2K building up Steam

Publisher joins ranks of third-party publishers distributing games via Valve Software's digital distribution service; Civilization III and IV due later this week.

Two weeks ago, Activision announced it would distribute several of its most popular PC games, including Call of Duty 2, via Valve Software's Steam download service. The move surprised many, since Valve had previously signed a deal with the publisher's archnemesis, Electronic Arts, which distributes retail copies of the Washington-based developer's popular shooter Half-Life 2.

Now, another EA rival has struck a deal with the megapublisher's partner. Today, Take-Two Interactive subsidiary 2K announced that it, too, would sell games via Steam. The first batch of games, which are due later this week, will include two top strategy titles from Firaxis Games: Civilization III and Civilization IV. Also included will be the high-seas adventure Sid Meier's Pirates! and the alternate-history real-time strategy game Shattered Union.

"We are excited to add Valve to our roster of partners in the digital distribution area," said Paul Crockett, an executive in 2K's strategic sales and licensing department. "Being included in their vast network will assist us in expanding the reach of our products to a much larger audience."

According to a statement released today by Valve, Steam currently has some 10 million customers for both its "core" products--which include advanced shooters such as Half-Life 2--and casual games, such as PopCap Games' Bejeweled and Zuma.

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Discussion

86 comments
_Sam_
_Sam_

I do like steam, but I prefer getting the disks

Simmy2
Simmy2

Valve for the win, I say.

StarvingPoet
StarvingPoet

I really don't see steam as being any different than Star Force. But as long as 2k doesn't go Digital Distribution only, I'm not all that perturbed.

NeoGamer741
NeoGamer741

Steam was once an abomination, but now I am pissed that other companies haven't caught up. The ability to download your games if you lose your discs and having cd-keys bound to your account is amazingly effective. They have saved me $100s. Valve is my favorite game company beside Epic Games.

Andy7546
Andy7546

It's not long before Valve conquers the world.

shrink45
shrink45

At the rate Steam is growing, it may be the only electronic distribution platform we may ever need. Sorry, Gametap!

Turisman4
Turisman4

From Half-Life to this? VALVe has proven to be one of the most powerful game companies of the new millenium.

Dragonstring11
Dragonstring11

Ahhh, i can still remember those olden days, when Computer Gaming World magazine thought "Steam is an obtrusive user-hostile abomination." I don't think too many people think that nowadays...

tundraman
tundraman

steam games for 360? ........ some day.

gamermajor
gamermajor

i dont care whats going on right now but im so happy cause im taking a hot chick to the movies this saturday to go see saw 3 its going to be freakin sweet

Zevy
Zevy

Steam is GREAT!

ilcani
ilcani

Steam is good...keep it going...more publishers join!!

ATF2
ATF2

Um, the person near the top that said that they don't buy anything from Steam because if your computer crashes you have to buy all of the games again... Why don't you stop spreading mis-information and get your facts straight. The games you buy from Steam are registered to the account that you bought them with. So if your computer 'crashes', and you have to re-format or what not, you will of course lose the games because they will have been erased from the hard-drive, but jeez, just log back onto Steam, sign back onto your account and just re-download your games... you will NEVER lose them... I can't believe how paranoid some people are, not to mention ignorant...

uberjannie
uberjannie

Finally maybe the prize of the games could drop. I think all the devs are going wrong about stronger and stronger pirate anticopy theft software. Wouldnt it be alot better to publish all the game trhu services such as steam to get the prizes down? Here in norway a PC game costs 75 USD. That is alot of money to pay for a game. Well, if they can use the 20-30 USD prize tag that steam offers on many of its games, i will truly start buying more games. I only buy the games i absolutely need. Like civilization 4. which ive played more than 200 hours. And AL13NK1LL3R and other who wonders : If you buy a game trhu STEAM, you will ALWAYS have the game.. Just re-download Steam and log in to your account. Then redownload the game for free, since the game is registered to your account. :) BUY CIV 4 PEOPLE! Support Sid Meier, the greatest game mastermind there is. We all love him! CivFANATICS!

rollenlee
rollenlee

Sorry for jumping to that conclusion, Rudy25 - my sarcasm meter must be malfunctioning today. ;) I'll concede the point since I haven't really enjoyed any digital football game since Sierra's Dynamix Football was put to rest. Hell, I think I enjoyed that game better without the NFL license anyhow! So long as the program and pix are good for it, why bother with *real* players anyway? They'll never be as responsive and cantakerous as Terrell Owens, so why bother? (And the thought of a digital diva simulator is a scary thought...)

