The juggernaut that it is for PC gamers and by far the most popular digital store front, some would say it is even why Valve don’t make games that much anymore. I would somewhat agree. Steam has been around for over a decade now and it’s growing even to this day. Only recently, it reached more concurrent users than it ever has done. I remember getting this for the first time when I purchased Half Life 2, which was 2004. It has evolved and changed many times over the years. My favourite time with the application was when you could customize how it looked completely and download custom skins online. It can be skinned now, but doesn’t feel as changeable as it once was.
There have always been the sales which helped grow its popularity. Every time there was a sale, there would be talk of “how many games have you bought to never play” as your library would just get bigger. Its almost universally accepted that, in order to succeed on PC a game, it needs to be on steam but that is slowly changing now. Steam has competition from Epic Games, EA, GOG etc., as they have their own launchers. What Steam does bring over the competition is more features and a better user experience. It’s just a very organized store front that does have community focus, with each game having their own discussion hubs. Also, community market to sell skins from games if you have no need for them or buy them yourself.
It’s 2021 and it’s still going strong and despite being decades old, it is showing no sign of going anywhere. I do feel since this is a continuous money-making application, it has made it easy for Valve to not have to worry about releasing games anymore. I know we did recently get Half Life: Alyx, but we know what everyone wants and that is Half Life 3. So really I suppose I’m blaming Steam for us not having Half Life 3 yet.