Valve Software, one of the biggest players in digital distribution of games, recently announced the first set of software titles heading for Steam, marking a major expansion to the platform most commonly known as a leading destination for PC and Mac games.

The software titles coming to Steam range from creativity to productivity applications. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features such as easy installation, automatic updates, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.

This initiative may help smaller development studios get their software out, as Steam plans to use Greenlight for non-game software too. More software titles will be added after the September 5 launch, and developers will be welcome to submit their own software via Steam Greenlight.

The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games,” said Mark Richardson at Valve. “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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Steam will be selling non-game software

Valve plans to help crowdsource games and software with Steam Greenlight, where “developers post information, screenshots, and videos for their game and seek a critical mass of community support in order to get selected for distribution”. Greenlight feels like Steam’s earlier offering, the Steam Workshop. Only this time, this is for entire games and software instead of just mods. Steam Greenlight seems to be slated for launch at the end of August.

Steam Greenlight is a new system that enlists the community's help in picking some of the next games to be released on Steam. Steam Greenlight also helps developers get feedback from potential customers and start creating an active community around their game as early in the development process as they like,” the Greelight website reads.

The problem smaller developers had with Steam was when they were attempting to get their game on Steam, they’d either get a “yes” or “no” for an answer. No explanation was given otherwise. Greenlight looks to help the developers who submit videos, demos, screenshots, etc. and let the community decide if the game is worth being on Steam.

The site further states that the number of votes needed to gain full approval “is going to change during the first few days/weeks since we don’t know what kind of traffic to expect.” Steam states that part of the drive for this system is the need for customers to help prioritize which games they want to see made available on Steam. The site states that therefore, “the specific number of votes doesn’t matter as much as relative interest in a game compared with other games in Steam Greenlight“.

We’re going to be reaching out to developers as we see their games getting traction regardless of whether they have achieved a specific number of votes or are sitting 1st or 2nd place at any given time. We are most interested in finding the games that people want, not requiring them to always hit a specific number of votes,” the site reads.

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