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How has the age of 13 Steam generation has changed the PC gaming industry

via:博客园     time:2016/6/2 12:01:00     readed:3425

《双人网球》被普遍认为是最早的电子游戏来源:Brookhaven《双人网球》被普遍认为是最早的电子游戏来源:Brookhaven National Laboratory

"Doubles tennis" is generally regarded as the first video game Source: Brookhaven National Laboratory

In 1958, Brookhaven National Laboratory (Brookhaven National Laboratory) physicist William & middot; Xinji Jacobsen (William Higinbotham) designed the first real history of video games for entertainment, "doubles tennis" (Tennis for Two), open to the public within three days, it was warmly welcomed by everyone, after which the machine is disassembled, thus lost in history. Until a game after a decade of patent litigation, the "doubles tennis" was submitted as evidence only once again aroused public concern, and Xinji Dobson hailed as & ldquo; the father of electronic games & rdquo ;.

In the United States, most people also arcade game room as idle 1970s young people troublemaker place in 1969, in order to reverse bias the world, Zhu TRS & middot; Mi Germain (Jules Millman) in Illinois Harvey (Harvey), a shopping center opened the nation's first non-smoking, diet and a ban arcade full-time staff, and since then, arcade and game in the traditional understanding of the vulgar people the impression of finally getting changed.

米罗华奥德赛是历史上第一台手柄游戏机来源:米罗华奥德赛是历史上第一台手柄游戏机来源: Evan-Amos

Magnavox Odyssey is the history of the first game handle Source: Evan-Amos

At the same time, MSI and TTL ICs advent of the popularity of such costs microcomputer fallen sharply, although the price of less than $ 10,000 for the vast majority of the time sitting still be astronomical in terms of general expenses, however, as to the arcade room typical consumption credits game industry is therefore thrive.

On the other hand, Musharraf & middot; Bell (Ralph Baer) developed in the 1960s using DTL integrated circuit signal projected onto the console prototype TV, and ultimately, Magnavox Odyssey (Magnavox Odyssey) was launched in 1972, in addition to the game itself is equipped with 12, while 4 bundled light gun games and six independent selling game & mdash; & mdash; in fact, the future continuation of decades of game industry mainstream business model at this point finally established.

Born in 1962 Gabi & middot; Newell (Gabe Newell) to grow in such an environment, the entire video game industry and culture to the unprecedented strength swept the world in the 1980s, he experienced the shock caused by Atari full collapse gaming industry in America, the Harvard dropout, leading to the identity of the main development of the first three versions of Windows developed by Microsoft No. 271 employees left Microsoft in 1996 and and partner Mike & middot; Harrington (Mike Harrington) founded Valve , after seven years, Steam emerged.

A platform here tells the story of the birth of 13 years, and in the process how it has changed the PC gaming industry.

& Ldquo; revolutionary past & rdquo;

The story dates back to 1993, this time, Gabi has worked at Microsoft for 10 years, and there are three years away from his resignation.

The previous year, Carmack (John D. Carmack) has developed a new 3D game engine Doom, id team at this time just completed the "Spear of Destiny", "Wolfenstein 3D" (Wolfenstein 3D) prequel (Spear of Destiny) the development, in the discussion of a new game development topics, "Alien" (Aliens) and "Evil Dead 2" (Evil Dead II) these movies gave their main source of inspiration. By the movie "The Color of Money" (The Color of Money) in Tom & middot; Cruise (Tom Cruise) plays Vincent (Vincent Lauria) in response to someone else's provocation given phrase simple and uplifting lines & ldquo; Look good & rdquo; (doom) inspired, Carmack decided the new name of the game called "Doom" (DOOM), he wanted to go to this work & ldquo; then shocked the game industry & rdquo ;.

October 1993, "Doom" first public version was uploaded to Software Creations Forum and the University of Wisconsin-Madison FTP server, distributed through shareware, Intel, Lotus Carnegie Mellon University have even prohibit employees during working hours play "Doom" at Microsoft, this game is considered to be & ldquo; & rdquo ;. religious shrines Despite rampant piracy, but the game is still in reputation and business & mdash; & mdash; in the early 1990s, sales of the game more than one million copies of & mdash; & mdash; gained unprecedented success, which also makes the id rather than having to share software distributed manner, by 1995, "the ultimate Doom" (the ultimate Doom) first choice in retail stores.

