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Steam Business Update at GDC 2019

The opportunities on PC have never been bigger or more exciting, but capitalizing on those opportunities is easier said than done.

This blog post is no longer being actively updated.

The opportunities on PC have never been bigger or more exciting, but capitalizing on those opportunities is easier said than done. Tom Giardino from Valve will talk through a bunch of ways that Steam store and platform features can help attendees’ games succeed on PC, and share updates on what the Steam team is working on next.

Learn about Valve’s goals and priorities. Figure out how to leverage the tools and opportunities provided by Steam. Chat with Tom after the session about your critiques and concerns.

Have feedback on this post? Join our Discord

Previous updates (oldest first)

08:19 UTC · ·
11:53 UTC · ·

Topics will include a global market analysis, information on the coming multi platform networking APIs, a first look at new features and updates, and more.

19:21 UTC · ·

The talk should be starting in under 25 minutes! Keep in mind the intended audience is developer and other business-y types and not the general public. Don't get -too- hyped just yet.

19:32 UTC · ·

Hello, this is Zukalous. I am reporting live from the Steam Business Update here at GDC 2019. Stay tuned as I live blog the announcements and discussion from the Valve Steam team.

19:36 UTC · ·

I have a front row seat to the slides. Will upload any charts (My bet is most will go up and to the left)

19:37 UTC · ·

19:38 UTC · ·

Full disclosure: I have recently launched a game on Steam that has earned ~$500. So as you can see they don't have much leverage on me. You will get the straight facts here folks.

19:40 UTC · ·

The room is packed. The staff asked us to move in close. The murmur of languages from around the world bubble among the crowd. Chinese, English, Russian, everyone is interested in what is about to be said.

19:42 UTC · ·

Nobody is at the mics yet. If you folks need something to do while we wait, feel free to download and play my latest game 1 Screen Platformer.

19:44 UTC · ·

Tom Giardino steps up to the mic to discuss. "We want to be transparent about plans and data about how the platform is doing and growing".

19:45 UTC · ·

"FIrst principle: Create value for players and developers."

19:46 UTC · ·

"For developers we want low friction access to manage your game. We also want to grow to reach the addressable market"

19:46 UTC · ·

"Finally: We want to invent new ways to make your players happy"

19:47 UTC · ·

19:48 UTC · ·

Steam has a 5 year plan to keep reinvesting in our community

19:49 UTC · ·

Side note: Valve has been working on the new client and events page for ages now. New library will be based on web technologies just like the new chat overhaul is.

19:50 UTC · ·

19:50 UTC · ·

Steam link anywhere beta. Our goal is overnight your game can be available anywhere with less work for you.

19:52 UTC · ·

Alden steps to the mic. He works on the design side of features.... Wants to help you connect with your customers to make them happier

19:52 UTC · ·

First new features: Steam events. When interesting things happening in your game.

19:54 UTC · ·

Event allows you to create call to actions and an attractive interface to drive your players back to your game. An example is a personalized rollup page for customers of your currently owned games.

19:55 UTC · ·

It is an excuse to play now. Also know if your friends are participating.

19:56 UTC · ·

Steam is customers ability to subscribe to events so they can opt in to receive emails. This is huge. Email drives engagement better than any other form of messaging.

20:02 UTC · ·

Players can filter their library and save that filter as a "collection" so they can create custom groupings.

20:03 UTC · ·

Steam wants to allow creators to define when and where your game appears within the Steam Store. Can also see better stats about visibility. Such as how many players saw my game because they saw their friend playing it. This allows you to figure out how to strategize

20:04 UTC · ·

Dev request: "When I release my next game how do I notify my existing fans?" Answer: Developer Homepages. Build your audience over time.

20:04 UTC · ·

Dev request "How do I show potential players what it's like to play my game?" Steam Answer: Store page broadcasting. So you can host a live stream on the store page.

20:07 UTC · ·

Developer request "Impact of off-topic review bombs" Steam response "we will automatically hide review bombs. So if we see a surge of comments we will review them" "We have the ability to see if there is a review surge, so we will contact the developer and ask them if they are ok. There will also be a "help" button that devs can push and it will alert valve moderators to check it out"

20:09 UTC · ·

API improvements: - View player download speeds around the world.

20:12 UTC · ·

API improvements to operating an online game. Valve network.

20:13 UTC · ·

Valve network is built on the same content delivery network but online game packets are prioritized so that online games will run faster. You just need to integrate the steam API into your game code.

20:14 UTC · ·

Steam network provides protection from DDOS attacks. If there is an attack, they wil re-route traffic. To implement this you use Steamworks SDK.

20:16 UTC · ·

BTW these API updates are being provided Kassidy. She is awesome at breaking down the API details.

20:17 UTC · ·

Up now is Ricky. He is speaking about the updates for reaching customers in emerging markets.

20:18 UTC · ·

Valve is traveling around the world to see what customers need around the world. Emerging markets are defined as one with a growing economy (India) or a potential to grow a lot more (Japan)

20:20 UTC · ·

10 years ago Steam was available in Russia so Steam tried to improve market: price, convenience, language, day and date launches, support for local developers, fast network, feature parity, community. All of these things helped improve penetration in the Russian network.

20:23 UTC · ·

Countries like Japan pay for their games that are different than the north american model. Japanese customers prefer to go in store to purchase a voucher. Japanese customers prefer to use cash. So Steam retail cards match the japanese model for purchasing games.

20:24 UTC · ·

Steam provides 100 Payment methods. Only 10% of purchases are done via credit card, paypal, paysafe. The remaining 90% of purchases are mostly done via cash. Your customers probably dont use credit cards.

20:26 UTC · ·

PC Cafes are the preferred way for Korean players to interact with steam. So Steam rolled out a PC cafe model. You can make any of your games available in the PC Cafe program. Just click "create a commercial Page", then chose how a you want it paid for. You must opt in to do this

20:28 UTC · ·

Tom now steps back up to the mic for closing thoughts...

20:30 UTC · ·

Tom: follow up with us via *SIDE NOTE FROM ZUKALOUS - I tried this last week and they got back to me in a day.

20:30 UTC · ·

Tom did not open the mic for comments. Instead he said talk to us in the hallway.

20:32 UTC · ·

Alright I am signing off folks. If you want more gdc insights please check out my blog

20:33 UTC · ·

You can also checkout my game on Steam:

20:35 UTC · ·

Thanks again zukalous for liveblogging the talk for us at the last minute! ❤️

Live blog will end here but everything will remain available for later viewing.

08:17 UTC · ·

Tom Giardino posted highlights of the talk:

13:01 UTC · ·

Valve posted the video and slides over here:

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