The creators of Steam could be looking to expand their market by taking on Twitch. Pavel Djundik, the creator of SteamDB, discovered the Steam.tv domain registered by Valve earlier today. The URL alone should be a good hint of what it will be used for, but if that’s not enough, opening the website temporarily led to a live stream of a Dota 2 event, though it seems to have gone offline again as of the time of writing.
It should be noted that game broadcasts are nothing new to the Steam platform, but they’ve so far been somewhat hidden away in a subsection of the Steam Community page, and they require users to be logged in in order to be watched.
Steam.tv could simply be a more easily accessible platform for watching these broadcasts in a similar fashion to services like Twitch and Mixer. Indeed, the event that was briefly being showcased on the new domain can also be found in the Broadcasts section of the Steam Community website, but the Steam.tv domain only required a sign-in for participating in the chat.
This isn’t entirely surprising, seeing as streaming platforms have grown tremendously over the past few months and years and could represent a major source of revenue. Even Facebook recently jumped on the bandwagon to get a slice of the market. It might not be very easy to dethrone the likes of Twitch, but Steam has its own share of popularity among gamers, so it will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out.
Update: Valve has issued a statement regarding the temporary stream on Steam.tv which turned out to be somewhat premature:
“We are working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International, Dota 2’s annual tournament. What people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public”.
So, as it stands, it looks like there is something in the works but is not quite ready for public access.