It looks like Valve has registered for the Steam.tv domain, as SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik first spotted. By looking at the source data for the webpage (which you can do by hitting F12 in Chrome), Djundik found that Steam.tv is probably a real Valve product, because steamcommunity.com owns its security certificate. That SSL certificate is from August 14, which is just three days ago. And now, after I posted this story, Steam.tv has begun broadcasting a livestream of Dota 2.
I’ve reached out to Valve to ask for details about what this product is, and I’ll update this story when and if I get an answer.
But it’s easy to imagine that this is a new homepage for Steam’s built-in streaming functionality. You can stream games on Steam right now, but those live videos live in the Steam app and are not as easy to broadcast to the web as those from competitors like Twitch and YouTube.
And as ResetEra forum user JaseC pointed out, that the certificate belongs to steamcommunity.com and not steampowered.com (Valve’s store website) makes it more likely that this is something akin to Twitch. Steamcommunity.com is Valve’s social hub, and it has handled its live video initiative so far.
If Valve is planning its own video livestreaming hub that you can easily visit in browsers, then that would match some of its other recent updates. Early this summer, the company reworked its chat system to more closely resemble competitor Discord. If it is chasing down other services in the gaming space, it would make sense that it would want a piece of Twitch as well.
Finally, Steam.tv was completely blank except for some bold text at the top that said “Welcome to steam.tv.” But since Djundik tweeted about it (and since I emailed Valve to ask for answers), that text disappeared. That has now been replaced by the aforementioned livestream.