In 1996, Gabi founded Valve, Virgo and launched a "half-life" (Half-Life) in 1998.

"Doom" is not only my favorite Gabi and let him believe that & ldquo; the game is the future of entertainment & rdquo; one of three games, Valve development team gave the biggest inspiration, which they had developed "half-life" of a mission It is & ldquo; like "Doom" as scary & rdquo ;, they also received authorization id's Quake engine and rewrite the code in which about Qi Cheng, and increased skeletal animation and Direct3D support for the. However, they did not just want to add more than by "Doom" to lead the FPS (first person shooter) boom to do one of the many imitation game, and the pursuit of pure pleasure id shooting fight game is different, they are more desirable It is & ldquo; to create a more compelling than the shooting gallery in the world and the role & rdquo ;.

类类 DOOM 游戏最终逐渐被 FPS 游戏取代

Final game DOOM class gradually replaced FPS games

The end result proved that the "half-life" fully meet the aspirations of Valve, spontaneous sale of 10 years, this in order to Freeman (Gordon Freeman) Dr. protagonist of the game were sold about 9.3 million copies.

However, "half-life" is just another greater success successful overture. In 1999, the Canadian game developers Dawn (Minh Le) and Jess & middot; Cliff (Jess Cliffe) launched the game mod "Counter-Strike" (Counter-Strike) initial release in 2000, "Counter-Strike" has become Valve's official program. In the ensuing ten years time, this multiplayer online game has become one of the top games in the history of the longest life, activity.

However, at the same time, more and more problems began.

First, the entire PC game industry at this time have suffered the impact of the trend of piracy, strengthen the popular Pirate Bay (The Pirate Bay) makes the sales of legitimate sites such difficult game, in turn, this allows developers and publishers in the game developed more and more into perpetuity, so the quality of the game can not be guaranteed further affect consumer confidence, making the PC game market is shrinking into an infinite loop.

On the other hand, cheating, poor network connection and patch update push untimely situation seriously interfere with genuine gamers experience rampant piracy, poor quality of service subsequent genuine game, PC game market therefore continues to be hit.

More deadly problem is that the contradictions in this dilemma game developers and publishers, retailers also benefit divided on intensifying the lack of online distribution channel for continued stable income, the line store in bargaining, sharing ratio occupy a very strong voice, so the final result is reduced to less than 1/5 of the developers can only get benefit from the $ 40 game.

In 2000, PlayStation 2 come out, Sony introduced their original humble online store until 6 years after the PlayStation 3 listing, PlayStation Network Platform (PSN) was officially published, and as early as 2002, Microsoft launched the first online service Xbox Live.

Time back to 1993.

At this time, Gaby realized that Windows 95 is not a good gaming platform, and the "Doom" come let him ecstatic, in the company, he took everyone loaded gaming laptops with enthusiasm publicize office games.

Check out what some PC games capable! This is comparable to NES and Sega systems stick more!

Now, before Valve Canadian ratio is an unprecedented choice, it is to continue to focus on developing their own games game production company, or do an iffy like NES, Xbox Live online platform as a game company?


As early as 1997, with the Blizzard "Diablo" (Diablo) launched Battle.net, the online platform ultimately provide only a simple chat with other players and connection functions, 1998, with "StarCraft" ( StarCraft) advent, Battle.net increased then Blizzard gamers relish & ldquo; ladder & rdquo; (ladder ranking) and games filtering by the year 2000, along with the "Diablo 2" (Diablo II) available , Battle.net ushered in the most significant changes in the history, character data according to established players are no longer stored on players' computers, but are stored on Blizzard's servers.

20022002 年时 Steam 测试版公告

2002 Steam Beta Announcement

In 2002, Peoples calls for the "half-life 2" (Half-Life 2) development process, add more than in the year GDC announced Steam program. At the meeting, Gabi describes himself as & ldquo; new era of Robin & middot; Chinese & rdquo ;, he said that due to the presence of brokers and publishers exploit, before the return game developers obtained from only $ 7 per game but this Steam will increase to $ 30!

