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Steam May Go Beyond Mere Games, Sell More Software

By - Source: The Verge | B 29 comments
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Valve's Steam platform may soon offer more than just games.

It looks as if Valve Software is finally branching out with its Steam platform, as several reports indicate the company way soon offer digital downloads of photo editing, accounting, illustration and other software.

The news arrives by way of the Steam app for Android. When using the Search function, a new batch of categories can be found under the "Genre" section following the typical gaming listings. These include Accounting, Animation & Modeling, Audio Production, Design & Illustration, Education, Photo Editing, Software Training, Utilities, Video Production, and Web Publishing.

Currently these categories don't offer actual software, and there's no guarantee that Valve will even sell these types of products in the future. But there's a good chance Source Filmmaker will end up listed in the Video Production category, leading to other non-gaming tools offered in the near future.

Could this be Valve's assault on Amazon? The two companies are seemingly going head-to-head on the PC gaming front, fighting for the consumer dollar with rock-bottom prices in various promotions. For the entire month of July, Amazon is slashing prices on a large number of titles including Just Cause 2 ($8.99), Magicka ($5.99), Hitman: Blood Money ($5.99), Tomb Raider: Anniversary ($5.99) and more.

Meanwhile, Steam is offering its own PC gaming clearinghouse, with Monday's discounts including RAGE ($10.99), Metro 2033 ($4.99), Star Wars: KOTOR ($2.49) and more. What Steam doesn't offer is non-gaming downloads like Norton 360, QuickBooks Pro 2012, Microsoft Office and more. On Amazon, Adobe CS6 Design Student and Teacher Edition costs $413.99 (reg. $449) and Adobe the stand-alone version of Dreamweaver CS6 costs $165.98 (reg. $179).

That said, expanding Steam into the non-gaming sector would not only open the platform to a wider audience, but undoubtedly fatten Valve's pockets. How Valve would break beyond the gaming mold and reach that audience remains to be seen.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Wamphryi , July 17, 2012 7:26 AM
    It is awesome when the battle for my humble dollar brings prices down in this manner.
  • 11 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 17, 2012 7:35 AM
    I like this a lot, anything that adds convenience and drops prices is GOOD
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Wamphryi , July 17, 2012 7:26 AM
    It is awesome when the battle for my humble dollar brings prices down in this manner.
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 17, 2012 7:35 AM
    I like this a lot, anything that adds convenience and drops prices is GOOD
  • 1 Hide
    master_chen , July 17, 2012 7:59 AM
    HELL YEAH!
  • -5 Hide
    waxdart , July 17, 2012 11:01 AM
    chromonoidwhat do you mean by buying software?Lol! just kidding!

    I don't think people understood your comment at all. You never own the game do you :( 

    If steam gave a free transfer to another steam account, that would interesting. Or maybe you can sell it back to steam so they can sell it 2nd hand like a store does. Seems daft for a digital world and Steam items cost more than boxed (which I never understood).
    When you can do all you can with boxed stuff, but on-online - that's a decent DRM system.
    ALSO - when you buy a game from Steam it shouldn't have any windows live (This is my dream).
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , July 17, 2012 11:14 AM
    Windows 7 64bit @ -75% discount. come on. I'll gonna love this if only $Mircosoft allow this.
  • 0 Hide
    buckcm , July 17, 2012 11:50 AM
    waxdartI don't think people understood your comment at all. You never own the game do you If steam gave a free transfer to another steam account, that would interesting. Or maybe you can sell it back to steam so they can sell it 2nd hand like a store does. Seems daft for a digital world and Steam items cost more than boxed (which I never understood).When you can do all you can with boxed stuff, but on-online - that's a decent DRM system.ALSO - when you buy a game from Steam it shouldn't have any windows live (This is my dream).


    Certain games have gotten rid of DRM in favor of using Steam itself as the DRM. Also, Steam has lots of sales for games, like right now during the Summer sale. I have gotten most of my single player games for $5, so I don't think Inam overpaying.

    Steam should make more per copy. It is ideal for companies because they save on the cost of boxing games and because you can't sell a used game. Of course, we don't know Steam's numbers because Valve keeps that a secret.


  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 17, 2012 12:01 PM
    I am waiting for someone to take Valve to court here in EU, as courts now say we can sell our software licences, and that includes on services like Steam, which is currently against Steams T&C.

    This will eventually go to court, and Steam will lose, but I will then start using them, as I will then be able to sell the Games I no longer want like I currently do!
  • 2 Hide
    beardguy , July 17, 2012 1:02 PM
    Well if Valve expects me to buy something with a lofty price tag like Adobe suite, they damn well better let me resell it.

    I think Valve needs to develop a more hands-off approach to their client. I shouldn't have to launch it every time I want to play a game. And definitely shouldn't have to install it just to play a game I bought retail.

    I can see maybe running in the background and opening up Steam when my game needs to be patched or something, but I really don't like how the client always has to be running in the background. With all the things they keep adding to it, it's starting to become a resource hog. If they intend to sell regular software, these "normal" applications better not need Steam open to launch.
  • -7 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 17, 2012 1:04 PM
    moriconI am waiting for someone to take Valve to court here in EU, as courts now say we can sell our software licences, and that includes on services like Steam, which is currently against Steams T&C.This will eventually go to court, and Steam will lose, but I will then start using them, as I will then be able to sell the Games I no longer want like I currently do!

