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Valve to challenge Discord with overhauled Steam Chat

Friends lists, group chat and voice chat receive a raft of new features

Steam is preparing to launch a completely overhauled chat system, presenting a major challenge to the rapid growth of Discord.

Steam Chat has a host of improvements and entirely new features to make, "easier to group up with the people you chat and play games with."

These include more options for customising friends lists, group chats with a plethora of multimedia features, and, crucially, a completely rebuilt voice chat system that offers, "a more seamless experience when playing games on Steam with friends. It's now one click to start a voice chat and organize your group pre-game."

This is a direct challenge to the dominance of Discord, which tripled its audience in just 12 months to surpass 130 million users. The company is now worth around $1.6 billion.

When we spoke to Discord founder Jason Citron at GDC this year, he said that the company's rapid growth was down to the fact that it, "solved a problem that people playing video games had - in a way that actually solved the problem... Discord is the first voice chat app that really makes sense for PC gamers."

It stands to reason that a feature-rich chat extension of Steam will also make sense for a lot of PC gamers, many of whom will be Discord users.

Steam Chat is currently in open beta.

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