In the same year, Valve with Vivendi Games (Vivendi Universal Games) in cafes illegal sale worldwide license in "Counter-Strike" while these French companies to court, was not far behind Vivendi counterclaim, saying that Steam will damage to the interests of their own release Valve game.

In fact, the two companies have made "half-life 2" & mdash; & mdash; this cost $ 40 million gaming experience up to 5 years of development cycle and more than 2000 Conference & mdash; & mdash; the progress of the development was delayed about six months, the final scheduled for September 2003 launch of the game until November 2004 before listing. With the completion of the sale is approaching, Gabi also worried publisher Vivendi may be deliberately delayed shipping period.

Although the internal code name & ldquo; mesh & rdquo; (Grid), & ldquo; gazelle & rdquo; (Gazelle) of the Steam beta version in early 2003 with the "Counter-Strike" 1.6 officially come out, but this time not many people would the recently launched platform have much confidence. Even Valve initially present to take advantage of Microsoft, Yahoo and other companies to establish the Steam platform, but unfortunately no one promise, and had to build their own PC game in the history of this unprecedented platform.

In 2000, the "half-life" mod "victory day" (Day of Defeat) published the following year, Valve will mod panellists invited to San Francisco to participate in Half-Life Mod Expo, until now, these developers only saw each other once a real person . By 2003, the "victory day" one of the first games on Steam has become.

By creating a successful game mod on Steam, the distribution will get benefit.

Gabi outset so stand at Valve opinion, openness and aid the players come to expand the possibility of one of the greatest PC game attractive characteristics. The mod really become the trend is from "Doom" Start, id co-founder Tom & middot; Howard (Tom Hall) recalls the time & ldquo; we want the players to create their own content, so it becomes possible simple, Carmack has been holding the & lsquo; information should be free & rsquo; the kind of faith & rdquo; & mdash; & mdash; on the basis of such beliefs, Carmack in 1997. "Doom," the code is all open.

Valve for myself, mod also plays unable indispensable role in the development of "half-life", Gabi wanted to use level editor id, but in the end they found it impossible to make their own style, so they find this & middot; Morris (Ben Morris) and his mod components Worldcraft, which help develop a suitable Valve "half-life" in the new version of the mod.

In 2001, Valve acquired the online gaming authentication services WON (World Opponent Network), its function in the experiment in Steam. July 2004, Valve closed WON, players only play multiplayer games via the Steam client to. "Half-Life 2" available in November this year, just by Vivendi channels, the game within two months sold about 1.7 million models. "Half-Life 2" is first necessary to force clients to install Steam games on Steam, this is the real test of whether it can successfully challenge.

However, Steam server early in the design did not anticipate such a situation, millions of users load makes the server in the game came in the first period condition continues, a large number of users can not enter the game through the Steam client, a digital version of the verification not pass, the transaction appears to be incomplete and so lead to strong dissatisfaction of users.

早期的早期的 Steam 客户端

Early Steam client

In some ways, this fault lasted for several days in the first two years is Steam portrayal of survival of the state, at the beginning, it is only as a distribution channel for the game, push channel patch upgrade was born, and that it is selling, release, push also the only Valve games. This time looks like Blizzard Battle.net Steam crappy imitator only, until 2005, when Microsoft was planning to develop its own online game distribution platform, the situation finally changed, Steam began to attract independent developers and publishers .

From then on, Steam Kingdom really rise.


Let us temporarily shift our attention from the troubles of the United States to the remote Eastern Europe.

In 1994, "Doom" available, the high school, reselling second-hand Western game disc in the Warsaw market Mahindra & middot; Evans Siji (Marcin Iwiński) and Mika & middot; Qiexisiji (Michal Kiciński) with $ 2,000 founded CD Projekt, became Poland's first game import company.

