Valve Enters Twitch's Streaming Domain With Steam Broadcasting

Platform's 100 million users can now stream their gameplay without Twitch.

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Valve's juggernaut digital PC gaming platform Steam today added a major new feature: broadcasting. Steam Broadcasting allows Steam users to watch their friends' games with just one press of a button.

In a statement, Valve said Steam Broadcasting was designed for "ease of use." And indeed, it is simple. All you'll need to do is click "Watch Game" on your friend's profile to see their gameplay.

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Valve points out that there are no strings attached--you don't have to also own the game, pay a fee, or install any additional apps. To try out Steam Broadcasting today, all you need to do is opt in to the Steam Client Beta, which you can do through the Steam Settings panel.

It's not all good news, however, as Valve cautions that "bandwidth may be limited" during the Steam Broadcast beta, suggesting you may run into a few technical snags here and there.

Steam Broadcast will have a variety of privacy settings. When a friend requests to watch your game, you can allow or block their attempt. You can also choose from the following privacy settings regarding who is able to watch your games.

  • Only friends I invite can watch my games
  • Friends can request to watch my games (default)
  • Friends can watch my games
  • Anyone can watch my games (public broadcast, can be found in the game hub)

By default, only gameplay is visible to people watching Steam streams. However, you can choose "Broadcast my desktop when not in game" through the Broadcast options page.

Steam Broadcasts also forbid a range of content. This includes the following:

  • Porn, inappropriate or offensive content, warez, or leaked content or anything else not safe for work
  • Any discussion of piracy
  • Cheating, hacking, game exploits
  • Threats of violence or harassment, even as a joke
  • Posted copyright material such as magazine scans
  • Soliciting, begging, auctioning, raffling, selling, advertising, referrals
  • Racism or discrimination
  • Abusive language, including swearing

Steam Broadcasts are also live-only; archiving is not supported. You can read lots more about Steam Broadcasts on the Steam website.

In releasing Steam Broadcasting, Valve is entering the streaming market currently dominated by Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. Steam is indeed a force, with 100 million accounts, though it remains to be seen what effect Steam Broadcasting might have on Twitch.

Earlier this year, Steam rolled out a major design overhaul that introduced a range of features and functionality aimed at helping you filter through the flood of new releases.

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    136 Comments  RefreshSorted By 

    Avatar image for megakick

    Great more STEAM NSA stuff.


    Avatar image for NinjaGaz

    Sounds decent. Twitch never streams properly for me - despite a great connection and computer.

    Avatar image for Anteares

    meh. friends only? service interruptions? sounds half-assed at best if you asked me.

    Avatar image for twisted_outlaw

    I tried to stream skyrim and dropped from something like 120ish fps with mods to 15 fps.

    Avatar image for grenadehh

    For everyones info, by the way, the word swearing actually doesn't appear anywhere in the documentation or FAQ. I just checked.

    Oh Makuch.

    You're more than welcome to swear. You evidently just can't direct it towards a person or say c*** or other "bad" words in regards to a specific human or use any words that are either explicitly or construable as derogatory to a race or group of people.

    Avatar image for grenadehh

    Too bad literally none of your friends A) Participate in beta B) Care enough to restart Steam and use it or C) are interested in game streaming.

    I'd like to do it, if i had the bandwidth, and anyone bothered to watch.

    Also, no swearing? Yea, good luck with that. The feature will be removed before ever making it into live client. Any discussion of piracy? Offensive? Racism?

    Lol, that rules out 90% of the PC community, including me. I do all of those things. I'm not racist but you aren't allowed to say harmless little words.

    Please tell me how you expect anyone to play a bad game like oh say, Call of Duty, or Assassin;s Creed 11, without swearing.

    Avatar image for cratecruncher

    Valve have assumed control. Let me be the first to congratulate our new overlords. Well done!

    Avatar image for suade907

    No swearing = me happy parent.

    Avatar image for jeremyc99999

    Alright, who wants to watch me play Skyrim? There correct answer is............nobody.

    Avatar image for amluxgaming

    I was thinking this was a good idea untill they said no swearing.

    Avatar image for grenadehh

    << LINK REMOVED >> They can't and won't enforce a no swearing rule. They allow swearing on forums and reviews and comments, and just censor it. Not to mention it's absurd - PC gaming is for adults. Are you joking, a swear ban?

    Avatar image for RabidBurp

    It's really hard to play a mature-rated game without swearing.

    Avatar image for grenadehh

    << LINK REMOVED >>Or really any game

    Avatar image for oldtobie

    To those saying Valve doesn't make games anymore: A massive amount of their work is probably going into developing Source 2. Once it is complete, the hope is that content creation will be extremely streamlined.

    Avatar image for WolfgarTheQuiet

    I wann stream my own p0rn0. This is messed up. Who makes these rules,jebus freaks or something.

    Avatar image for JURGMANDR

    Not a bad idea minus the whole not archiving my streams shenanigans. As soon as that becomes a feature I'll stop using twitch as much :/

    Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

    Valve is becoming less and less of a game-maker. :\

    What's more is that Gabe Newell is one of the persons driving this change.

    Avatar image for istuffedsunny

    Twitch is dead

    Avatar image for saturatedbutter

    Too much anime and pr0n.

    Avatar image for frozenuxx


    << LINK REMOVED >>

    Avatar image for oldtobie

    << LINK REMOVED >> Good choice.

    Avatar image for archav3n

    << LINK REMOVED >> should have waited for 8GB VRAM version.

    Avatar image for frozenuxx


    Awww poor me.

    Avatar image for lonesamurai1

    << LINK REMOVED >> I have 2 of Asus Strix 980's, they're the best.

    Avatar image for frozenuxx


    2 of them? That's...ruthless.

    Avatar image for spikepigeo

    Well, that's going to take a huge bite out of Twitch's Dota 2 cookie...

    Avatar image for Thanatos2k

    "Abusive language, including swearing"

    Good luck with that one.

    Avatar image for gamingnerd121

    The funny thing is, people have already used it to stream Movies, Poorn, Anime and more. Obviously it gets shut down quickly, but still.

    Avatar image for kujel

    Remember when valve used to make games, not very good ones but games nonetheless.

    Avatar image for Mr_BillGates

    Yup. Even Valve knows Half life series is overrated. It is nothing more than a discontinued product line.

    Avatar image for thewilder

    << LINK REMOVED >> Half life is so overrated, that people still play the first one to this day. Ye, it's that bad...

    Avatar image for lonesamurai1

    << LINK REMOVED >> And so is your way of thinking or not thinking.

    Avatar image for Poodger

    << LINK REMOVED >> No, I don't remember any of that. I do remember Valve being one of the best devs out there and having every one of their released games being great.

    Avatar image for CruiserCaptain

    << LINK REMOVED >> Yes, and for those unaware: << LINK REMOVED >>

    Avatar image for lonesamurai1

    << LINK REMOVED >> huh?

    Avatar image for slashbane

    << LINK REMOVED >> uhh, you ok?

    Avatar image for Hurvl

    Ding ding the (t)witch is dead!

    Avatar image for bell8033

    << LINK REMOVED >> The wicked (t)witch!!!

    Avatar image for Hurvl

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> The twicked twitch of the twest!

    Avatar image for harndoogle

    << LINK REMOVED >> Which ol (t)witch?

    Avatar image for Zloth2

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Wait, are you two quoting that horrific song where a bunch of people gloried in the death of an old woman? A woman who was MELTED with a chemical attack!?

    Avatar image for Hurvl

    << LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Margaret Thatcher wasn't melted with a chemical attack, but after her death some people organized a campaign to get that song to appear in the UK charts.