 out sometime, I really like it.

Re:Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19273557)

You don't need to use steam for HL2 if you didn't get it through steam... retail it acts like any other game. But the game world (the engine too presumably) has been significantly updated- you want the steam version.

Re:Not for me (1)

glyph42 (315631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19277897)

Huh? You can play all you want without being online. Even if you've already run online updates on your game. I'm not sure if the steam you're not using is the same steam that I'm using...

Whatever (1)

Mdentari (979766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19270741)

Yes it's "reached" that many but I seriously doubt if a chunk of that is active users. I would really like to see data about active steam clients say within the last 6 months and then get back to me. I used it once and only once and never again as I like to physically own what I own and not lease it.

And how many..... (0, Troll)

scronline (829910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19273133)

Are people with accounts that had them raped from them? I personally know 11 people who had their passwords "reset" by the system. They didn't have access to their original email account any longer, hadn't made the changes to their steam accounts, and didn't have a security question so they lost their accounts. They basically just had the games they rightfully paid for stolen by Steam/Valve. In one case that was $300 worth of games that they can no longer play because Valve won't work with them to gain access to their account. They say "well, if you can fax us a copy of your driver's license and the credit card you used..." sure, can do the license. Can't exactly do the CC when the number has changed or the bank account has been closed.

I for one refuse to buy anything from Steam except for the one game I do play and that game's days are numbered. ETQW will kill off CS:S for me and it won't be coming a day too early.

Re:And how many..... (2, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19273455)

So they didn't set up a security question, they lost their email access, changed their drivers licenses, and closed their credit cards? At the same time?

Are you sure your friend is the same actual person every year?

Re:And how many..... (1)

scronline (829910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275135)

oh, c'mon. Are you telling me that after 5 years you don't change things around? Different ISP... different Credit Card issued. And they didn't ask "security questions" when steam first started. In 5 years 2 of those individuals have moved twice or more.

Dear Mr. Gates (1)

rolando2424 (1096299) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274989)

How to sell Vista:

1) Convince Valve to release Steam for Vista ONLY!

2) Convince Blizzard to release World of Warcraft for Vista ONLY!

3) ????

4) Profit. (From selling several millions of Vista copies in few days)

Re:Dear Mr. Gates (1)

Red Samurai (893134) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306805)

I reckon that would just promote piracy...

Steam a startup HOG (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19280893)

I just figured this out last week in fact...

My laptop (which probably has about 1/2 the horsepower of my Athlon X2 4600 desktop) seemed to start up to "usable" state (ie not chugging along on startup apps that prevent me from effectively opening a brower, etc) a good 20-30 seconds before said desktop. I finally tracked the cause down to Steam running on my desktop but not my laptop. Once I set Steam not to run on startup, my desktop now starts up blazingly fast (at least compared to what it used to do).

I find this a bit disturbing. WTF is Steam doing!?

Re:Steam a startup HOG (1)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 6 years ago | (#19301255)

uh...starting up with the already numerous background programs that are starting up at the same time. I dunno....just my guess ;)

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19312333)

It also surpassed its 500 millionth crash, making it one of the buggiest programs in history.
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