Steam has gone live with its new suite of chat and communication tools.
Valve announced the new and improved chat features last month, putting them up for beta testing on the service. The updates flaunted Discord-like group chats and communities, and added quality-of-life improvements to voice chat and the friends list.
Those updates went live today, complete with an overhaul to the Steam client’s visual design. It’s fair to say that these changes were a long time coming - it’s worth waiting to see if Steam can bring back the communities it lost as users started flocking to Discord.
Discord, for it’s part, currently has no plans to expand into the space, and is happy with it’s role as the premier gaming communications platform. CEO Jason Citron believes the platform’s growth is largely down to word of mouth, and Discord’s ability to fill a much-needed space in the market.
Discord also has a far better track record in banning nazis and hate groups than Steam - possibly another lesson the storefront could take from its competition.
With an audience already surpassing 130 million users, an integrated storefront could prove dangerous competition for Steam.