Steam branches into subscription games

Written by David Hing

April 26, 2013 | 11:20

Tags: #mmo #subscriptions

Companies: #steam #valve

Valve's digital distribution platform, Steam, has opened up its service to subscription-based titles.

The first subscription-based game available on the service is Darkfall Unholy Wars, a PvP focused MMO from developer Aventurine. It can be bought for £29.95 with a further £11.95 charged every 30 days through the platform.

Following this update to the infrastructure of Steam, Valve intends to launch further subscription-based games in the future.

Steam has distributed subscription-based titles in the past, with Eve Online and Rift available to download through the service, but this development means that Steam users can manage their subscription payments through the platform itself rather than a third party's site.

The subscription model is often viewed as dead or dying in the market with the rise in popularity and prevalence of free-to-play titles. Despite this, long-running MMOs are still able to maintain a sizeable user base.

The king of the MMO, World of Warcraft, has kept more than 10 million subscribers and games that operate on a smaller scale are sustainable with a smaller subscriber base with Eve Online for example happily running on the much smaller number of approximately 500,000.

Steam is constantly developing its digital distribution platform. Last year it started selling software as well as games and also launched its Big Picture mode in an attempt to move into the living room and occupy larger TVs.
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