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Steam is a digital distribution service owned by Valve. Originally created to distribute its own games, Steam has since expanded to become the biggest standard for digital distribution of PC games, and supports community features, downloadable content and achievements. Starting 2010, Steam now offers Mac games as well


Steam is a popular marketplace for large publishers, allowing them to sell their new and old games alike. Steam also allows independent game developers to showcase their games to a wider audience, focusing more on the quality or originality of the game rather than the production level in terms of marketing, so it often advertises debut indie titles.


Steam has also been wildly popular among PC gamers. As of 2009 there are over 900 games available to download (with most new games co-launching with their console counterparts or launching shortly after). In January 2010, Valve announced that they had reached over 25 million active user accounts and averaged well over 2 million concurrent users throughout the day. Most analysts estimate that Steam currently controls 70% of digital distribution market share on the PC, but as Valve is a privately held company they are not required to release sales figures. Additionally, Valve has stated that for a $50 game, publishers earn $30 as revenue whereas in retail only an average of $7.50 is made.

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