Valve has released the full version of its free previously-announced
Steamworks development and publishing tools, which open up Steam's online multiplayer and game purchase authentication features to the development community.
The company has been working with select studios to refine the suite since it was first announced. Interested parties can now head to Valve's official Steamworks site
to contact Valve about becoming a program partner.
Steamworks features include product key authentication, copy protection, auto-updating, social networking, matchmaking, and anti-cheat technology. It does not, however, include an actual distribution deal through Steam itself, which is managed separately by Valve.
Said business development director Jason Holtman, "In working with developers on the pre-release SDK, our focus has been on making it as easy as possible for them to integrate Steamworks into their games. They get access to these tools and services in a proven, scalable, and simple to work with package that has already been deployed to millions of gamers worldwide."