Valve has rolled out a new developer-run storefront on Steam that lets developers sell in-game items.
The scheme has debuted with Facepunch’s open-world survival game Rust. It runs similar to existing community markets, but developers can now curate the store themselves.
Developers can either sell their own items, or potentially sell items made by Steam Workshop creators and share the profit. Items can still be sold by users separately on the community marketplace.
The move is likely to have an affect on how items are priced by the community, and may result in more stable prices.
Explaining the scheme in further detail, Facepunch’s Garry Newman said if he’d been asked five years ago if one of his games would have microtransactions in them, he would “have probably laughed in your face”. He claims however that Valve’s method ensures no-one loses out.
This is because items bought by players can be looted by others, while paid-for items can also be collected from random drops. These pick-ups can then be sold on the marketplace.
“It’s not unfeasible that a player will make more money selling items than the game itself cost,” he said.
He said it also works for developers, as the new marketplace gives players more reasons to play the game, they can link their title to a thriving virtual economy and make more money to create more games.
“When you see the system up close and far away, it’s a total no-brainer," said Newman. "In fact I would go as far as to say that by not being involved in the marketplace we’re screwing our community."