Steam has big plans for its mobile app beyond the ability to chat and make purchases on the fly.
Valve engineer Kutta Srinivasan told Gamasutra that the Steam app is intended to make “all relevant Steam community and economy features are accessible from your mobile device”.
“We’d love to see individual games hook into the service and provide mobile optimized web pages and experiences that we can link to from the game description pages. In general, we have a healthy list and expect it to grow, with new opportunities presenting themselves as the list becomes more robust,” he said.
Imminent planned updates include the ability to view your library and improved screenshot features, but also, the option to use the app as an authentication tool.
“In an upcoming [update], the Steam app will be able to act as a two-factor authentication device to bolster the security on your primary Steam account,” Srinivasan said.
“If your phone is lost or stolen, simply changing the password on your account will invalidate the tokens used by the application to access Steam.”
The engineer revealed that chat is the most used community feature in the app’s suite, with “several million messages” sent every day. This socialisation may provide the key Steam is seeking to unlock wider markets.
“Phase one was just about getting existing customers connected when they’re away from their computers. As we discover the ways they interact with what we’ve provided, we expect to learn more about how to make it more universal,” Srinivasan said.