AL13NK1LL3R
AL13NK1LL3R

kool.. but i'll never buy games throught the stream cause what happens if computer crash then u have to buy it again.. so just buy it the store, it easy

Seiki_sands
Seiki_sands

I hate using steam. Mostly for the reason that right after Half-Life 2 came out the admins on their forums acted like arrogant jerks. Denial of service after the fact is petty thievery in my book and they laughed their crimes away, even taunting the people they had wronged, leveling charges of cheating and theft against them. As a bystander and someone working in a service industry at the time, I was disgusted by their unyeilding behavior and unwillingness to even listen to the complaints of their customers.

Glordit
Glordit

I still can't buy games on steam! :( it declines my credit card!

Rudy25
Rudy25

Rollenle...I knew that. I was trying to make a joke. 2k5 brought a breathe of fresh air to the table. EA just swiped that momentum they had by buying the rights for a few years. I'm waiting for another football game to be just as exciting as 2k5 was.

rollenlee
rollenlee

Rudy25, you do know that EA bought up the rights for all NFL electronic media, right? Gor your wishes to come true, 2k would have to a) make up a league, b) buy the rights to the CFL (which I'd enjoy more than NFL anyway), c) buy the rights to Arena Football, or d) just wait and pony up dough at the end of the deal - not just for the rights, but also to put together a programming team of substantial size. I think the ESPN rights are also held by someone exclusively as well, but I can't recall if EA bought those at the same time.

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

2K could make Oblivion in STEAM, that will totally down the servers though.

Rudy25
Rudy25

Dear 2k, Bring back that great ESPN 2K series you guys had. We here on EA Island hate being force fed one NFL game to choose from. Its the same here on EA Island year in and year out. Please help the NFL gaming community by having a killer series that was ruined by EA. Thanks, Rudy25

dryden555
dryden555

You dont get CD media after buying a game on steam -- that's "extra." Steam kinda blows. 4 hours of gameplay in the HL2 episodes? Blah. Let's have a full game please.

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Looks like Steam is growing. Now,Valve, I want my HL2 Episode 2 please!

giraffepancakes
giraffepancakes

I remember when Steam first came out... It left me in a murderous rage every time i tried to play the original Counter Strike. I liked that game a lot more without Steam.

webdoom
webdoom

interesting idea... but Steam is not so good and slow

nick1500
nick1500

Steam come on man. i know it is always good to have all your games in a digital world where you don't need to worry about it being around. But steam has some serious issues. First of if steam was meant to cut off piracy then definately it is not doing its job as well it is suppose to do. There are lots of copies of pirated half life 2. Secondly honestly i lack the patience to sit around and wait for the game to download. I wouldn't mind it if it were completely online but here you have the cds but you have to download em still. i seriously don't get the point then. Worst of all if you want to install the game again oyu got to sit through all of the process all over. If it was litle bit more digitalized i woudn't mind. Like if you could use steam to downlaod the whole game on a std basis where it notes down your ip address and makes sure if you were to download again male a copy of the game on the local ISP. That way it be far more easier. But it definately will need more work. But hey take two has joined the bandwagon and lets give em a hooray.

cesare
cesare

Steam is a little slow to start up but once it's going I like the organisation and the updates. I think steam is a good tool!

amogley
amogley

I have been lucky ... i have had very very few problems with Steam. I'm hoping that valve will be able to invest some of that cash into HL3 ;)

davenweb
davenweb

I love steam, always convinients to have all your games in one place with no need to bother with CD's - Can't wait to see whats coming next

OGKNav
OGKNav

Nice, more steam popups/ads.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

I guess Steam is ok, in my book.

Saphire_Kitsune
Saphire_Kitsune

"Valve had previously signed a deal with the publisher's archnemesis, Electronic Arts," Guess if you can't beat them, join them. Well, sort of...

VengfulOne
VengfulOne

Steam left a bad taste in my mouth when I first got HL2. I think it took me like 3 hours to install it. And my system was top of the line at the time. But it is nice to have another option besides D2D to get full games.

Day
Day

Valve is just rolling in pools of cash right now. Like Scrooge McDuck, but with bills instead of gold coins.

wiZDestroyer
wiZDestroyer

Steam is slowly growing into an actually big... thing :O

zolloz89
zolloz89

i use steam on a regular basis, im glad to be able to play these games on it

mc2k4
mc2k4

Half Life 2 Episode 2 looks like the SHEEZY!

faizali86
faizali86

steam just keeps on growing :D

trusteft
trusteft

Do not get Shattered Union. It is a pile of crap wanna be strategy game. It has lots of stupid design decision and it is full of bugs. Other than that, 2K is a good company now days, I hope they release more games soon.

rimmerbsc
rimmerbsc

Steam is always a step behind Direct2Drive.