Huge changes are coming to Steam in the near future.
Updates deployed to Dota 2 confirm that the Steam Client is coming to MacOSX, Linux, and Windows XP with native support. Dota 2 will join Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Counter-Strike: Source, and Left 4 Dead as just a few of the many Valve games on their way to the operating systems.
Their inclusion comes with something gamers have never ever before, especially from Valve: a brand new Steam subscription service that offers players access to Valve's entire game catalog. It's not just Valve, either. Both Ubisoft and EA have their own subscription packages that users can pay for.
Gaming consoles have seen subscription services enjoy solid success, with Sony's PlayStation Now and Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass both taking off in recent years. Steam's catalog of games is peerless, allowing Valve to offer gamers a strong value through its subscription service.
A Steam subscription service would be a game-changer, but subscriptions and a native Steam Client aren't the only things Valve is releasing.
In a move likely to help call attention to its other initiatives, Valve has two major events to unveil alongside Steam. The developer will release a Half-Life 2 remaster, dubbed the Intercontinental Edition, to select regions for free.
With modders porting VR support to HL2 in the past days, there's an extremely high likelihood the Intercontinental Editon fully supports the developer's Valve's VR push out of the box.
After the critical success of Half-Life: Alyx, releasing a less graphically taxing version of Half-Life would be a great idea. The release should coincide with the Steam client's release while Valve and Nvidia join forces in a global community event. Users will be able to choose a charity to represent in the normal complete with prizes to win and teams that fans can join and compete for.
This comes on the heels of a hectic week for those that follow Valve and the Steam platform. It's less than a week after both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's upcoming port to the Source 2 engine and the entire beta branch of the new Steam Client were leaked.
The worldwide event will come with free games for people in different countries, and subscribers to Steam's new subscription plan will be able to loan out games for others to play.
Alongside all of Valve's first-party titles, other big games like Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and niche titles like Euro Truck Simulator are being added to packages across the Steam ecosystem, paving the way for new operating systems to partake in the Steam Market, community, and store.
Last but not least, Steam's worldwide release will also mark the beginning of Steam China, a new branch of the client inside the world's most populated country. If fans thought that Steam's record-breaking weekend on March 29 was large, this has the potential to be that much larger.
Valve is poised to become the most powerful gaming retailer in the world with the move, but we'll have to see how things play out over the coming days and weeks before we can say for sure. What we do know, however, is that Steam is now aiming to grow even bigger than before.