Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Valve's Chat update proves it might actually employ people

Valve's Chat update proves it might actually employ people

The new Steam chat revamps how your friends list is organized, with a customizable "favorites" section up top followed by friends grouped up in a party or by which game they're now playing.

Perfect World CEO Robert H. Xiao said in a press release his company will introduce more games to the Chinese market through Steam China, providing quality content and improving the experience for both gamers and developers.

The friends list now has a customizable favorites section at the top, for quick access to the people, groups, and chats you care about most. In addition, Steam Chat can now show you which of your friends are in a party together. Pretty much the antithesis of Steam Chat, a clunky and outdated service that's only really used as a last resort. Soon, the AOL-esque chat of yore will be gone, replaced by the slick, fancy Discord chat of the present.

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Within a group chat you have the option to add additional text channels, voice channels, member permissions. Online friends are now grouped by what game they are playing. Other parts of the client have received some visual upgrades as well, including the in-game overlay, but the main brunt of the update is focused on the chat system. All traffic will be sent through Stream servers rather than be directed individually to peers, meaning user IP address will remain private, keeping the possibility of network attacks minimal, as physical locations are masked.

The new chat features are now in open beta. The new Steam Chat is also available through your web browser.

This Steam Chat update looks a lot like Discord, another gaming-centric chat platform which has been called the "Slack for gamers."

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