And their plan involves overhauling what has become a notoriously clunky system.
While Steam has become the go-to for the digital distribution of video games and all of their accompanying add-ons, there’s one sphere that has often been seen as thoroughly under baked. Say you’re listening to some banger video game tunes online and think, “Man, this is a banger video game tune. I should check this game out” but when you delve into Steam’s search engine, you discover it’s a genre that you really can’t stand, like MMOs or Counter-Strike.
The next step in your quest to support art that moves you would be to scroll down the game’s Steam page and purchase the soundtrack because that’s really all you want from it. Uh oh, roadblock: Looks like you have to down the game to buy the soundtrack. Well, doesn’t that just wet your mittens.
It’s been fairly standard for a long time that Valve has classified game soundtracks as DLC to the actual game, meaning you were barred from purchasing it unless you owned the game in question. Valve is trying to fix what is admittedly an incredibly crude system with a sizable update which will allow developers to sell soundtracks as separate products. With the introduction of a new “soundtrack app”, users will be able to purchase their favourite game OSTs without owning the game it hails from and slot all of their bought music into a customisable folder. Developers could even be cheeky and sell the game’s soundtrack even if the game itself isn’t available on Steam.
Beyond the accessibility of it, Steam is also adding a range of options for the actual music, with menus that allow purchases of high-quality sound files, such as WAV or FLAC, over the common (and more compressed) MP3 format. While this is not an attempt by Valve to push in on Spotify’s market, it’s nice to see that those who enjoy video game music will have a more direct way to show their support and enthusiasm without all the unnecessary clunk.
Last Updated: January 9, 2020