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Steam offers in-game transactions for downloadable content

By on March 18, 2009

Steam continues to make massive strides in bringing high-quality downloadable content to the masses.

Their latest innovation is the the “arrival of in-game downloadable content”. Purchased through the in-game browser, it allows users to purchase additional content from within the game, rather than having to make a separate visit to the Steam store.

It’s a huge boon for microtransactions, and another weapon in the arsenal for publishers who rage against gamers playing second-hand or pirated copies. Since “DLC can now be added to any game on Steam, regardless of whether it was originally purchased via Steam, at retail, or via other digital outlets”, it gives the publisher a chance to generate revenue from people who did not buy the original game or who bought it used.

I’m convinced that this another step in the erosion of premium price points for games, as we move increasingly towards lower prices subsidised by advertising and the ability to purchase additional content  over time. I think we’ll see more and more single player games going free, with the revenue generated from downloading content gamers actually want.

(Thanks to Cnet for the lead)

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: