Some of Steam’s oldest user accounts are turning 20-years old this week, and Valve is celebrating the anniversary by handing out special digital badges featuring the original Steam colour scheme to the gaming veterans.
Steam first opened its figurative doors all the way back in September 2003, and has since grown into the largest digital PC gaming storefront in the world, which is actively used by tens of millions of players each day.
“In case anyone’s curious about the odd colours, that’s the colour scheme for the original Steam UI when it first launched,” commented Redditor Penndrachen, referring to the badge’s army green colour scheme, which prompted a mixed reaction from players who remembered the platform’s earliest days. “I joined in the first six months,” lamented Affectionate-Memory4. “I feel ancient rn.”
— SteamDB (@SteamDB) September 11, 2023
In the wake of the announcement many in the Steam community took to social media to compare the ages of their accounts, while some younger users voiced their curiosity surrounding what prompted the first gamers to flock to the site.
“For those wondering how most of us initial users of Steam found it at the time, the answer is extremely simple,” wrote Redditor HeavenlyPT. “It was Counter-Strike. Before Steam, the servers to play CS were randomly hosted by different companies, most of us at the time, would use a program called TheAllSeeingEye, which would compile the servers list for the game, and that’s how we would join the public servers of the time.”
Incredibly, some of Steam’s early adopter accounts are still actively in use today, a full two decades after their creation. Steam has undergone a number of significant evolutions in that time, with recent years seeing Valve make a foray into hardware development, with the release of the handheld Steam Deck. For more Steam-related content be sure to check out IGN’s list of the 15 most-played Steam games of all time.
Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video gaming news for IGN. He has over eight years experience of covering breaking developments in multiple scientific fields and absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer