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Steam Expands Store to Include Free-to-Play Games

"Free" games come to Steam, as Valve expands the platform.

Spiral Knights, one of the F2P released on Steam, looks like Diablo crossed with Phantasy Star Online.

Steam has been a terrific digital download service for players looking to buy both games at full price and games on the cheap. However, If you're the kind of game player for whom buying games "on the cheap" is still too expensive (or you live in a territory where retail sales aren't feasible in the market) then Steam has been ill-equipped to deliver the kinds of games you want to play.

Never one to let any potential PC revenue stream slip them by, Valve has announced that, as of today, Steam will support the release and distribution of Free-to-Play games in addition to the paid games already available from the service. With this new update, players can not only download F2P games from Steam, but also purchase each game's microtransactions from the Steam Client itself.

Along with the initial announcement, Valve revealed the first five F2P games available on the service. The first run of games are Sega's Spiral Knights, Cryptic's Champions Online, Hi-Rez Studio's Global Agenda, Perfect World's Forsaken World, and NHN's Alliance of Valiant Arms.

It's interesting to see Valve expanding on the types of payment structures it's willing to integrate and support through the actual Steam client. Thanks to games like Team Fortress 2, players on the PC are more used to purchasing the kinds of vanity/functional items that have been the lifeblood of other F2P games. Hell, it's possible that adding this kind of support to Steam paves the way for Valve to release Team Fortress 2 as a free multiplayer shooter supported solely by microtransactions. We'll find out more of what Valve has planned soon, as additional information on Steam's F2P integration will be revealed in the coming days.

113 Comments
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Posted by MattBodega
Spiral Knights, one of the F2P released on Steam, looks like Diablo crossed with Phantasy Star Online.

Steam has been a terrific digital download service for players looking to buy both games at full price and games on the cheap. However, If you're the kind of game player for whom buying games "on the cheap" is still too expensive (or you live in a territory where retail sales aren't feasible in the market) then Steam has been ill-equipped to deliver the kinds of games you want to play.

Never one to let any potential PC revenue stream slip them by, Valve has announced that, as of today, Steam will support the release and distribution of Free-to-Play games in addition to the paid games already available from the service. With this new update, players can not only download F2P games from Steam, but also purchase each game's microtransactions from the Steam Client itself.

Along with the initial announcement, Valve revealed the first five F2P games available on the service. The first run of games are Sega's Spiral Knights, Cryptic's Champions Online, Hi-Rez Studio's Global Agenda, Perfect World's Forsaken World, and NHN's Alliance of Valiant Arms.

It's interesting to see Valve expanding on the types of payment structures it's willing to integrate and support through the actual Steam client. Thanks to games like Team Fortress 2, players on the PC are more used to purchasing the kinds of vanity/functional items that have been the lifeblood of other F2P games. Hell, it's possible that adding this kind of support to Steam paves the way for Valve to release Team Fortress 2 as a free multiplayer shooter supported solely by microtransactions. We'll find out more of what Valve has planned soon, as additional information on Steam's F2P integration will be revealed in the coming days.

Posted by MachoFantastico

Sounds awesome

Posted by theartofjag

Go Champs!
Posted by Branthog

A brilliant move to expand your Steam installation base, which will make future purchases when those oh-so-hard-to-resist deals funnel through.

Posted by TekZero

Free is in my price range. 

Posted by HydraHam

Spiral Knights is fun, Champions Online is complete rubbish, can't speak for the rest since i have never played them.

I love the idea of steam putting the free micro transaction games on their service :)

Posted by Junon

Gotta love Steam. 

Edited by Galiant

Steam is boss. Games for Windows Live and that new Origin thing can go die in a corner.

Posted by MrKlorox

Agreed. If they can actually sell those awful TF2 microtransaction items, there's obviously a market for such things in "free" games. I always thought such things were garbage, but perhaps all they needed was a centralized location with a pre-existing install base.

Posted by Rhaknar

been wanting to try Forsaken Worlds and spiral Knights for awhile now, so this is cool for me. that and ive been wanting a mmo fix since my free month of rift ended so Forsaken might do it (from i remember it looks a lot like wow, astectically). Oh and ill try Champions too, if only for the character creator which is supposed to be amazing.
 
No interest in the shooters tho

Posted by MattBodega

@Styl3s: Champions Online is bad, but believe me; that game gets WAY BETTER when you don't have to pay for it,

Posted by dungbootle

Sweet

Edited by AlexW00d

What's Steafm?

Also you used 'than' instead of 'then'.

And 'additional' instead of 'addition'.

Posted by President_Barackbar

If Valve released TF2 as a free to play game, I would be PISSED. I paid for that game because I wanted the game as it was when I bought it. To find out that it went F2P, while it makes a certain degree of sense given how fucked up that game is at the present moment, would make me feel really under appreciated as a customer.

Edited by sirchode

"Perfect World's Forsaken World"

Wait what

Anyway, excited to see Firefall show up on this eventually since that's the only F2P game I'm anticipating

Edited by Bass

Typo in the first paragraph. Should be "then Steam" I think.

Posted by HydraHam

@MattBodega said:

@Styl3s: Champions Online is bad, but believe me; that game gets WAY BETTER when you don't have to pay for it,

I sank a lot of hours into it, the best thing about the game is character customization.

Edited by crusader8463

Neat I guess. I will give them a try, but my disgust for the pay 2 win model of games will probably turn me off of them soon enough. That picture that said Phantasy Star Online is reason enough to get me to at least try them.

