GamesIndustry.biz has learnt that Valve approached Microsoft and Yahoo - among others - to build Steam before deciding to develop it themselves.
Speaking in an interview, Valve's VP of marketing Doug Lombardi, described how the developer tried to convince other companies to build the gaming platform but was repeatedly rejected.
"You know, we went around to Yahoo, Microsoft...and anybody who seemed like a likely candidate to build something like Steam," he explained.
"We basically had our feature list that we wanted. We wanted auto-updating, we wanted better anti-piracy, better anti-cheat, and selling the games over the wire was something we came up with later.
"We went around to everybody and asked 'Are you guys doing anything like this?' And everyone was like 'That's a million miles in the future...We can't help you.'"
Steam now serves as a digital distribution platform selling over 300 titles and hosts a gaming community with over 14 million accounts.
GamesIndustry.biz'full interview with Doug Lombardi is now available.