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Even the innovative content streaming features of Steam mostly lie unused, even by Valve games.
It’s depressing that the best example right now is the original Half-Life!
Reading the 2002 Steam press release, you can see that many of the ambitions listed have gone unfulfilled. There’s only one method of billing currently being used, a bog-standard one-time purchase.
Dave Rolston, Vice President of Engineering, ATI Technologies Inc: We will use the tools Steam gives us to create an automatic driver update and configuration management facility to deliver the most current and complete graphics drivers directly to the user, and ultimately add to an immersive and outstanding gaming experience. Hosting is all on the Valve content servers and there are barely any partnerships to speak of.
Nobody uses the content streaming because it requires deeper Steam integration.
If not even Valve are implementing the full features of their own platform, there isn’t much hope a third party will.
Steam has become fixed in the gamer consciousness; PC Gamer UK for instance is quite happy in reviews listing the publisher as “Steam”, putting the price in dollars, and leaving it at that.
There’s no need to qualify it by giving the Steam URL somewhere in the text. The situation is analogous to the placing of a retail store.
For the duration of the download, it simply looks like the game has hung.
They look great, show off the game immediately, and ensure a fairly relevant set of assets are already cached into memory before you even start the game.