There’s a fun part of the theories we have about space-time that suggests that if you remove one building block in your timeline, even if it’s someone really important like Hitler, that the universe will simply make another person assume the same roles in order to keep the timeline constant and flowing. In a similar vein, if Valve hadn’t popped up when it did, there would be another company that would have likely taken its place, though not in exactly the same form as it is today. It’s difficult to imagine life as a gamer without Valve, or jokes about cake and Valve Time, or even remember fondly what PC gaming was like before Steam (we had MUCH shorter backlogs, that I can assure you). The company today celebrates its 20th birthday, having been officially formed on 24 August 1996. They’ve had a 20-year streak of independence as a software developer, and more than a decade of crushing dominance when it comes to online game sales.