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Steam code hints that Valve might be making a Stadia-like cloud gaming service

Steam code hints that Valve might be making a Stadia-like cloud gaming service


But it’s all based on a name

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The Steam logo on a blue background. The logo is inside a few larger circles.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Valve might be working on a new cloud gaming service for Steam, as potentially revealed by code buried in the company’s own website.

Steam Database, which actively tracks changes to Steam and to Valve’s games, noticed new code on Valve’s website for partners that asks them to agree to the “Steam Cloud Gaming Addendum.” If you want to see this for yourself, you can see the code on Steam Database’s GitHub or on Valve’s website (just search “Steam Cloud Gaming Addendum”).

With only a name, it’s hard to know exactly what the service might be — but we think we can take an educated guess. It seems very possible that a service literally called “Cloud Gaming” in Valve’s own code could hint toward an upcoming cloud gaming service similar to Google’s Stadia or Microsoft’s xCloud, and that’s the kind of thing that might require Valve to sign some new distribution agreements with developers.

A new cloud gaming service by Steam would make some sense, as it could round out Steam’s current game streaming options. You can already stream games with Steam Remote Play, Steam Link, and Steam Link Anywhere, but those all require your own gaming PC to act as a server, plus a very robust internet connection if you want to play outside of your own home — perhaps a new service could let you stream your games wherever you want without that active PC connection.

There’s always the chance that Steam Cloud Gaming could be a rebrand of what Steam already offers, but it seems unlikely that a rebrand of already-released services would require partners to sign new agreements with Valve.

Valve didn’t respond to a request for comment, but we’ll update if we hear back.