Steam Experiences Unscheduled Down Time, Several Services Become Inaccessible To Users

Steam Experiences Unscheduled Down Time, Several Services Become Inaccessible To Users
Credit: Steam via Twitter

Steam is seeing some unscheduled downtime today, with a number of common services becoming inaccessible to users.

The community and store pages are inaccessible with several social media reports complaining that nothing is working. Valve has yet to issue and official comment on this matter, so no one is sure as to what has happened.

The Unofficial Steam Status Twitter account was still reporting the community as being down as of 12:43 p.m. EST on January 30. This account is not affiliated with Valve, but it is a community project that works to track the status of the service.

Anyone visiting any part of Steam will see an error message that says “currently unavailable.”

Unscheduled downtime is not a very common occurrence, it should be noted that these issues usually mean that something has gone wrong, and officials are hard at work trying to repair the damage and bring the service back online.

For those who aren’t aware, Steam is a video game distribution service that was created by Valve. It has been around since September of 2003 and was started as a way for Valve to provide updates automatically for all of their games.

Eventually, the service expanded to include third-party titles. Steam went on to feature an online and mobile digital storefront. It also offers digital rights management, video streaming, matchmaking servers, and social networking.

Using Steam, a user can install and update games automatically. Using community features such as groups, friends lists, Cloud saving, and voice and chat functionality in game, it has become a hotbed for cooperative gaming efforts.

The software of Steam uses an Application Programming Interface that is known as Steamworks. Developers use Steamworks to integrate Steam functionality into their games and products. Some features include in-game achievements, matchmaking, micro-transactions, and support for content created by users through the Steam Workshop.

Initially, Steam was developed for the Windows Operating System created by Microsoft and would only work with PC devices. However, it has come to Apple’s MacOS and Linux, as well. Steam was also expanded to include mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows phones during the 2010s.

Users can also access other content, such as hardware, design software, films, anime, and game soundtracks through the Steam service.

Steam is currently the largest platform for PC gaming digital distribution, holding more than 75% of the market space since 2013.

There is no word yet on when the unscheduled downtime will end, but we will be watching this situation closely.