Posted by Jiquk

I really don't get the hate for the TF2 stuff, most of the profits garnered from community items(which are pretty much the only ones that get sold, minus keys of course) go straight back to the creator and if you don't like supporting talented modelers then I guess you can sit around and idle for 600 hours just to get a chance to craft 1 random hat that turns out to be one you don't even like the look of. I don't think people selling their rare hats for actual money is ok however, that's just downright sad. Also I feel the need to mention whenever anything related to Valve is mentioned from this point on... Episode 3 still isn't out guys. Just reminding yah.

Posted by stalefishies

Uhh, free games on Steam isn't a new thing. There have been select source mods for free on Steam for a while now (e.g. Synergy, Empires) and with all the publicity Jeff's been giving Trackmania, I'm surprised you forgot about TrackMania Nations.

Posted by Scooper

Really cool. I'm going to try out Forsaken World. Why not, I quite enjoy a bit of WoW ripoff MMO when I've got a few hours.

Posted by Sammo21

Cool but Global Agenda is boners.

Posted by Hector

There goes EA's Origin.

Posted by BiggNife

Spiral Knights is a whole lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be. If a mix of Diablo and Four Swords sounds interesting to you, I recommend checking it out.

Posted by rjayb89

"Steafm" sounds like you were pronouncing that word while eating.

Edited by Jeffk38uk

I played a bunch of CO on steam since I downloaded it before Steam removed it and the game turned F2P, but still very cool that they are supporting these games, and they use steamworks. 
 
Certainly makes me more inclined to try them out, already dig Spiral Knights after seeing the good responses for it. May even check out Forsaken World.

Posted by BraveToaster

Another reason for me to buy a better laptop

Posted by Mihos

Damn, I love Steam.

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

This cannot end well for my wallet.

Posted by KillyDarko

I love Steam. I love Valve.

Posted by Mercanis
Posted by Vexxan

"But the best thing is that you can share your pictures on Facebook!"

Posted by fox01313

Hope that Runes of Magic goes to this category in steam's library too as last I played it, I found it quite entertaining & easy to get into while ignoring all the microtransaction junk.

Posted by Toms115
@AlexW00d said:

What's Steafm?

Also you used 'than' instead of 'then'.

And 'additional' instead of 'addition'.

punctuation inside the quotations bro
Posted by ajamafalous

Yeah, it was pretty obvious this was coming when they put microtransactions into TF2. Valve can make it work; more power to them.

Posted by TheKeywork1989

You know, I would of never tried any of these games without this. Now that steam has them all in one singular place going to go ahead and download all of them but that FPS. Would love to see LoL on this list also.

Posted by StingingVelvet

These games are designed to make you run the loot and leveling treadmill rather than to be good video games.  The industry switching to "free" games and subscription games is a fucking death sentence if you ask me.  Well... death to my interest anyway.

Posted by BabyChooChoo

I'm in love.

Posted by flawedenigma

what about BLACKLIGHT!!?

Posted by AhmadMetallic

downloading champions right now

Edited by MordeaniisChaos

@stalefishies: The difference between a free mod and a free to play MMO is pretty massive. For one. For another, the big story is that they are supporting micro-transactions through the Valve Wallet system.

@StingingVelvet: I dunno, me and the guys had a great fuckin' time making dumb ass super heroes in Champions and running around in game. I was Buzz Lightyear :3

Posted by JohnDudebro

Great to see Champions back on Steam. I love that game and want it to stay successful.

Posted by Branthog

@Toms115 said:

@AlexW00d said:

What's Steafm?

Also you used 'than' instead of 'then'.

And 'additional' instead of 'addition'.

punctuation inside the quotations bro

There is no conclusive determination on whether punctuation belongs inside or outside of quotation marks. Remember, this is the internet and standards of consensus and practice vary based on whether you're British or American. Also, technical writing standards practice the behavior of not including punctuation inside as it causes confusion and that is tending to spread into more general writing.

Posted by OriginalGman

I really hope to see Vindictus coming to Steam soon. That game deserves more exposure than it has. Plus, it runs on the Source engine.

Posted by Branthog

@sammo21 said:

Cool but Global Agenda is boners.

That's not very specific. Are boners good or bad?

Posted by Toms115
@Branthog said:

@Toms115 said:

@AlexW00d said:

What's Steafm?

Also you used 'than' instead of 'then'.

And 'additional' instead of 'addition'.

punctuation inside the quotations bro

There is no conclusive determination on whether punctuation belongs inside or outside of quotation marks. Remember, this is the internet and standards of consensus and practice vary based on whether you're British or American. Also, technical writing standards practice the behavior of not including punctuation inside as it causes confusion and that is tending to spread into more general writing.

congratulations you googled "do full stops go in the quotes or not"
Posted by jking47

fuckin sweet! more games on steam is never a bad thing

Posted by Patman99

@Toms115 said:

@Branthog said:

@Toms115 said:

@AlexW00d said:

What's Steafm?

Also you used 'than' instead of 'then'.

And 'additional' instead of 'addition'.

punctuation inside the quotations bro

There is no conclusive determination on whether punctuation belongs inside or outside of quotation marks. Remember, this is the internet and standards of consensus and practice vary based on whether you're British or American. Also, technical writing standards practice the behavior of not including punctuation inside as it causes confusion and that is tending to spread into more general writing.

congratulations you googled "do full stops go in the quotes or not"

Congratulations, maybe you should have done the same!

But this Steam thing sounds cool. One more step to controlling the world.

Posted by Rapid

Was it not Mr.Dave Snider who predicted Steam would go free to play games with mirco-transaction?

Online
Posted by OverLord00

This seems like Valve paving the way for DOTA2 to be FTP with Micro transactions. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to create the same model at League of Legends or something like that. Who knows. Maybe Valve just loves free things.

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