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by adam mathes
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Steam Powered Infrastructure

One of the worst characteristics of the current Steam system is that we’ve become a bottleneck. There’s so much content coming at us that we just don’t have enough time to turn the crank on the production process of getting something up on Steam. So whether we want to or not, we’re creating artificial shelf space scarcity.

So the right way to do that is to make Steam essentially a network API that anyone can call. Now, this is separate from issues about viruses and malware. But essentially, it’s like, anyone can use Steam as a sort of a distribution and replication mechanism.

Gabe Newell on the direction of Steam [via]

This is really smart, and a much better long term direction than Greenlight, which they’ve already realized is a failure. It parallels the insight Amazon had and their transition from retailer to platform services company.

The Amazon Associates API gets at a little bit of this, but there’s also something really exciting in this idea:

The store is… I don’t know about you, but I think the store is really boring. I’m never entertained by our store. The stores instead should become user-generated content. Other companies can take advantage of this as well, but if a user can create his own store – essentially add an editorial perspective and content on top of the purchase process[…] I would buy everything from Old Man Murray.

Years ago I wished for some sort of video game DJ mechanism because (apparently) I didn’t want to read video game writing anymore. Which was obviously some weird phase because I still totally read video game writing

What I was describing was essentially video-game scrobbling like Raptr and features in Apple’s GameCenter and XBox Live which turned out to be really boring, in my opinion.

But I still think there’s something important that in a world of infinite shelf space curation, selection and taste are ever more valuable. Finding a way to combine editorial insight with distribution and retail in an interesting way (beyond the current affiliate paradigms) would be very interesting.

These were things I had always wanted to try and experiment with on vgamereleases.com (which is just a calendar of releases right now) but never really got around to.

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