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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.
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.