Valve announced earlier this year that it would start to distribute software besides games on Steam this summer. After a short delay, that promise has now been fulfilled. Users of the service will find an announcement at the top of the Store page the next time they log in.
The popular gaming platform hopes to sell traditional software using the same strengths that have made it a dominant force in the gaming industry. Automatic updates, quick online installation and frequent sales should make software appealing to users. Valve is also leveraging Steam Cloud, a feature that automatically uploads save files to a remote server so they are accessible from any computer. This could be an essential extra for some productivity apps.
On the other hand, some users are protesting the fact that software purchased through Steam will be tied down to that service. It won’t be possible to use purchased software without first installing the client and then downloading and validating through the service. Software will be non-transferable and can’t be re-sold, as is the case with all games sold through Steam.
Valve’s marketing director has responded to criticism by saying “Our customers have told us they’d like to have all of their software on Steam.” The company has also expressed a hope to eventually bring non-gaming software to Steam Greenlight, a platform that lets fans show support for an app in an effort to have it made available on the service.
What do you think? Will you buy software through Steam or would you rather it stuck to games? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Digital Trends