Valve Software today confirmed that the technology behind the user-generated virtual item store found in Team Fortress 2 is now part of the company's Steamworks tool suite.
The inclusion of the tech means that third-party publishers and developers using Steamworks have a framework for implementing virtual storefronts in their games. Steamworks also includes matchmaking, beta-testing, metrics tracking and other tools for developers.
Valve added the "Mann Co. Store" to its popular mulitplayer shooter Team Fortress 2 in late September. The storefront introduced to the game the sale of virtual items, which includes a handful of user-generated pieces.
The company revealed today that five developers of the initial round of user-generated content made between $39,000 and $47,000 in royalties from the sales of the items. Valve gives 25 percent of the revenues to the creators.
"Hopefully we'll see other developers and publishers find a way to use something like this in their games as well," Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi told Gamasutra. Valve is currently monitoring the Mann Store in Team Fortress 2 before considering applying virtual item sales to other games.
The Half-Life and Left 4 Dead developer told Gamasutra that as for its own user-generated plans, Valve will work on expanding the store to cater to level designers, server operators, animators, custom UI modders and even guide writers.
"We would like to figure out how they all can participate in this so that everyone is making the community better in some way, and benefit from that work they're doing," Team Fortress 2 project lead Robin Walker said.