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Steam goes after Win 8 by offering non-game applications
Steam goes after Win 8 by offering non-game applications
August 8, 2012 | By Eric Caoili




Valve's Steam platform will become more like Apple's App Store and Windows 8's upcoming digital storefront next month, when it will begin selling software alongside its catalog of PC games.

It's a significant expansion for a service that's sold only video games in its nine-year history, but the company says it's a move that customers have requested for some time now. Steam has been the biggest games-only digital distribution platform up until now, with some 40 million registered users.

This announcement comes shortly after Valve boss Gabe Newell called Microsoft's imminent Windows 8 update and its built-in application store "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." He emphasized the importance of having an alternative service to deliver games.

Valve has not yet named any specific applications that will appear on its platform, but the company says it will offer productivity and creativity products. Many of the titles will also integrate Steamworks features like automatic updating and cloud saving.

The company is inviting studios to submit their software for consideration to be sold on Steam. Interested developers can submit their titles through Greenlight, the service's system that allows its community to approve games and now apps for sale.


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Comments


Martin Crownover
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I guess this is why Gabe is so upset about the Windows App Store, huh?

k s
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I figured the same thing.

Tyler Zimmermann
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I guess you really never read the article about it, did you?
They are upset because it requires you to buy/download Steam, then you have to pay Steam through Windows App Store. This will significantly cut their profits.

It has nothing to do with them becoming an App Store theselves.

Chris Taran
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I think it's the exact opposite. He's so disgusted by Windows 8 that he's doing anything he can to knock it down in anyway he can.

Ian Uniacke
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"I think it's the exact opposite. He's so disgusted by Windows 8 that he's doing anything he can to knock it down in anyway he can." I can't tell if you're very funny or delusional.

Troy Walker
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@Tyler actually, just having gotten back from a windows 8 dev camp... microsoft does not require you to use their app store for purchasing... steam can still implement their own ecomerce backend for sales.

A S
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Yeah - there's no requirement to use the marketplace to pay for stuff. It's there if you want to, but you can do your own backend.

William Johnson
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I'm a bit conflicted here.

I like Valve and trust them well. I like the idea of a multi OS App Store. But I don't know... This could be a slippery slope. Google wasn't that evil that long ago, but as they got bigger, they did start to do a lot more questionable things.

Steam is already the go to place for games and has pretty much made every other digital distribution service almost meaningless. I don't know if I really want them to have that much power by expanding in to other software.

I think I'll give Valve the benefit of a doubt right now. But this does have me slightly concerned. We might end up seeing a Steam Box and Steam OS next, which does sound kind of cool, but might be a sign of the coming cyber punk dystopian future where we are all ruled by faceless mega corporations. Actually, I'm a big fan of Shadowrun, so that does sound kind of cool too.

k s
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I've long felt Gabe Newell is not as nice a guy as fans make him out to be but rather more like Steve Jobs a business man who has garnered a cult fallowing (of which I am not part of and have no interest in joining).

Joe Lagomarsino
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Valve is still a private company. They don't have to make as much profit as they possibly can at the expense of consumer good will. As long as they don't go public I think everything will be fine. It seems like going public makes it a legal requirement to care more about money than customers.

k s
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Over the years I've seen valve become cockier and cockier as their power and support grew. This just seems to reinforce my opinion that valve is not some righteous company (as the fans claim) but rather just another corporation out so suck our wallets dry.

E McNeill
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You're going a little far, I think. Steam has received good reviews from developers and players for a long time now. A few recent moves have seemed dangerous or questionable, but what has Valve done wrong, so far?

k s
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I've always felt the games they developed or published were way over rated (Portal being the only good one), the monopoly they control on PC gaming is obviously a bad thing, the fact steam is DRM, Gabe always smelled like a snake oil salesman like Steve Balmer or Steve Jobs, their fans fanatical support also bothers me.

E McNeill
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@k s: You're entitled to your opinion on their games, but I think Half-Life 2 and TF2 rightfully earned their reputations. A monopoly isn't a sign of a bad company unless the company is using it to push out competition. Steam has competed freely with Impulse, GamersGate, Desura, Direct2Drive, and others, and their domination is not the result of any unfair tactics. And I don't think you can use popular support as evidence of wrongdoing...

Chris McLeod
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The only reason I hesitate to jump on board is because I fear Steam might lose focus on gaming. Valve is usually pretty careful about things like that though. As long as I can split the streams - since I don't really care about desktop apps - I am quite glad for healthy competition in the software market.

John McMahon
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As someone who just into Steam last month due to the Summer sales, I'm not sure about this.

