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It's Official: Steam Expanding Beyond Gaming

By - Source: Valve Email | B 35 comments

Valve Software has announced that it will start offering non-gaming Software titles starting September.

Last month, users of the Steam app for Android discovered a new batch of categories when using the Search function to find games on Valve's digital distribution platform. Under the "Genre" section, the new listings included Accounting, Animation & Modeling, Audio Production, Design & Illustration, Education, Photo Editing, Software Training, Utilities, Video Production, and Web Publishing. Valve unsurprisingly made no comment about the new discovery.

Until now, that is. The company announced that its Steam platform will offer its first set of non-gaming "Software" titles starting September 5, 2012. Ranging from productivity to creativity, many of these launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save files to the user's personal Steam Cloud space for on-the-go productivity.

"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," said Mark Richardson at Valve. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."

More Software titles will be added in an ongoing fashion following the September 5th launch, and developers will be welcome to submit Software titles via Steam Greenlight, the company said.

As we indicated last month, this could 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. It only makes sense that Valve wants to tackle Amazon on the non-gaming front while also bundling software with its Steamworks features.

Valve may also be gearing up to compete directly with Microsoft. Bossman Gabe Newell has clearly made his feelings public about Windows 8, joining other big-name developers who feel that Microsoft is creating a walled garden with the new Windows platform. Currently Valve has not indicated what software products will be included in the initial launch, or if they will be compatible with the new Windows 8 UI.

Expect to see Valve release details of its initial software lineup soon.


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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    jahmekan , August 8, 2012 7:13 PM
    Now, do you understand why they were bitching about Win8 and the the Win8 store?
  • 21 Hide
    guzuta , August 8, 2012 7:23 PM
    as long as we keep getting Steam sales on this stuff too, this is awesome
  • 21 Hide
    nullifier , August 8, 2012 7:20 PM
    Very interesting, Steam has (mostly) been a great product for me; I think this is a good direction.
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    teaser , August 8, 2012 7:08 PM
    It was only a matter of time......
  • 27 Hide
    jahmekan , August 8, 2012 7:13 PM
    Now, do you understand why they were bitching about Win8 and the the Win8 store?
  • 21 Hide
    nullifier , August 8, 2012 7:20 PM
    Very interesting, Steam has (mostly) been a great product for me; I think this is a good direction.
  • 3 Hide
    kcorp2003 , August 8, 2012 7:20 PM
    jahmekanNow, do you understand why they were bitching about Win8 and the the Win8 store?


    i think TotalHalibut covered it... http://youtu.be/REC4xwpX26g?t=12m29s

    skip to 12:30
  • 21 Hide
    guzuta , August 8, 2012 7:23 PM
    as long as we keep getting Steam sales on this stuff too, this is awesome
  • 5 Hide
    classzero , August 8, 2012 7:29 PM
    I am very excited, Steam has saved me a lot of money with their sales. It is also great if they offer dobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium and stick with their buy once for all platform stance (Buy and you can use on both mac and pc). This has the potential to save me $1899.00. For those who don't understand $1899.00 for my Wintel and $1899.00 for my Macbook pro vs. only $1899.00 for both platforms. An extra $1899.00 in my pocket makes me a happy guy!
  • 4 Hide
    cscott_it , August 8, 2012 7:35 PM
    classzeroI am very excited, Steam has saved me a lot of money with their sales. It is also great if they offer dobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium and stick with their buy once for all platform stance (Buy and you can use on both mac and pc). This has the potential to save me $1899.00. For those who don't understand $1899.00 for my Wintel and $1899.00 for my Macbook pro vs. only $1899.00 for both platforms. An extra $1899.00 in my pocket makes me a happy guy!


    Unfortunately, I think that in situations where you move from one OS to another it is up to the developer of the cross platform title to okay/approve this. I don't see Adobe green lighting something that like in the near future sadly (I know quite a few graphic design guys that are in the same boat)
  • -6 Hide
    Netherscourge , August 8, 2012 7:35 PM
    Even more reason to stick with XP/Vista/7
  • 6 Hide
    cscott_it , August 8, 2012 7:47 PM
    Now it all makes sense, they don't like having first party competition. Can't blame them either, as it may turn out to be a lucrative software development platform for Microsoft.