At the time Poland and no concept of copyright, rampant pirated game discs, in order to allow consumers to accept genuine game, CD Projekt spent 30,000 pounds from the hands of Interplay bought 3,000 copies of "Baldur's Gate" (Baldur's Gate) mandate, and £ 30,000 into the game with localization being & mdash; & mdash; as a result, only the first day of sale, this £ 30 & mdash; & mdash; at the time of Poland, the price of each pirated games is about 15 pounds & mdash ; & mdash; including wax seal parchment map, "Dungeons & Dragons" rule book and other specials genuine game had sold 18,000 copies.

In Poland, was removed to obtain the best-selling fantasy novel series "sorcerer" (Wiedźmin), the two founders of game developers know nothing about, after more than 100 people long and hard to develop up to 5 years after the company spent in all of 2000 Wan zlotys (Złoty) later, CD Projekt RED modified based on the depth of BioWare's Aurora engine has finally launched a "wizard" (the Witcher), the success of the game laid the basis for the subsequent two sequels, but also to promote in 2008 CD Projekt launched a game distribution platform GOG.

In 2011, the "shaman 2" (The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings) on GOG sales reached 40,000 copies, while the same period of Steam sales are up 200,000. As of June 2015, "the wizard 3" (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) sales in the GOG of more than 690,000 copies, more than the sum of Steam (nearly 58 million) and other distribution channels.


Game "Guardians tasks: forgotten village" (Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten) each platform developers to disclose income in 2013, sales volume Source: gamasutra

Development, integration of distribution channels is becoming more and more game development companies of choice, in 2009, Ubisoft Uplay advent of 2011, EA launched Origin internet. However, Steam is still the largest and most successful platform of the world, in addition to the introduction of third-party game developers and publishers, the more fundamental reason is that, Steam build an unprecedented for consumers, independent game developers, mod production who can benefit from the mature and active community.

  • In 2007, Steam Community on the line, this service users can chat, share, but also concerned about the dynamic of interest to the community game news, reviews, video, pictures, etc.,. Prior to this, never will be a platform for social connections between the users do so closely, and this has become an important social connections actually read the users who bought the game.
  • By Steamworks open API, game developers can easily put Steam in the user match, game achievements, micro-transactions and other features added to the game to go, and based on this anti-cheating (VAC, Valve Anti-Cheat) is able to do most likely to achieve the purpose of purification of PC gaming environment.
  • The majority of users the most appreciative Steam is Creative Workshop (Steam Workshop), this service is to encourage developers, players develop content to provide a richer gaming experience in 2011 with the "Team Fortress 2" (Team Fortress 2) available on a by the majority of players a warm welcome, followed by "the Elder scrolls 5" (the Elder scrolls V: Skyrim) and mod hot activity is making the community continues to soar. From 2011 to January 2015, "Team Fortress 2", DoTA 2 and CS: GO game about three 1500 mod developers received about $ 57 million in proceeds from the Creative Workshop.

It developers, positive interaction of players, communities, ensure the healthy and sustainable development of Steam. As of February 2015, Steam active users & mdash; & mdash; Valve official definition of & ldquo; active users & rdquo; is to have at least a game or within 90 days to log in once players & mdash; & mdash; to reach 125 million in 2015, players Steam on consumption reached 3.5 billion US dollars, equivalent to 15% of the year worldwide PC gaming revenues.

The sale of every copy of the game, Steam gets 30% of the share, as projected, then, only in terms of game publishers, Steam revenue last year reached about $ 1 billion. In addition, CS: GO in the box, the user community within a trading transactions for Valve actually created a lot of revenue.

Furthermore, Steam apparently not willing to just do a software platform.

When you play the game you want it is to create value for the other players, so the line between game players and creators in fact, is very vague. In Kansas, we have a 15-year-old children to earn $ 150,000 per year to do a virtual hat, anyway, this is a starting point.

2012, when, says Gabi, at the same time, he not only passionate advocate of Oculus, Valve put himself secretly developing VR devices and, more importantly, the former Microsoft veterans this time but then Windows 8 system so sexy open to disappointment and focus instead on Linux, the same year, Steam Linux client was born.

