Valve has launched a new video game streaming service for its premiere online gaming platform Steam. The Kirkland, Washington-based company released the beta version on Tuesday.
Players will be able to broadcast gameplay and watch others play without leaving the service. There’s even a public option that allows any viewer to tune into another’s game stream. Users can observe from Steam, as well as Internet browsers Chrome or Safari.
This undoubtedly places Steam in direct competition with popular streaming platform Twitch, which was acquired by e-commerce site Amazon in September for $1 billion. Competitive e-sports organization Major League Gaming also has its own streaming service.
Valve calls its new streaming strategy a way to “watch friends play, with the click of a button,” but currently, broadcasts can only be viewed live, so players won’t be able to save their streams for observers to watch later.
Valve undoubtedly hopes to profit from the business of e-sports, which is rapidly becoming a booming and lucrative business. Its own competition, The International, was held in Seattle in July and featured three days of players battling it out in the multiplayer battle arena game “Dota 2.” The prize pool was over $10 million.
Sign up for the Steam streaming beta here.