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Retailers Fear Valve Turns Into Next Apple With Steam

Steam is quickly turning into the Apple of Gaming and is threatening to kill the PC gaming market at least according to two big-name digital retailers who spoke under the cover of anonymity to MCV.

Ironically, the same justification has been used in the past to condemn game piracy, leaving us to believe that the veiled attack on Steam can be interpreted in a number of ways.

Valve's success owes a lot to the fact that it publishes games (Risen or Left 4 Dead 2) that no longer get shelf space in high street stores like Game or Gamestation but are still very popular with gamers.

Steam is also about a community; the gaming platform's forum contains more than 5.4 million posts from 423,000 members. Steam itself has more than 30 million active user accounts and more than 1200 games.

Clearly, a generation that has witnessed the meteoric rise of Apple's iTunes and tasted the joys of Napster is more attune to the advantages of digital downloads.

Some have pointed out that Steam rivals might be trying to get the backing of the retailers to break the stranglehold the platform has on the digital distribution market.

However unlike Apple, Valve is a publisher, the equivalent of Warner Bros for gaming, one who has managed to rally other publishers on Steam. Should publishers be forced to choose between Steam and retail stores, we believe that they will go for the first one especially if Steam comes to consoles and others.