Valve is set to open its Steam store up for non-gaming content. The formal announcement confirms speculation that was fueled last month through the company's mobile apps, which would see Steam gain categories for various productivity and creativity genres. The first non-gaming titles are slated to begin digital distribution on September 5, in a move that evolves Steam into a general app store beyond its original gaming focus.
Launch titles will apparently make use of Steamworks features already used in games on the service, such as simplified installation, automatic updates, and a per-user DRM system. Users will also be able to save their files through the Steam Cloud as well as the desktop, a system that is currently used by gamers playing the same game in multiple locations.
Steam's 40 million users are "interested in more than playing games," according to Mark Richardson, speaking on behalf of Valve. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam."
The recent Steam Greenlight initiative allows the community to decide what games will get released onto the Steam store, through direct interaction with developers. It remains unclear if the non-gaming titles will be included in upcoming Greenlight programs.
Additional details have yet to be announced, though the mobile apps showed a wide range of categories for software related to accounting, audio production, photo editing, and software editing, among others. Users were unable to navigate into the categories to view specific titles, however.