Epic Games and Valve Software have announced an agreement to provide Valve's Steamworks tool suite to all licensees of Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to use in their titles without any extra charge.
Epic's Unreal Engine 3 is a game development framework for consoles and PCs, providing core technologies, content creation tools, and support infrastructure. The engine is designed to put "as much power as possible in the hands of artists and designers to develop assets and gameplay in a visual environment with minimal programmer assistance" while also giving programmers a modular, scalable, and extensible framework for their projects.
Steamworks includes a collection of tools allowing PC developers/publishers to take advantage of features and services in Valve's digital distribution platform Steam. The suite offers product key authentication, copy protection, auto-updating, social networking, matchmaking, anti-cheat technology, and more. Unreal Engine 3 licensees can use all of these services and features in both digital and retail editions of their titles for free.
"Valve has created a world-wide phenomenon with Steam and we're excited to be able to have the Steamworks suite of services available to Unreal Engine 3 licensees so they can take full advantage of all that Steam has to offer," says Epic Games co-founder and vice president Mark Rein. "With Valve offering these services free of charge, the idea of providing the Steamworks SDK to all Unreal Engine licensees was a no-brainer."