Steam is facing a lot of competition from numerous fronts these days, and it looks like Valve decided to change its policies when it comes to making development on its platform better for multiplayer games. Today, the company announced that it is releasing application programming interfaces (APIs) that makes its servers available to all Steam partners. This means that those who choose to use them will receive the following features.

  • Access to their network, giving players protection from attack and improvement.
  • Tools for instantly estimating the ping between two arbitrary hosts without sending any packets.
  • A high quality end-to-end encrypted reliable-over-user datagram protocol (UDP).

In a post on the website, the company wrote, "For the past few years, we have been working on improving the quality of multiplayer experiences in Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) by relaying the traffic and carrying it on our network backbone. This protects our gameservers from denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and gives players all over the world a lower-latency, higher-quality connection."

Using Steam's technology results in significant gameplay improvements because 43 percent of players experience an improvement in their ping time. You can read more about this on Steam's website.

Hopefully this change will mean that smaller multiplayer games will flourish because their developers are the ones who don't have access to resources on the level of EA or Ubisoft. Steam is going to face a lot of competition over the coming months because Google is getting into the gaming space next week and Microsoft is aggressively expanding its gaming ambitions on PC. Steam needs to establish a strong base of developer support because Epic Games is scooping up exclusives, too.