    Though I still don't understand the "Even more reason to stick with [legacy os]" You make it sound like because Microsoft is offering an app store directly in it's operating system that won't compete with Steam regarding its game capacity but will (at least initially) trump it's productivity suite is "even more reason"? I get that you aren't switching, I don't get how this is any part of the decision maker...
  • 14 Hide
    Nakal , August 8, 2012 7:48 PM
    guzutaas long as we keep getting Steam sales on this stuff too, this is awesome


    Photoshop CS6 Steam Summer Sale $99!? One could dream I guess.. heh.
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , August 8, 2012 7:53 PM
    Woot. I already have the adobe subscription, but I will be sure to mail 3D coat, xNormal, and Blender on this wonderful news.
  • 5 Hide
    computernerdforlife , August 8, 2012 7:59 PM
    I'm using Windows 8: Steam runs everything so far but Borderlands 1 and has this strange crash issue with Shogun 2: Total War. I believe the Shogun issue is some sort of software compatibility issue but regardless, it was seamless going from Win 7 to Win 8 with Steam.

    My only fear is that i'll have to format once I purchase a copy of Windows 8. :)  By the way, this version of Windows is great and I wouldn't switch back.
  • 8 Hide
    husker , August 8, 2012 8:06 PM
    Seems like a good idea, but before this becomes reality Valve needs to allow Steam software installs to natively span hard drives. By this I mean allow different program installs on different drives. Not everyone wants to throw all installs onto a single 3 TB drive, especially in the era of smaller SSDs. I know there are various work-arounds for this, but it needs to be seamless and hassle-free.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , August 8, 2012 8:27 PM
    As long as steam keeps doing what it does now, I am more then happy to buy software from it.

    As for the lack of moving programs from drive to drive.

    Try this. Works very well, but it is a manual(but not mklink /j c:/game d:/game manual) way to do this trick(this means it works with any program you want to move). Steam Mover also works(and is automatic).

    http://www.rekenwonder.com/linkmagic.htm/
  • -6 Hide
    Bloob , August 8, 2012 9:03 PM
    I already let Steam control some of my games, no way am I going to let their hands on other software too.
  • -7 Hide
    Manos , August 8, 2012 9:05 PM
    I started loosing respect for Gabe when he trushed PS3 for it being hard to develop on and then come on stage during E3 and kiss ass in order to expand Steam on PS3, which isnt working out the way he planned it so far, and now talking shit about MS and Win 8 for his own good when there is absolutely nothing wrong with it other than the fact that it interfears with his own bussiness plans. Thats not MS' issue. Thats his own. I love steam and I have about 350 games owned in it. But I have an extra reason and right to call BS when I see it happen.
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , August 8, 2012 9:07 PM
    nukemasterAs long as steam keeps doing what it does now, I am more then happy to buy software from it.As for the lack of moving programs from drive to drive.Try this. Works very well, but it is a manual(but not mklink /j cgame dgame manual) way to do this trick(this means it works with any program you want to move). Steam Mover also works(and is automatic).http://www.rekenwonder.com/linkmagic.htm/


    as long as software stays off the main page, and only appears there if they have deals going on.
  • 2 Hide
    Albyint , August 8, 2012 9:33 PM
    I wish steam would offer Visual Novels, it could only expand their customer base and help gather a larger audience. If expansion is what they are doing with this, I dont see why they wouldnt at least consider it.
  • 0 Hide
    guardianangel42 , August 8, 2012 10:21 PM
    Hmm. My only problem with Steam thus far is that I can't play two games simultaneously. Let's say that I was playing Crysis on my PC and my sister wanted to play Skyrim on the living room PC. If this were a console and we had two consoles, there would be no problem. I've bought two different games and want to share games I'm not using.

    This is especially handy if my sister helped PAY for the game, as we do occasionally do that.

    But because games are tied to the account and the account can't be signed in elsewhere, that's not possible.

    So what happens if my sister is trying to use (for the sake of argument not availability) Photoshop on another computer and I want to play Crysis on mine. Will that be possible? There's no reason not to except an extremely greedy enforcement of our lack of ownership.

    I love Steam, it gets me games for cheap. I take great advantage of sales and promotions and enjoy playing the games I paid money for.

    After all this, now I want to email Gabe.
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , August 8, 2012 10:32 PM
    guardianangel42Hmm. My only problem with Steam thus far is that I can't play two games simultaneously. Let's say that I was playing Crysis on my PC and my sister wanted to play Skyrim on the living room PC. If this were a console and we had two consoles, there would be no problem. I've bought two different games and want to share games I'm not using. This is especially handy if my sister helped PAY for the game, as we do occasionally do that.But because games are tied to the account and the account can't be signed in elsewhere, that's not possible.So what happens if my sister is trying to use (for the sake of argument not availability) Photoshop on another computer and I want to play Crysis on mine. Will that be possible? There's no reason not to except an extremely greedy enforcement of our lack of ownership.I love Steam, it gets me games for cheap. I take great advantage of sales and promotions and enjoy playing the games I paid money for. After all this, now I want to email Gabe.


    Install steam on second pc, start game, disconnect from internet. problem solved
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