20152015 年发布的 Steam 手柄来源:fluburtur

2015 Steam release handle Source: fluburtur

Subsequently, Valve internally called & ldquo; Bigfoot & rdquo; (Bigfoot) The Steam Machine and Steam OS officially disclosed in September 2013, in the 2014 Steam Dev Days event, Valve will Steam Machine is targeting for the living room users, and it is so focused into the Linux platform is then to be able to get rid of Windows Mac OS platform & mdash; & mdash; take into account the convergence trend previously released Xbox One home entertainment center location and Xbox and Windows systems, Valve at this time already aware of the importance to build their own hardware and system platforms.

At the same time, Valve on VR also put a lot of effort, Oculus kit to provide developers Valve, while the latter offers "Team Fortress 2" (Team Fortress 2) in VR mode for testing, the 2014 Steam Dev Days on activities, Valve announced their first secret prototype of VR to some developers. However, with the Oculus was acquired Facebook, once close ties with Valve had to change course to find another partner.

2015, Valve uncharacteristically did not organize Steam Dev Days will focus instead on the GDC, and said it would unveil his SteamVR at the meeting. However, just before GDC meet for one day, HTC's MWC in Barcelona suddenly announced a collaboration with Valve developed VR product: HTC Vive.

Today, Steam has become a distribution, including sales, then the game content development, hardware and other equipment, including PC game Super Empire, however, the expansion, the expansion of the empire, the anxiety and confusion of the shadows has been generated and spread.


The first is from the Creative Workshop dispute began.

《上古卷轴5》玩家一直热衷于该游戏《上古卷轴5》玩家一直热衷于该游戏 mod 的开发及搭配

"The Elder Scrolls 5" players have been enthusiastic about the game's development and with mod

April 2015, Steam announced from the "Elder Scrolls 5" into effect mod charges. The game's mod developers are able to set the price for their own development work, Valve and Bethesda respectively a 30% and 45% of revenue, and the remaining 25% owned by the developer, but only in revenue to more than $ 100, mod developers can withdraw this income.

However, contrary to Steam unexpected is that this actually mod developers and game makers are nothing but a disadvantage of the majority of users plan was fierce opposition boycott.

出售出售 mod 的开发者遭到了玩家的指责和辱骂

Sale mod developers have been accusations and insults player

Although the "Elder Scrolls 5" has a huge active mod community development, but Creative Workshop has not only the developer community, specifically the "Elder Scrolls" and Bethesda Game mod development community on the size and user activity incompatible with Steam up and down. The irony is that, just a month before the Steam released pricing policy, Nexus administrator says the charges against mod concerns:

I am mainly worried DRM authentication and mod developers lose its free and open nature, the reason for this may be true that some people think that after the mod developers can only get rid of the other platforms to develop on one platform.

Steam can not be expected towards the situation and control the direction. After a day at the toll policy announcement, there is a developer removed due to copyright issues the initiative to choose their fee mod, however, Steam official refused their shelves and refund request to the user. This is further intensified the anger of the majority of players, this final home Creative Workshop developer support charges mod developers have begun dissatisfied Steam arrogant pies.

Finally, in the majority of players fierce opposition, in 4 days after the introduction of fees policy, Steam will have to declare the termination of the plan.

In fact, this is the first real Valve user has been such a large range of opposition criticism, if this is a problem because the generation gap between policy and user acceptance of willingness on the business strategy caused, then, by 2016, community translation group strikes the letter reflects the vulnerability and dereliction of duty on the Steam community management mechanism.

The face of global hundreds of millions of gamers, Steam community of 26 STS (Steam Translation Server) volunteers took on heavy web interface, news, documents and other localization.

However, the former head of the Spanish team in February this year, disclosed the STS officials long-term exclusion, deliberately making things difficult, dismissal without cause volunteers to provide free translation services so that these people could have lost the opportunity to become Valve contract workers, while in the after Valve labor department complaints, the entire Spanish team STS duties have all been lifted. Italian team also fall into the same experiences, and ultimately members are forced to leave, a direct result of progress in Italian translation from the original 95% down to 83%.

