Valve Finds a New Way to Monetize

Valve and Shapeways have announced a brand new licensing agreement that will empower creators while generating more revenue for Valve. For more context, Shapeways is a 3D printing service and marketplace. Per their website, they empower creators, makers and artists to design items that are then 3D printed with a variety of materials. The cool part about Shapeways is that you don’t need to own a 3D printer to manufacture amazing merchandise. Which leads us to this announcement. 

Valve is already known for it’s Steam Community Market. It empowers creators to make digital goods for their current franchises. The Steam Workshop has been an incredible success for the company. Many people have left their day jobs to create products for exclusive for games like Dota 2 and Counter Strike: GO and it appears that Valve wants to translate this success into real world goods. 

Here is a snippet from the official announcement:

The first-of-its-kind program grants content creators a license to create 3D printed objects based on Valve’s heralded game franchises including DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, and Portal, as well as its entertainment hardware including the Steam Controller and Steam Link.
— Shapeways

The best part about this new program would be the legitimacy that it gives to the artists and designers. It’s one thing to make merchandise but having it officially licensed by Valve is huge. The addition of additive manufacturing means that excess isn’t being created. To clarify, product isn’t sitting on a shelf waiting to be bought. Instead it’s waiting on a computer for someone to purchase. Each product is custom made and who doesn’t love something that is being specifically made for them? Jerks that’s who. 

 Below is a sampling of some of the items available:

You can read the official release here.