Steam games keep validating
With an update to the Steamworks SDK in March 2009, Valve added its "Custom Executable Generation" (CEG) approach into the Steamworks SDK that removed the need for these other measures.The CEG technology creates a unique, encrypted copy of the game's executable files for the given user which allows them to install it multiple times and on multiple devices, and make backup copies of their software.The Steam client was first made available for public beta testing in January 2003 during the beta period for Counter-Strike 1.6, for which it was mandatory to install and use.At the time, Steam's primary function was streamlining the patch process common in online computer games.Around that time, Valve began negotiating contracts with several publishers and independent developers to release their products, including Rag Doll Kung Fu and Darwinia, on Steam.Canadian publisher Strategy First announced in December 2005 that it would partner with Valve for digital distribution of current and future titles.The success of the Steam platform has led to the development of a line of Steam Machine micro-consoles, as well as the Steam OS operating system.Before implementing Steam, Valve Corporation had problems updating its online games, such as Counter-Strike; providing patches would result in most of the online user base disconnecting for several days.
When the main player initiates a game while a shared account is using it, the shared account user is allowed a few minutes to either save their progress and close the game or purchase the game for his or her own account.
In September 2013, Steam introduced the ability to share most games with family members and close friends by authorizing machines to access one's library.
Authorized players can install the game locally and play it separately from the owning account.
Initially, Valve was required to be the publisher for these titles since they had sole access to the Steam's database and engine, but with the introduction of the Steamworks software development kit (SDK) in May 2008, anyone could potentially become a publisher to Steam, outside of Valve's involvement to curate titles on the service.
Prior to 2009, most games released on Steam had traditional anti-piracy measures, including the assignment and distribution of product keys and support for digital rights management software tools such as Secu ROM or non-malicious rootkits.