Steam adding non-gaming software

Valve bringing unspecified productivity and creativity software to distribution platform on Sept. 5; some will leverage Steamworks features.

Valve will expand the offerings for Steam users to non-gaming software next month, the company announced today. Beginning September 5, gamers will be able to download software ranging from creativity to productivity tools.

Could Photoshop come to Steam?

No software titles were announced, but Valve said many of the offerings available at launch will leverage Steamworks features, including automatic updating and Steam Cloud support.

Additional software titles will be added following the September 5 launch, with developers able to submit their applications through the newly launched Steam Greenlight crowd-voting process, which launches August 30.

According to Valve's business development staffer Mark Richardson, Steam users have expressed an interest in using Steam for more than just playing games, and "this expansion is a response to those customer requests."

Steam currently boasts more than 40 million users, and the service recently added a free filmmaker tool.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

0 comments
collingtonuk
collingtonuk

If Steam does start to offer a range of non-gaming software, like photoshop or Max and its a success (which I suspect it will be) then its only a matter of time until Apple, Microsoft or Google swoop in and buy them. It would make a lot of sense to all three to own such a well established digital distribution service. No doubt that if that happens Steam will be f**ked by them too.

hystavito
hystavito

For those that don't know, OnLive already did this with their Desktop/office apps.  With Steam being on your computer it would have access to the power of your machine, however OnLive's approach is great for being able to run full versions of very common business apps like MS Office from any device, even a weak tablet or phone.  However as some are saying, it might not be the best idea to branch out and mixup gaming with business apps.  Might be better if they started a new brand and they could just acknowledge the relationship for reputation, like "powered by Steam", "powered by OnLive", etc.

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

Oh god.

 

Oh dear.

 

I know where this is going.

 

Oh god.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

Integrate[Visual DirectX GDI+ Maya + sound editing program], sell at low price = lots of indie development and tons of new games.  Make it easier to create content at high quality, and you cut development costs - good garage games are back, baby.  Then sell on Steam and give the finger to EA/ActiBlizzard/Squenix/etc.

zulwalks
zulwalks

hmmm......3DS Max steam edition? Steam summer sale: photoshop for only $50?

hemoleech
hemoleech

Sounds like they want to encourage more indy game development.

Falru
Falru

Now if Steam started hosting/selling game-creation software THAT would be really cool and I'd have no objections. The Unity3D game engine is obviously a bad example seeing as it has a free version anyone can use but for all the other software involved in making games (3d modeling, UV, animation, just to name a few) it'd be really cool to have an updated library of all them.

OGKNav
OGKNav

Lmao will they have steam holiday sales with things like FL Studio at $50? CS5 for $200?

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

What on earth is Valve doing with Steam? It's for games, not an app store.

Wula_
Wula_

*prays that photoshop will be added and finally priced at something affordable($50-75) so poor people like me, don't have to resort to pirating it. To enjoy its features.*

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

Well, branching out is creative... if somewhat out of the wheelhouse....

DAOWAce
DAOWAce

This better be on a completely separate page to the games page and not detract from the main games service Steam provides.

 

Steam is already cluttered enough with all the Free to Play games that have surged onto the service in recent months.

 

I do not see this as being a good thing regardless.  The bigger a company gets, the worse they get; it's an unfortunate fact.  Not to mention the client bloat that has to happen the more they support new systems/features. *sigh*

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

I hope they add RPGMaker and other game creation software. It's easier when you can pay with prepaid cards.

masterdrat
masterdrat

Couple of years ago I would have mind, but now I use my pc for gaming exclusivly.

venomnight
venomnight

I like steam because you can download your software right away and no CD'S or DVD'S To loose it all digital. My son has lost or scratch so many of his games.All his XMAS gifts are coming from steam this year. I would love to see software on here would be nice to have everything all one place. Easy digital down and steam DRM is not that bad.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

One DRM to rule them all.

 

There is something simultaneously grotesque and beautiful about it.

Housh
Housh

I need a Source word processor.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Not a fan of DRM, but Steam is nice for sales from time to time.

ziproy
ziproy

Valve is going to rule the technology world in less than 10 years and do you want to know why? It's because they are privately owned and there goal isn't to make more and more and more and more money(as most stock-optioned companies MUST function). They listen to their fans and you gotta love that.

 

Now if only they could make a third game in at least one of their series. half-Life 3, Team Fortress 3, Left 4 Dead 3 idc I'll take any of them

zulwalks
zulwalks

 @Falru they're currently offering game creation software like source sdk and UDK free under the tools section

Falru
Falru

 @OGKNav Give me photoshop for 85% off and I'm there.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @jrabbit99

 Just like Amazon is online book retailer, not an 'everything' retailer.

 

Oh wait....

