In what could be taken as a sign of striking back against Amazon and Microsoft, Valve has officially launched its non-gaming software section on Steam. The company's digital distribution platform is now offering ArtRage Studio Pro, CameraBag 2, GameMaker: Studio, 3D-Coat, 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11.
To celebrate the launch, all Software titles on Steam will be available for 10 percent off their regular price throughout the week. For instance, GameMaker: Studio Professional originally costs $99 USD, but it's now on sale for $89.10. Both 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11 originally sell for $19.99, but this week they're priced at $17.99. Valve's Source Filmmaker is free.
While this may not sound like a big deal, many software titles now offered through Steam take advantage of popular Steamworks features. Like PC games, installations and updates are managed by the Steam client, so users won't have to worry about heading to the appropriate website to download the latest patch. The user's work is also stored in the Steam Cloud space so that files can be accessed anywhere.
GameMaker Studio, for example, features integration with Steam Workshop that allows GameMaker users to share their work via Steam, Valve said. 3D Coat allows users to actually import their 3D models directly into Team Fortress 2.
So far Valve's selection seems to focus on the developer/PC gaming crowd, but that will likely change in the near future. Genre listings include Accounting, Animation & Modeling, Audio Production, Design & Illustration, Education, Photo Editing, Software Training, Utilities, Video Production, and Web Publishing.
"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."
As previously reported, this launch 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. Valve may also be attacking Microsoft in fear that Windows 8 will create a walled garden with the new Windows platform.