Monthly Subscriptions Now Available Through Steam

Posted on April 26, 2013 8:40 AM by Brandon Mietzner

The traditional subscription-based MMO developers have not had any opportunities to bring its games to the largest digital PC distributor on the internet, Steam. Yesterday is when everything changed.

In a statement made by Valve on its own Steam News feed, it announced: “With Subscription Plans, Steam offers gamers the ability to sign up and manage payments for subscription-based games on Steam. The launch title for the new service is Darkfall Unholy Wars, with additional subscription-based games to follow. Steam customers may now sign-up for, manage, cancel or renew game Subscription Plans at any time, online directly through Steam.”


This will obviously change how this market perceives Steam as a viable platform from which to launch its games, but depending on how much of a cut Valve will take is still a mystery. The subscription-based MMOs live and die by that $15 a month from its subscribers, and if Valve takes a significant portion of that, adoption will be far and few between.

The best news lies with the gamers themselves, where they will now have opportunities to pick up these games at a discount when Steam runs its seasonal or mid-week sales. This will bring more players into the fold with a wider audience that can be reached; this is never a bad thing when a game is driven by the players.

  • Rob Williams

    I’m curious to see how the adoption will fare. MMO games have long been sold on the service, and as far as the developers are concerned, that’s fine. Subscriptions will went through them, which meant 100% profit. I’d assume Valve is taking at least 15% of the revenue here (that’s pure speculation), which is rather substantial when you have 10,000+ subscribers.

    I just hope that future MMOs that hope to publish through Steam but would prefer to handle payments themselves don’t start to find it difficult to do so.

    • Jamie Fletcher

      Well, it would also reduce running costs for the Devs too, since they won’t need as many people handling customer issues regarding subscriptions, since that will all be handled by Valve. I must stress though that this is does not mean ALL sub issues, but I still see it reducing complexity, integrating into an existing system instead of building their own.

      • Rob Williams

        Good points.

      • Kayden

        I don’t know if you’ve had to deal with Steam support, but they can be a nightmare when trying to get an answer to anything from critical to simple. I pre-ordered the Dragon Age 1 DLC and it wasn’t coming up in my list so I inquired about it because it was supposed to be listed separately. Well it took 3 days just to be get a reply and another 9 days to get a hold of a supervisor just to be told it was listed under my primary Dragon Age game under the DLC until release. I couldn’t believe it took almost two weeks to get that information, thus Valve had better step up the amount agent they employ and give them MUCH more training or this could be a PR disaster for them.

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