I personally ran into Steam when it first came out with the release, on 11/16/2004, of Half-Life 2. The game required installation of the Steam service.
This is still true today for all games linked with Steam. This service not only provides downloads of games, and game updates, but is used for game activation.
Now, the following is very subjective, but I hate Steam! So do others.
- First, and foremost, I do NOT play online games. I play single-player games exclusively
- I am NOT online 95% of the time, and defiantly not while playing games
- I never update ANYTHING AUTOMATICALLY (with the exception of AntiVirus Updates), especially games
The problem with Steam games is that you MUST install the service AND be online. In the case of Half-Life 2, even after activation via Steam, if I uninstalled Steam, Half-Life 2 was also uninstalled! I admit, I went berserk.
This is just plain WRONG! No one should be forced to install a service just to play off-line, single-player games. Note that there are other games that require activation, but do NOT require nor install a service to do so. Activation takes you to a WEB site, and a Activation Key is installed on your system.
The people who do like Steam, of course, tend to be online players, which is understandable.
For those who want to avoid Steam Games, use the link to see a list.