Following the official unveiling of its Linux-based SteamOS back in September, Valve has announced that it is joining The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit group of companies and individuals devoted to promoting and advancing the open source community.
The membership comes with some benefits to Valve, including the ability to help guide overall Linux development through member councils and workgroups. The move may be more important as a signal of Valve's commitment to the platform, though, both developmentally and financially.
"Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming," Valve's Mike Sartain said in a statement. "Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users."
It's unclear how much Valve paid to join the Foundation, but corporate membership starts at $5,000 to $20,000 for the lowest-level Silver plan and goes up to $500,000 for a Platinum membership that includes a seat on the board. Valve seems to be the only gaming-focused company among the Foundation's membership, though PlayStation-maker Sony and GPU/CPU maker AMD are members. The Foundation's other corporate membership tilts toward the enterprise side, with partners including IBM, Oracle, Samsung, Cisco, and Google.
Valve's support for open-source gaming has come a long way since the company said it had no plans for a Linux version of Steam back in 2010. After officially launching on the platform with 57 games in February, Steam for Linux now lists 253 games that work on the OS, though the list is still dominated by indie titles.
Valve founder and CEO Gabe Newell talked up Linux's gaming potential at Linuxcon in September, calling the platform "the future of gaming." Newell also said the company now has "all of our source code, all of our models, all of our animations are being run on top of Linux... we love the performance, we love the reliability and robustness of it."