Valve has already worked with Perfect World to run games like Counter-Strike and Dota 2 in China, but this expansion of their partnership means that more games will have an easier path to entering this lucrative market. The company said that many of these changes would also let it make more updates to web-based Steam components in the future, which should help improve the core experience offered by the nigh-ubiquitous game marketplace. It features a number of improvements including options to pin friends or group chats to the top for fast access and a group chats interface that lists chats right then and there.
The very first thing that you may notice is that the chat interface is now detached from the main interface.
A preview of the Steam Chat platform.
The new features are only available for those in the beta. Plus, all chats now display images, videos, tweets, and links inline in a rich, handsome way. No bones about it: Steam's new persistent group chats are basically Discord.
Discord has become the de facto chat tool for gamers.
"Every chat on Steam is now multimedia friendly", Steam's page states, meaning you'll be able to share GIFs, videos from YouTube, audio from SoundCloud and more within the chat itself. Online friends are now grouped by what game they are playing. It only takes one click to create, join, or leave a channel. Your IP address is private in the new system to prevent attacks and privacy issues. As the new overhaul is only available in the client to Steam beta users, interested parties will need to go to the client's Settings and opt into the Steam Beta Update in the Accounts tab.