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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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March 24, 2009 12:03 PM

Valve boosts Steam matchmaking tools, adds "friendly" DRM

Posted by Brier Dudley

Bellevue game company Valve today announced a big upgrade of its year-old Steamworks game platform, including tools for game developers to add downloadable content and improved matchmaking for online players.

The announcement was made during the Game Developers Conference taking place in San Francisco this week.

Valve also announced a new "customer friendly" copy protection system for games developed with Steam. Called Custom Executable Generation, it "makes unique copies of games for each user allowing them to access the application on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits on their PC,'' the release said.

Valve tested the new matchmaking system in "Left 4 Dead," the zombie shooting game it released last fall (and promoted all over the place with those billboards showing a four-fingered hand).

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.