The system they have to find games is not very well defined. The focus on featured games almost made me think I couldn't search games by genres. I had to look for a View All hidden away on the right side.

Not to mention I've been having problems with their search engine. I type in a search and hit the next button changes the search to something else and I've lost what I was searching for.

How will they manage that and keep people form getting confused on what they are looking for.

It will require an overhaul of their existing system I think.

Nicholas Ulring
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You guys realize that Valve is making this move because they have to stay competitive right? They see a threat and they know that if they dont change or improve that it could hurt them. I am actually looking forward to it. I hope movies and TV Shows are added as well. Just as long as Software and movies have their own tab I am fine. It would be annoying to have software and movies mixed in with my games.

Robert Webb
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I don't really see why all the negativity is flowing here. I am surprised that Valve hasn't done this sooner. When Impulse first dropped and replaced Stardock Central I really thought that it could be a competitor with Steam on the game front and that Steam should look into software other than games to compete with Stardocks new platform. For me, Steam has been the most feature rich and reliable game service to date. The ability to have that same experience with non-gaming applications is something to look forward too. Perhaps some should put away there cynical hat and put on the awesome posting hats that they used to wear.

Chris Taran
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I do not feel like having my games service muddled and deluded with other software. Same reason I now can't stand consoles because of all the nonsense they put on those things anymore.

All I want is a console that plays games, or a PC service like Steam that just sticks to games. I'm tired of all this watering down.

Tore Slinning
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My theory, he might be looking to add some incentives for people to jump ship...

Maybe this will bring an end to the "But GIMP SUCKS!" argument :)

Steven Christian
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They need to work on discoverability as it is. This will only make things worse. Fix discoverability first, then add books for all I care.

William Johnson
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I actually thought steam had the best discoverability out of any digital store. At the bottom of each game's page are 3 banners for games that are similar to the one you are looking at. I've found a few very interesting titles that way. And the rotating sales every day ensures people develop a compulsive behavior to come and look at the store at least daily to see if anything good is for sale.

Stewart Trezise
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I can't help but worry at how extreme our opinions here are. Steam has been around for quite a while now, they've become a key component of the PC gaming industry, and they've done very little wrong by us gamers. Sure, we've all had a few frustrating cases of games not installing correctly, or the woes of mandatory internet connections, etc. but on the whole Valve have done a pretty amazing job of not stepping on the toes of developers and publishers, while providing gamers with a wealth of fun games (Revelations 2012 excluded, I have no bloody clue how that made it in), often at incredible prices.

If they've kept it up for 9 years, I for one don't mind admitting they probably know what they need a damn sight better than most of us do.

Just my 5c (we don't have 2c anymore in Australia... )

Chris McLeod
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Well said.

Stewart Trezise
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@Zack Burden You're living in the 90's, I understand. Yes, Supreme Commander 2 is the perfect representative of all games released in the last 22 years and, yes, I must be foolish indeed to surrender the right to pay more for disc-based media just for the laughably insignificant advantage of access to games outside large publishing houses.

I could tell at once that you're a smart, mature individual by your use of profanity, insults and an alarmingly-quick journey to picturing anal rape. In future I'll allay any concerns I might have, because I know serious professionals such as yourself are on the case.

Have fun at high school, or adult re-education.

Ole Berg Leren
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@Stewart http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/11751007/images/128
2370980683.jpg

Stewart Trezise
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@Ole Berg Leren - Workmates be damned, I did!

Gil Salvado
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Half-Life3? Bwuahahahahaaaar! Why bother, we're making tons of money with Steam!

No honestly, smart move. Turning Valve into a software company. I'm officially taking guesses for Valve's OS release date from now on.

Joel Camp
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As a long time pc gamer I can tell you a lot of us use windows simply because there is not a viable alternative to game on. If Valve were to make some gaming os or some other type of Linux distro with a focus on gaming. There would be a substantial amount of gamers abandoning Windows.

Troy Walker
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^this

John Flush
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As I thought about this I thought it would be great. one spot to buy, use anywhere... mostly. But then I remember Steam doesn't work unless you have the right ports open, which my last two companies firewalls have blocked and they won't open them.

I wish Steam had a good mode to run itself over standard http or https - even in limited mode that would be great. I wouldn't mind using them as a cloud save solution in that case.

R. Hunter Gough
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Sweet! I'm totally looking forward to getting Adobe Creative Suite and Maya for $2 on a Steam sale! :)

James Castile
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Indie Dev Bundle!
Maya, PS, Mudbox, Flash Pro (for scaleform :/) for 75 per cent off!
(that's 1069.5 as opposed to 4278)

Well we can dream can't we?


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