Non-games head to Steam as digital distribution competition heats up

Valve has added an important weapon to the arsenal supporting its games download service – and it’s non-games.

From September 5th the firm will be selling ‘creativity to productivity’ software on the store which has 40m registered users.

So that means non-games sold alongside Valve’s own Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress plus the many third-party games on the service.

Software on Steam will ‘take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space’.

Developers will also be allowed to submit software to the new Greenlight service for crowdvoting that Steam is also adding.

It presents a big opportunity for Valve in terms of growth, and is a serious response to the challenge posed from other digital distribution services – such as EA’s Origin – which have so far focused just on games.

"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," said Mark Richardson at Valve in the announcing statement.

"They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."

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