Many years ago, I bought one of the best games ever made: Half Life, along with its two expansions. I bought them on good old-fashioned discs, because that's how it was done.
When Half-Life 2 came out, I bought it the same way, but it came with Steam, which would install along with the game. Unfortunately, Steam decided to "update" my original Half-Life game, and it stopped working. I was livid. I finished Half-Life 2 and swore never to use Steam again.
It's gotten pretty hard to avoid Steam since then. Many games come bundled with the software; if you want the game, you have to accept Steam, too. It's like having a smokin' hot girlfriend with webbed toes.
I remember a recent rant from some EA executive over the pricing structures behind Steam games. The argument was that all games should be sold at full retail price all the time.
Yeah. About that....
In the past several months, I have bought more games through Steam than I have my entire life, and I'm not some young kid. Those daily and weekend deals have allowed me to get older games I've always wanted, but couldn't buy when they came out. In my case, I had to struggle along with an aging PC that couldn't support most new releases. Obviously, that's changed, but the really awesome thing is that Steam allows me to catch back up with everything I've missed.
Developers can't be too upset. They're selling a lot of older titles they would not have normally sold. It's a big market with prominant advertising. When was the last time the original Serious Sam found itself being advertised? It was on Steam, just a couple weeks ago.
And then there's the fact that I don't need game discs to play the games. That alone is pretty awesome. Wish it had always been that way.
Today, I really love Steam. I hate it for being a money pit in my life, but I'm sure having a good time with it. Can't imagine gaming without it.