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @jrabbit99 Why can't it be both? I honestly want you to tell me what this is hurting, because I suspect your just bitching for the sake of bitching. 

Majkic666
Majkic666

 @Unfallen_Satan you can just play if in offline mode which does require internet which means you can play wherever you are compared to other DRMs

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @Housh If it was half decent and a small download I could see myself using one.

Maias227
Maias227

 @ziproy I can assure you that the purpose of Valve is to make money, now they may have picked a different strategy opposed to other companies but profit will always be their goal. If not they would have withered, strangled in strange inprofitable projects long ago. Without a healthy sense of making money you don't survive long as a company.

mska
mska

 @ziproy they want to make more money but they don't see us as brainless milk cows like activisione, sony and square/enix

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

It's losing focus. Simple as that. Divergence can be a good thing, but not in this way. Diverging within a gaming, as in going to Linux is great, branching into every sector is bad. To think that they will be offering photoshop for 85% off is naive to say the best. There already are enough app stores, we don't need more fragmentation. It's pretty pointless. This is just so that Valve can get more money. It is not going to be some revolutionary thing, just a money grab. While it might be a little useful, I don't like it when companies expand out of their industry for some quick cash.

 

Also by the way, try to refrain from cursing; it makes you seem like an uneducated child.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @Majkic666

 That is a plus, although I think most DRM do not require constant Internet connection and Steam still requires one time online activation like many others. Even if Steam were significantly better than other DRM, that is insufficient justification for me to accept it as an umbrella DRM/digital distribution portal.

Majkic666
Majkic666

which does not require internet*

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @IMPACT_17

 I, on the other hand, prefer each product or at least each company to use non-interdependent DRM.

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @Maias227 So the fuck what? Why do you care if they want to make money if they do it in a way the you greatly benefit from. You can't honestly tell me you have a problem with a company wanting to make a profit by offering amazing services and games. That's just pants on head retarded.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

 @WolfGrey Not true. You're assuming that people want apps and have no place to get them right now. There are numerous places to get apps already, so to say its the only all in one is simply false. 

 

I could see them using it as a step towards a console though. I can see them using it to lay down the groundwork for an app store that they then would use to make a console like an android. There were rumors of them in talks with Apple, if that fell through then it would make sense that they are testing whether or not they could use their own app store.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

 @jrabbit99 Becoming a platform that can literally give you anything you need for a PC program and game wise is bad?

 

Cash grab or not it means less things we have to deal with in order to get what we need.

 

And as the first guy said, honestly your just "bitching for the sake of bitching".

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @TohouAsura

 Thank you. You said what I wanted to say in a more succinct manner, though with a bit stronger language against MS than I am brave enough to use. :)

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

 @Unfallen_Satan You are a gentlemen and a scholar, and I strongly agree with everything you said.

 

Diversity and competition is a must, a monopoly is bad.

 

Yes, Windows is indeed the leading system. This also deluded Microsoft to believe they can do whatever the f*** they want. That kind of mindset has led to Vista and Windows 8.

 

A competitive edge needs to be kept in order to keep companies in line. Valve may be good now, but to throw your money at them like you just don't care is selfish and narrow minded, you have to think of the egneral state of a market whenyou do that.

 

Steam is a great platform, and had a great part in raising PC gaming from the dust, but it must NOT rule PC gaming and marketing. An alternative always has to be there, for when the day comes when Valve may decide to change the rules of the game, those same selfish and narrow minded people who refused to look at the truth may now find themselves powerless to do anything but keep using Steam.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @IMPACT_17

 I completely agree. Just as Steam provided a sharp contrast to the insanity (maybe not the best word, but I like it) of more draconian DRM, I want other DRM that are not significantly worse to stay and continue to provide competition that consumers can see. One may even become better than Steam, perhaps returning to the old days of CD check, but one that's not so easy to crack.

 

EDIT: By CD check analogy I meant an off-line tool that can verify the ownership validity of a program, be that physical or digital based.

IMPACT_17
IMPACT_17

 @maxwell97  Because Steam DRM involves simply login into an account and downloading your purchased content. All it needs to be. Nowadays, many DRM services are extremely aggressive; from limiting your installs to requiring a constant internet connection to play (which is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard about anything), with some also being pretty unstable.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @Zhyr_

 True, and I hope it stays that way. The only thing I can do is to discourage any development that will lead to Valve's justifiably feeling that Steam is the only viable choice in DRM. My feeling extends to keeping it non-dominating as a social platform as well, but that's a discussion for another time.

Zhyr_
Zhyr_

@maxwell97

Microsoft Windows could be thought of a harmful monopoly for while there are other options, those other options are realistically incompatible for most people.Macs require you to buy their own systems, and both OSX and linux do not have wide spread software support. 

@Unfallen_Satan

Steam as DRM is fairly unobtrusive considering all the other options that have come and after it.

