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Steam is a video game distribution and content sharing platform owned and operated by Valve Software, a corporation founded in 1996 who rose to fame through franchises like Half-Life and Counter-Strike. Steam was announced in 2002, with a beta test in the first half of 2003 and then a public release September of the same year. Since then approximately
9 million 12 million people concurrently use Steam at peak times, with some days in excess of 10 million 14 million.
Stable, as Valve has stated that due to their privately owned nature there's no stockholder pressure to perform. Not too likely to die in the future unless there were a long series of catastrophic mistakes within a short timespan, considering the revenue generated from seasonal sales and microtransactions in Valve-published games.
It was reported by a redditor who deleted their account that there would be contingencies in place to ensure games published on Steam would remain playable in the event of Steam being shut down or Valve going under. This could entail redemption of codes on other platforms like GOG.com or as far as an official Steam cracker to make games that require the operation of Steam no longer require it, but the means for recovering games is unclear.
If Valve were to go out of business the primary area of concern would be the Steam Community, as it likely holds many hundreds of terabytes of data, possibly even a few petabytes at worst.
Steam Users' Forums
|Steam Users' Forums|
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One of the largest vBulletin forums in existence, reported to be carrying 1.3M threads and 13.8M posts, also commonly referred to by many as Steam Powered User Forums, or SPUF.
Steam Discussions on the Steam Community have instilled a small dose of concern amongst some as they were concerned SPUF would be killed off at any point.
The only saving grace at the moment is that Valve employees still post on SPUF from time to time even a couple of years after "SPUD" was introduced. These concerns would still be valid if there was a change of mood and SPUD suddenly became the only supported forum.
On May 15, 2017, Valve suddenly pulled the plug on SPUF as was feared.
Work on saving the doomed forum soon began.
A component of the Steam Community, Greenlight is a way for indie developers to submit their games (for a $100 fee) to let the wider community vote on whether their game should be accepted on to the Steam store.
On February 10, Valve announced that Steam Greenlight would be replaced by Steam Direct at some point in Spring 2017.