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Valve is opening its virtual item economy to all developers

by Eric Frederiksen | February 10, 2015February 10, 2015 6:30 pm PDT

team fortress 2 hats

We told you a couple weeks ago how Valve had paid out nearly $60 million to its Steam Workshop authors – people who had created hats, gun skins, and other content for Team Fortress 2, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Now, Valve looks to open the storefront to not just a few more games on Steam, but to any game that wants in.

The Steamworks development kit was updated last week to add the Steam Inventory Service beta.

SIS is “a new set of Steamworks APIs and tools that allow a game to enable persistent items that have been purchased or unlocked by individual users without having to run special servers to keep track of these users inventories.”

This will allow developers to have items that unlock through duration of play, in-game actions, purchase or trade. Developers can even make crafting recipes for their items.

With the service so profitable to both authors and Valve, it’s likely we’ll see quite a few games start to utilize this. This will help Valve keep developers attached to Steam, and give creators a new whole new audience to engage with.

I hope you like hats. Because we’re going to get lots of hats.

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...