 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @maxwell97  @Unfallen_Satan  @poopinpat

 I strongly agree with purchasing goods and services at the best possible value, but DRM is not something I need. Because I see DRM as inherently antagonistic toward my position as a consumer, though only as a byproduct of business self-protection instead of ill will, I want constant competition between DRM providers as a way to dilute their combined power. Furthermore, DRM is a very unique product in that it deals with enforcement and is yet almost completely unregulated. I see far greater potential for abuse and far greater obstruction to additional competition from an entrenched dominant DRM business than any other digital enterprise. I approach DRM not as a product but as a cost. Though I try to get what I want at the lowest cost, sometimes I specifically buy goods of less than best value to promote or harm indirectly other business practices. It's a bit ironic, but the practice that I want to harm in this case is DRM.

 

Of course, to many users Steam is more a social platform than DRM. For my singular purpose in this instance, I restrict myself to discussing Steam as a DRM provider. I also have no problems with Valve's releasing its own productivity software via Steam. Finally, I am not promoting any specific DRM over Steam or advocating people leave Steam en mass for the same reason I don't need most consumers to agree with me. I just need enough people to agree for anti-monopolistic sentiment to be a constant thorn in Valve's side and enough support for other similar products to always be a threat to Steam.

 

On a side note, I want to mention something speculative and tangential to our current discussion. Even if you consider DRM to be a product and Steam to be the best value in that category, my feeling is it's not. There are already games on Steam that use both Steam DRM and 3rd party DRM. Because many productivity softwares require yearly licensing fees, I feel the danger of dual DRM for those programs is even higher. As for what ideas might such fees engender in Valve's mind and the mind of other game publishers, especially after the concept reach mass acceptance via Steam, I leave that to the individual reader.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@Unfallen_Satan @poopinpat That's an interesting outlook, and an understandable position to take. However, I tend to disagree. In economic terms, the best way to promote good business practice is to purchase whatever product or service best meets your needs, regardless of the relative strength or weakness of the company in the market. I see no value in promoting diversity, if it means deliberately supporting companies that are providing a relatively poor product; that would simply encourage bad practices. To be honest, I don't actually believe in the concept of a harmful monopoly in a developed free market, as there are simply too many players and too much capital ready to jump in once the dominant company stops providing value. The danger of harmful monopolies comes where free markets do not exist, for example in education and (to a lesser degree) healthcare and related industries.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @poopinpat

 You brings up an important point. There are many Valve supporters out there, and you all potentially benefit from Steam's expansion of service. Even if Steam become a monopoly of DRM/digital distribution, many users may only experience benefits and no drawbacks. Practically, I have to be exceedingly arrogant to try convince you not to embrace the these benefits.

 

However, unpoular as my position may be, I feel compelled to question every news that indicate a possible loss of freedom, in this case the inextricable binding of Valve's fate with consumer's ability to use software Valve doesn't even make. Even if Gabe Newell can keep the rein of Valve indefinitely, I cannot trust that his consumer-friendly attitude will persist. History has shown that many tyrants and despots started as idealists with good intentions, but prolonged exposure to any form of unchallengeable power inevitably corrupts their initial ideal, not out of malice but out of a misplaced sense of destiny to bring their form of justic and reform to all.

 

Fortunately, chances are good that none of the danger that I worry about will come to pass, and I will simply be categorized as a baseless naysayer. That will be for the best.

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @Unfallen_Satan  This is a very smart outlook on things.  But steam is the best!  I'll support them and their awesomesauce service now and by the time they become massive conglomerate tyrants I'll be losing interest in their increasingly borish and derivative products like the other major players. 

 

We can only hope that Gabe Newell integrates himself into a robotic body rather than retiring/dieing and Valve and their steam service remain awesome forever.

 

The end of the story is that CS:GO is $15 on all platforms and you know the tech they shove into that game will be more important to gaming than every CoD game since the first modern warfare for the price of one dlc.  Valve = Win

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

 @maxwell97  @Unfallen_Satan  @IMPACT_17

 It is against my nature to associate with a monopoly; it's not specific to Steam or extends beyond business. Though on occassion a particular person or institution may prove itself to be above the pack, it can't last indefinitely; therefore, I defend the seeds of diversity in everything all the time as a matter of principle.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@Unfallen_Satan @IMPACT_17 Why?

Maias227
Maias227

 @vault-boy Oh I don't have a problem with it. Its the entire point behind companies and why they exist. Its just that some put Valve on a pedistal as some kind of divine being which walks among men to spread good. They don't they're here to make money. Naturally that's great because that's growth for the economy.

hagens09
hagens09

 @vault-boy Slight overreaction, no?  He simply explained the reality of the business.  That companies do it for the profit.  If anything, he complimented them.  So calm down and quit being so defensive for no reason.