Announcing Enhanced Steam End of Life

Background

The Enhanced Steam project started during the Winter Sale of 2012 as a way for me to help manage my own personal growing library of Steam games.  Its first feature was to simply highlight games on the Steam store that I already owned, because at the time the only way to know this was to open the game’s store page and wait for it to load.  It was designed to help save time when looking for deals, and it grew into a project that spanned thousands of lines of code, hundreds of features, and was translated into 26 languages.

One of my most proud accomplishments is that Enhanced Steam has had such a huge outpouring of support from fans – including those who were veterans of the gaming industry.  The software has been downloaded by over six million people, all of which placed an unprecedented amount of trust in me to keep their Steam accounts safe and secure.  In almost six years of administering Enhanced Steam, I have received countless offers from others to purchase distribution rights so that the new owners could sneak in advertising code or worse types of monetization and I have turned down every offer.  Unfortunately, this means that Enhanced Steam has never turned a profit.  The API servers have been able to stay online thanks to generous user donations and the monthly support from our Patreon pledges.

Recently, Valve has started paying attention to and has been updating the Steam storefront with regular new features and updates based on user feedback.  Some of these features they’ve re-engineered based on popular Enhanced Steam features: highlighting games, displaying account totals, adding games to your cart from the wishlist, showing your wallet balance on every page, an empty cart button, and many more.  In fact, Enhanced Steam 1.0’s original set of features from 2012 have been completely adopted by Valve and are now available for all Steam users to enjoy.

For the past year I’ve been working two jobs to support my family, and have still tried to devote time to updating Enhanced Steam and keeping the API servers operational.  Unfortunately with Valve’s recent dedication to updating their store features, this means I would need to devote much more time to the project than I am able.  There are features that need to be re-engineered and bugs introduced by Valve’s changes, and I simply don’t have the time I would like to dedicate to effectively fill the gap that continues to widen.

With all of these factors, I am today announcing Enhanced Steam’s End of Life.

 

What does this mean?

First of all, Enhanced Steam’s client code is open source, and can be forked by any interested party going forward.  There are many features of Enhanced Steam that will simply continue working: things like calculating market totals, interface tweaks such as homepage customization, 3rd party DRM warnings, and more.  Caveat being these things will continue to function normally assuming Valve doesn’t make significant changes to the pages these features are running on.

Shortly I’ll be releasing Enhanced Steam version 9.9 which will include changes that have been worked on over the past few months.  It will contain bugs that will go unpatched, and will also include a link to this announcement.  This will be the last official full release of Enhanced Steam.

The Enhanced Steam API servers will be discontinued on January 31st, 2019.  Shortly before that happens, the server-side code (minus sensitive information such as API keys) will be released as open-source on Github.  At that time, the Patreon campaign that supports Enhanced Steam will be taken down.

Also shortly before the January 31st deadline, a “stripped down” version of the client that performs only local (non-server) functions will be pushed out to Google Chrome and Firefox users that have installed the extension from those official repositories so that they can continue to function without getting server-related errors.  Unfortunately this means they will also loose a substantial amount of functionality.  Over the next six months, I will be reaching out to our 3rd party data providers to help ease this transition.

This will allow everyone to continue to enjoy Enhanced Steam through the end of this year’s Winter Sale and will also mark six years that the project has been active.

 

Final Thoughts

Again – I’ve been completely blown away by the support of Enhanced Steam’s users over the years.  This isn’t a plea for people to donate more money or a push to get more Patreon subscribers, I simply don’t have the time to properly devote to the project any longer.  I would prefer to do things this way rather than to sell out to a corporation who would try to exploit its users for a profit.

In the future, I would suggest users be overly-cautious of Enhanced Steam alternatives that will inevitably pop up – other similar extensions already have code that could hugely compromise it’s users Steam account security or general browser privacy.  Be careful of which extensions you run, and make sure they’re from sources you trust to safeguard your information.

Finally, a special thanks to Valve and the wonderful people I’ve met there over the years thanks to Enhanced Steam.  Thank you again to Enhanced Steam’s users for the trust you have placed in me and your notes of encouragement and donations over these past almost 6 years.

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