Google Stadia is just around the corner, but the tech giant’s videogame streaming service could find itself with a rival sooner than many of us expected. In an update to the code on its Steamworks partner site, Valve made repeated reference to something called ‘Steam Cloud Gaming,’ which if we take at face value suggests a way to stream your Steam games is coming.
Steamworks is “a set of tools and services that help game developers and publishers build their games and get the most out of distributing on Steam.” In a series of changes noticed by long-time Steam tracker SteamDB on Github last night, 22 tweaks were made, but two stood out more than others.
Valve is working on "Steam Cloud Gaming" according to partner site code update. Partners will need to sign an addendum to their terms.
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) November 6, 2019
One of those reads “You must agree to the terms in the Steam Cloud Gaming Addendum before continuing,” while the other says “thank you for signing the latest Steam Cloud Gaming Addendum.” That’s all well and good, but Valve has never announced anything called Steam Cloud Gaming, suggesting that something new is in the works rather than just a tweak to save backups.
What that might be is unknown. The name does suggest a cloud-based system that'll let you stream games rather than downloading them, but that's a guess. It’s probably the obvious guess, too, because that concept is very similar to what Google has been promising us with Stadia. Valve’s yet to confirm anything but, with one major streaming service launching later this month, it’ll be interesting to see what the rest of the industry will respond with.