Valve's Jason Holtman has explained that the Steam service is bringing huge benefits to PC developers, with feedback from customers allowing for faster software updates.

Steam, a system that combines a games-store, online gaming, social network and collects information on systems, has been a massive hit for Valve since it arrived along with the company's biggest hit Half Life 2.

Reports this week put Steam's dominance of the digital distribution market for PC at 70 per cent, a massive figure in a growth area

"Steam's allowing developers to get a lot closer (to customers) and iterate more quickly," Holtman told Ars Technica.

"A lot of what we've experienced in some ways could be called unexpected, but in a good way."

Predictions

Predicting the way in which PC gaming and steam will go is a little more problematical, but Holtman believes that listening to Steam users is helping to shape both.

"If you ask me to predict what's going to happen in two years, where Steam will be, I could try, but I'd probably be wrong," added Holtman

"Part of what we've learned about that is you have to keep listening to your customers and you have to keep listening to developers, because we're in both businesses: making games for customers and making services for developers."

"It really pays to listen."

"You have to understand why people like things like auto-updating. You have to understand why people like things like anti-cheat technology, lobbies, or achievements."

Via Ars Technica