Valve announced last month that they would soon be bringing non-game software to Steam. This would allow Steam users to purchase and download popular software without having to go through another vendor. That alone sounded good enough, but Valve has really outdone themselves with the initial launch.
Starting today, gamers and creative types alike can purchase creativity software through Steam. At launch, there are there are six creativity software suites (excluding Source Filmmaker) that users can purchase. The titles include - GameMaker: Studio, 3D-Coat, ArtRage Studio Pro, 3DMark Vantage, 3D Mark 11 and CameraBag 2. The initial selection is pretty fantastic, but it gets better.
Some of the software has been integrated into Steamworks to allow users to save their creations on the cloud, import their creations into games, and much more. One of more interesting applications is 3D Coat which allows users to import their 3D models directly into Team Fortress 2.
The best use of Steamworks so far, however, goes to GameMaker: Studio. Creators can upload the games they've made with the software up to the Steam Workshop for other creators to download and rate. It's a great way to get instant feedback on a game without having to look across various Web sites for the latest build.
Like most software, the products you'll find on Steam are a bit on the pricey side. The entire GameMaker: Studio suite will set you back $500. It's only $450 this week, however, as all software has been marked down 10 percent until Thursday in celebration of the launch.
The best part about Valve's entry into the creativity software market is that it might drive prices down across the industry. Valve's beloved sales could see software hitting all new low prices that will drive the adoption of software up. If it's cheap enough, gamers will make impulse purchases. An impulse purchase of GameMaker: Studio could encourage a regular gamer to start making games. From there, the sky's the limit.