Steam chat overhaul launches in Steam Beta update

Steam goes to China with the help of Perfect World

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.

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. You can now add favourite friends, groups, and chats to the top of the chat window for easy access.

The new Steam Chat's first improvement comes in the form of an upgraded friends list.

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For PC gamers there are plenty of avenues to purchase titles digitally, yet the dominant platform most will use is Valve's Steam. Let's get this out of the way right off the bat: these new group chats are very similar to Discord's servers.

All chat features are also available on the Web. It only takes one click to create, join, or leave a channel. 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.

"Steam voice chat was rewritten from the ground up with a new WebRTC-based backend". Open up a conversation with a friend or a group chat to send and receive messages with text, pictures, video, tweets and voice calls. Whether that is enough to convince users to skip third-party chat clients to go back to Steam remains to be seen. We don't know what the company plans to update, but if the overhauls are as extensive as those made to Steam Chat, the platform-slash-marketplace could soon be pretty different from what we've grown accustomed to.

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