Steam May Go Beyond Mere Games, Sell More Software

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

  • Wamphryi
    It is awesome when the battle for my humble dollar brings prices down in this manner.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    I like this a lot, anything that adds convenience and drops prices is GOOD
    Reply
  • master_chen
    HELL YEAH!
    Reply
  • waxdart
    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).
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    Windows 7 64bit @ -75% discount. come on. I'll gonna love this if only $Mircosoft allow this.
    Reply
  • buckcm
    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.


    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • beardguy
    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.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    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
    Reply
  • boiler1990
    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.
    Reply