    Why don't you do it, if you have nothing to lose?
    ...
    The second hand games market is a parasite on the games indistry, always has been, a game can swap hands a hundred times just to save a couple of $$$ and none of that money goes back to the developers
    ...
    Steam has proved that selling games slightly cheaper gets bigger sales figures, just look at the special game deals, 75% off and sales go up by 1000%
    ...
    But go right ahead, no one is stopping you if you want to approach a legal firm
  • 0 Hide
    boiler1990 , July 17, 2012 1:18 PM
    Quote:
    Could this be Valve's assault on Amazon? The two companies are seemingly going head-to-head on the PC gaming front, fighting for the consumer dollar with rock-bottom prices in various promotions. For the entire month of July, Amazon is slashing prices on a large number of titles including Just Cause 2 ($8.99), Magicka ($5.99), Hitman: Blood Money ($5.99), Tomb Raider: Anniversary ($5.99) and more.


    What's humorous is that most of the games on Amazon use Steam ;) 


    If Valve could find a way to negotiate the removal of the software companies' use of DRM and rely on their own, I would totally be down to purchase software through Steam. I always manage to lose a MS Office or OS product key, and I reinstall software more regularly than most average users.
  • 0 Hide
    uglynerdman , July 17, 2012 2:03 PM
    um steam is cheaper than most boxed versions. a heck of alot of the time. ^ seeing alot of lies up here. You can GIVE items you purchase as gifts. i got most of my games at 4.99 - 10 bucks.. titles that are still 39- 50 bucks. i love steam sales. nor do i worry about patching my games nonstop anymore. Steam has made my life so much easier, i had CDs/dvds. Less noise, less hassle of maintaning em. less space taken up. Awesome prices. EASE of installation and removal. I love steam.. I just wish EA wasnt so greedy. i wanted to buy mass effect 3/ dead space 3 on steam.
  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , July 17, 2012 2:14 PM
    Quote:
    What Steam doesn't offer is non-gaming downloads like Norton 360, QuickBooks Pro 2012, Microsoft Office and more.

    Norton 360 isn't a loss.
  • 0 Hide
    Camikazi , July 17, 2012 2:21 PM
    john_4Again with STEAM (Origin too) you can not give much less resell what you paid for. If I buy a clock then later buy another I can sell the old clock or give it away. Apparently not with software anymore.These STEAM services are a Achilles heel. F*ck all of them.

    You never could, you only owned the media the software came on and they let you transfer that because once you no longer had it you could no longer use it (unless you crack it which is illegal). The companies only ever gave you a license to use the software and once the media was gone the ability to easily transfer the license was made harder. You can't compare buying hardware (the clock) with licensing software, the hardware can't be easily copied and if copied will take you time and you have to buy the materials making it yours completely. Software on the other hand can now be easily copied with you doing nothing but giving away another persons work and not paying them for the usage.
  • 0 Hide
    leongrado , July 17, 2012 2:39 PM
    Have you guys seen the summer deals? You could probably buy a game from gamestop and sell the game back to them and still have it cost more than the price that Steam offers. Obviously this isn't the same with newer games but they seem to have special deals pretty often.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 17, 2012 2:40 PM
    Why not? If they can sell Photoshop CS6 for $250 I'm sure Adobe and Valve will see a huge surge in profits.
  • 0 Hide
    beardguy , July 17, 2012 3:13 PM
    @ eddieroolz

    There is no way Steam is going to be able to give a discount like that. Not even Amazon can come close to that price. Adobe has never heavily discounted it's software, for better or worse.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 17, 2012 3:15 PM
    Problem is, too many people think they deserve everything for free, the price of living in a capitalist world is that you have to pay for things
  • 1 Hide
    cptnjarhead , July 17, 2012 3:39 PM
    WamphryiIt is awesome when the battle for my humble dollar brings prices down in this manner.


    yes, capitalism "is awesome"
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , July 17, 2012 4:07 PM
    moriconI am waiting for someone to take Valve to court here in EU, as courts now say we can sell our software licences, and that includes on services like Steam, which is currently against Steams T&C.This will eventually go to court, and Steam will lose, but I will then start using them, as I will then be able to sell the Games I no longer want like I currently do!


    Games that do not use Steamworks, like Batman Arkham Asylum for example, can be launched without Steam running at all.

    But games that do are using Steam for DRM instead of SecuROM or something worse which I prefer. Plus newer games are using the Steam Workshop to help share user created content.

    And you can always do the Offline Mode although I don't know what the big deal is as Steam doesn't use that many resources when opened.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 17, 2012 4:30 PM
    Frankly, I doubt "reaching" that market will be hard - how many people using productivity software like the Adobe suite also game? I do. If Valve offered such things, I would see it, and if they offered it at great prices, they'd likely get my dollar... Chances are, they aren't reach a good portion of that market via gamers.
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