Kiss your cash goodbye: Steam to serve up non-gaming software

Everybody's favorite digital games storefront Steam is going to become an entirely different beast next month. Moving beyond only selling PC games, Steam will soon have a suite of creativity and productivity apps that'll gladly rob take your hard-earned cash.

Announced on the Steam website, the company says that new non-gaming apps will be listed under the "Software" category. According to Valve's Mark Richardson, the new software additions is in response to the growing feeling that Steam's 40 million-strong gamers "are interested in more than play games."

Although no frontrunner software apps have been announced yet, Valve says that the apps will be customized with features Steam users have come to be familiar with:

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

One of the reasons many gamers love Steam is because of the steep discounts that it offers on AAA titles during its sales. When those sales kick in, it's very easy to find your week's earnings drained within minutes.

Clearly, Steam sees that digital distribution is really peaking. With app stores such as Apple's Mac App Store finding tremendous success, Valve would be stupid not to get a cut of the pie before it's too late.

Where Steam can differentiate itself is with those crazy sales. We're not going to skirt around the bushes and say that creative software such as Adobe Creative Suite isn't expensive — it is very pricey — but if Steam can somehow sell apps like that at affordable prices, it's possible piracy could be curtailed (to some extent). Pirates tend to ditch their ways when price and convenience align (i.e. Netflix).

Look for Valve's non-gaming software to hit the Steam store on September 5.

Steam, via HotHardware

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