Steam Turns 20: A Look Back at the Past 20 Years

Happy 20th Anniversary, Steam!

Steam, the world’s largest digital distribution platform for PC games, turns 20 years old today. In that time, it has become an essential part of the gaming landscape, with over 1 billion active accounts and over 50,000 games available.

Steam was launched on September 12, 2003, by Valve Corporation, the creators of Half-Life and Counter-Strike. It was originally conceived as a way to distribute Valve’s own games, but it quickly grew to become a popular platform for other developers as well.

One of the things that made Steam so successful was its focus on convenience. It offered a centralized library of games that could be downloaded and installed with ease. It also introduced features like automatic updates and cloud saves, which made it much easier for gamers to keep their games up to date and their saves safe.

Another reason for Steam’s success was its strong community features. It allowed gamers to chat with each other, share screenshots and videos, and create groups. This helped to create a sense of community around Steam, which made it even more appealing to gamers.

Over the past 20 years, Steam has continued to grow and evolve. It has added new features, such as the Steam Workshop and the Steam Deck. It has also expanded into new markets, such as China.

Today, Steam is an essential part of the gaming landscape. It is the go-to platform for millions of gamers around the world.

Here’s to another 20 years of Steam!

Here are some of the top games that were released on Steam in each of the past 20 years:

  • 2003: Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source
  • 2004: World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Half-Life 2: Episode One
  • 2005: Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, Portal
  • 2006: Grand Theft Auto IV, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Left 4 Dead 2
  • 2007: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Portal 2, Super Meat Boy
  • 2008: Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice, Minecraft, The Witcher
  • 2009: Batman: Arkham Asylum, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, Dark Souls
  • 2010: Portal 2: The Perpetual Testing Initiative, Grand Theft Auto V, Dishonored
  • 2011: Dota 2, The Walking Dead, Tomb Raider
  • 2012: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Kerbal Space Program
  • 2013: Grand Theft Auto V, BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us
  • 2014: Dota 2: The International, Dark Souls II, Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • 2015: Rocket League, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fallout 4
  • 2016: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch, Doom
  • 2017: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Battlegrounds, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Cuphead
  • 2018: Fortnite, Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War
  • 2019: Apex Legends, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Disco Elysium
  • 2020: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Half-Life: Alyx, The Last of Us Part II
  • 2021: Valheim, Resident Evil Village, It Takes Two
  • 2022: Elden Ring, Stray, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course

Here are some of the things that Steam has done to celebrate its 20th anniversary:

  • A sale on all Valve games, with discounts up to 90% off.
  • A free animated sticker pack for your Steam profile.
  • A timeline of the top releases on Steam each year, with some fun facts for both Steam and pop culture in general.
  • A special message from Gabe Newell, the CEO of Valve.

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