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Basic Information
Valve Corporation
Valve Corporation
Digital Platform
Microsoft Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, Android and iOS
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Steam is an online digital distribution service run by Valve Corporation, originally started in 2002 as a way for them to deliver their gaming content direct to consumers, and as a means to automatically provide patches for their games. The first Valve game that required mandatory Steam registration for the game to be played was Half-Life 2. The service was eventually opened up to other publishers and developers. The system caused controversy, as it was the first system whereby a game had to be activated, and this had the knock-on effect of encouraging other publishers and developers to do the same, most notably Electronic Arts, so as to prevent their games from being sold on the second-hand market once purchased and activated, and to prevent people from pirating their video games.

Because this process of selling and delivering online cut out game store retailers and game publishers, Valve became involved in a legal dispute with Vivendi Universal, their publisher at the time. Vivendi Universal argued that Valve was violating their publishing contract with Vivendi by opening a competing digital distribution platform.

There are currently 217 Steam games documented on Codex Gamicus.

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