Valve to Bring Non-game Apps to Steam Starting September 5th - The UpStream

Valve to Bring Non-game Apps to Steam Starting September 5th

posted Saturday Aug 11, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Valve to Bring Non-game Apps to Steam Starting September 5th

Game company Valve has always been known to do things a little differently. With innovations like Steam and amazing FPS titles like Counter-Strike and Half-Life, it seems as if everything they do turns into something great. Since earlier this year, we were curious as to what was up the company's sleeve to be the next big thing. Fans worldwide were let down when told that there would be no Steam Box or other announcement at E3, even though we found out more details about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Where's Valve going and is it a smart move for them? Our take is after the break.

Valve has now decided to change the mold in which the gaming community keeps big companies like this and the game giant will now begin to bring nontraditional things, like non-game applications, to their coveted Steam service. How will this all come together? On September 5th, Steam will play host to a myriad of programs that need not require gaming experience to use. Valve has said this new catalog of software will include a wide selection of both creative and productive programs.

It appears that the company is becoming more "cloud-like" and is pushing the boundary of digital distribution. This makes sense for Valve as they've been wildly successful with Steam and its offerings. It makes no difference to Valve what programs are offered through Steam because the digital distribution system has no bias towards games. Gamers will also now have one-stop access to things they may find useful, which may actually help fight the piracy issues the same community is sometimes known for creating. The software will obviously include DRM (unlike our segment) to ensure the apps aren't being illegally copied and will also be used as a way to securely send updates to authorized machines.

Steam also has a large base of users with over 40 million players worldwide downloading not only Valve titles, but third-party games as well. It is also being said that Steam will act more like a cloud in that users will be able to save their work and settings files all on the digital service and by just having the Steam client installed on another computer, those files and settings will carry over to the other machine. Valve added that after the initial launch of products on September 5th, there will be a constant stream of new software being added to the platform. Any interested developers can go through Steam Greenlight to submit their application for other Steam users to pick which titles they'd like to see show up on the service.

In the end, I think this is a great and natural move for Valve and as long as the system doesn't get bogged down from the increase in traffic and load, I don't see this getting in the way of the great games already offered on Steam. Will you be picking up some productivity or creative software on Steam? Let us know in the comments below.

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