STSSTS 志愿团队被官方踢走

STS volunteer team officially kicked

So far, the STS storm party still has not been Steam official response. All along, Steam's success rely on the growing maturity of the community, to include mod developers, including contributors and consumers is the decisive factor in promoting the healthy and stable growth of the Steam Community, after mod charges, translation volunteer dismissal event, with the the Steam platform and expanding, it is clear that the dispute between the players have gradually surfaced and intensified.

《侠盗猎车手5》在《侠盗猎车手5》在 Steam 上的各国销量

"Grand Theft Auto 5" sales in countries on Steam

中国玩家超过了《三国志中国玩家超过了《三国志 13》其他国家地区消费者总和

Chinese players more than the "Three Kingdoms 13" the sum of consumers in other countries

With the "Grand Theft Auto 5" (Grand Theft Auto V) and other games only for $ 30 in the store shelves in China, Chinese consumers have become Steam on the main consumer groups. November 2015, Steam officially supported renminbi consumption, the official store in China, in line with national conditions and pricing is greatly contributed to the enthusiasm of Chinese consumers, 2016 listing of "Three Kingdoms 13" Despite the price up to 390 yuan, but the Chinese players are He contributed more than half of sales.

中国玩家和外国玩家在中国玩家和外国玩家在 Grand Theft Auto V 社区内相互争执

Chinese players and foreign players in the mutual disputes within Grand Theft Auto V community

As more and more Chinese players into the great differences between many language, cultural background, national consciousness and other players such dispute friction between them and other countries and regions from time to time, Grand Theft Auto V community because some foreign players dissatisfied Chinese players to use Chinese post while cynical incurred by the Chinese player's counterattack, the two sides accused each taunt the player forces, culminating in the unprecedented slaughter version war. Finally, Steam Community official had come forward to be able to delete posts lock posts quell the situation.


"Warhammer: Total War" Despite the reputation of the business and have achieved good results, with the exception being Chinese player kept Poor

At the same time, Chinese consumers are increasingly focusing on their own interests, and this also led to anomalies in the evaluation of some of the games work that appears.

May 2016 launch of the "Warhammer: Total War" (Total War: WARHAMMER) in October last year, advance purchase commitments will be introduced simplified Chinese version, but after a month lock-in and canceled the Chinese version, then unlock the sale again, such behavior attracted the Chinese player's strong dissatisfaction, so in the case of foreign players given have been received, but the Chinese players surprisingly consistent negative feedback makes the score on metacritic up to 86 of the work is now evaluated on Steam is only & ldquo; most praise & rdquo ;.

Lock area, no Chinese version, the follow-up DLC thin, poor optimization, multi-plug, higher latency network war and so may become the source of dissatisfaction with Chinese players, but this group of hungry and enthusiastic consumer after the United States has become a player on Steam the largest consumer groups, among them developers and, in between them and the other players, an American company had never seen the appalling walls being erected, the wall side says & ldquo; global written on one side of the & rdquo ;, & ldquo; & rdquo ;. Chinese characteristics

Two kinds of powerful forces in the tangle of Steam is how to reconcile these sensitive and consumer confidence from the East Super problems, and whether it can actually solve this difficult relationship with this company in the future whether to win this mysterious and imaginative market.

Contradiction is that, Steam both want to embrace this market, but also insist on their own interests, for which it resolutely remove the PayPal payment. I would like to have in-depth piece of popular CS have to be added to the market with CS: GO to grab a piece of territory from last year's global income of up to $ 1.1 billion in "cross fire" (Crossfire), but, it can not tolerate others and covet their profit model and are willing to find fault with the introduction of such matters nearly ripe ultimately fall short.

Steam own internal problems facing chaos, but also to the outside world through the gap horse with the speed of chaos. Twenty years later, when no Carmack of id temper eight years introduced a new generation to leave the old FPS gamers when Shan Hu Long live the "Doom" (DOOM), Steam Wuran also found himself ushered in his turning point & mdash; & mdash; in a chaotic world that, in the era of Steam, PC gaming answer what is it?

Probably, just as Gabi once said: It is not just video games, but also ponder the digital world of goods and services.

[This article BT Media & middot; "commercial value" magazine June issue article, Hu Yong / Reporter, the network exclusive debut titanium Media]

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