Beta in progress, users can sign up for future invitation
Digital game marketplace Steam has added a new feature -- in-game Steam Trading Cards. Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards earned by playing games on Steam. Sets of cards can be turned into game badges and tradable Steam community items, including discounts on titles or downloadable content, profile graphics, and custom game-related emoticons.
Some 25 percent of in-development games available for Mac
Game developer Valve has launched a new "Early Access" program that allows gamers on both Mac and PC platforms to purchase and play and handful of new games that are still in development. The idea behind the program is to give the developers feedback in pre-release, and in some cases add to or otherwise affect the game's final development. The pricing of each game includes a copy of the finished release on Steam, but only three of the current 12 Early Access games are compatible with the Mac.
Linux client, games major step towards Steam Box
Valve has launched its Steam game distribution platform on Linux, after a lengthy period of beta testing. Initially announced in July 2012, the internal project has now opened up the store on Ubuntu, with interested users being able to download the client through Canonical's Ubuntu Software Center at no charge.
Nearly 10 percent of the company may have been laid off
(Updated with a statement from Gabe Newell) Following a tweet Tuesday confirming the firing of human interface engineer Jeri Ellsworth, Valve is apparently in the midst of larger staff cuts. Valve has indirectly confirmed reports of the departures, with the purge of eight staffers from the staff list website that were present as recently as a week ago. The firings include Valve's director of business Jason Holtman, and a handful of development personnel and engineers.
Steam founder fears Apple-curated living room gaming environment
Steam founder and game developer Gabe Newell gave a speech at the University of Texas on Wednesday where the luminary claimed that Apple -- not Microsoft or Sony -- were the biggest threat to the company's upcoming "Steam Box" PC-based hardware. Newell believes that if Apple makes a move on the living room before the PC industry gets a foothold, then the Cupertino manufacturer can "shut out the open-source creativity" possible with the Steam platform.
Valve CEO explains hardware plans, user-generated Steam future
Gabe Newell has confirmed that Valve Software will release its "Steam Box" in the future, and it will run on Linux. The Valve CEO spoke about how, in working with multiple technology partners, creating Steam-powered hardware was like herding cats, that the company's own hardware offering would be based on a narrowly-focused set of values, and the potential user-generated future of Steam itself.
First software available intended for game production and design
Steam online store owner Valve Software has announced the availability of the first non-game software for purchase on the online venue. While the Steam game store is cross-platform and includes Macintosh OS X software, the current seven offerings are Windows only. During the first week of Steam Applications availability, all titles are ten percent off.
Claims solved problem of game controller-based typing
Valve Software will be making an assault on the living room later today, with the introduction of Big Picture Mode. According to Kotaku, the menu system, previously thought of as part of the rumored Steam Box console, will allow users to have access to Steam content through a PC connected to a TV, with an emphasis on game controller-based navigation as opposed to the keyboard and mouse.
Crowd-sourced scheme sets popular items onto online store
Valve Software has opened its crowd-sourced product release scheme. Steam Greenlight will allow game creators to list their titles on the service and allow users to vote for which they wish to see put onto the service in the future, effectively taking a significant amount of product vetting work off the Valve employees. Large game publishers will still be able to add their titles to the system though existing procedures.
First applications on sale through service September 5th
Valve is set to open its Steam store up for non-gaming content. The formal announcement confirms speculation that was fueled last month through the company's mobile apps, which would see Steam gain categories for various productivity and creativity genres. The first non-gaming titles are slated to begin digital distribution on September 5, in a move that evolves Steam into a general app store beyond its original gaming focus.
Left 4 Dead 2 reportedly stable, working towards full Linux support
Valve is bringing the Steam game distribution platform to Ubuntu. A company blog for the project tells of an 11-person team porting not only Steam, but also Source engine-powered game Left 4 Dead 2. According to the post, co-founder of Valve Gabe Newell has been interested in a Linux port of Steam and Source for some time, and last year formed the team devoted to the project.
Extra non-gaming categories added to app store
Game download service Steam may be moving into other markets, according to its Android app (Free, Google Play). Genres listed in the mobile app now show non-gaming listings, suggesting the Valve Software service may transition toward a general app store. The move itself would be a natural progression for the service, and would see it competing against Apple's Mac App Store.
Tiny Wings HD introduces split-screen multiplayer, AI racing
Tiny Wings is heading to the iPad. Spiritual successor to the iPhone game, Tiny Wings HD (App Store, $3) adds on-device multiplayer in a chapter called Hill Party, where a second player takes half of the display in a race to 10,000 points. Flight School is a single-player race against three other AI-controlled birds across 15 new levels.
Simultaneous release expected August 21
As promised by Valve in 2011, the follow-up to one of the most popular player-versus-player online games of all time, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is shipping for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam for Windows and OS X on August 21. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a combined effort from both Valve, and Hidden Path Entertainment. Demos are available for play at this week's Electronics Entertainment Expo.
Apple CEO visits Valve for possible software deal
Apple CEO Tim Cook was supposedly spotted at Valve Software's Bellevue headquarters on Friday. His purpose and who he talked to weren't mentioned by the AppleInsider contact. Most likely, he would be visiting company founder Gabe Newell.
Dev more than doubles original target
Double Fine Productions has surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal in just eight hours since the developer began accepting pledges to help create an adventure game and a documentary to chronicle the experience. The project has achieved over $1 million in investment pledges, more than doubling the original goal of $400,000.
Invites no longer equired
After a brief period of exclusivity, Valve has opened up the Steam Mobile beta to the general public. Previously just a select group of Steam users were allowed to try the beta, although invites handed out to testers gradually increased the userbase. Free Android and iPhone versions of the mobile client are available.
Steam Mobile live for iOS and Android
Valve has partly fulfilled one of the most common wishes of gamers Thursday by posting Steam Mobile. Versions for both iOS (App Store) and Android (Market) lets users both keep up with their Steam chats and groups while away. They can go so far as to buy games for the Mac or Windows that they can start downloading immediately when they get home.
NPD tracks smartphone and digital gaming at last
The NPD Group in a rare step began tracking some of the contributions of non-traditional gaming to the industry for the first time. It estimated that about $1.64 billion came from "other content," which includes mobile games as well as direct downloads and social network games, generated $1.64 billion in revenue. The growth made it larger than the traditional software side of the business, which dropped to $1.3 billion
Mac App Store version coming soon
The epic X Universe series expands with the simultaneous release on Steam and Mac version of X3: Albion Prelude, set in-between the old and new X Universe that puts players in the middle of a power struggle between corporations during a time of war. The new game features more than 30 new ships and stations, an improved UI that incorporates charts to help players see and factor in economic developments, and support for head tracking.
DRM-free version will wait till 2012
Frozenbyte will be releasing Trine 2, the long-awaited sequel to its fantasy physics side-scroller Trine first on Steam and in retail versions for Windows and Mac, followed by console versions later in December. The Steam and retail versions will debut on December 7th, with the North American PlayStation 3 network getting the game on December 20th, a day before the Xbox 360 Live Marketplace. A European release date for PlayStation is not yet confirmed.
Steam version offers cross-platform multiplayer
The sequel to the successful video game, Trine 2, is nearing release and the ongoing beta is now available for Mac players who have pre-purchased the game, allowing cross-platform multiplayer adventures to be available immediately. The game features side-scrolling adventuring and physics challenges in a dungeon-crawl motif with exceptional graphics, even available in 3D on some systems.
Valve says Steam payment, passwords may be at risk
Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell warned in a message to users that a forum hack found on November 6 had also touched on vital account information. After an investigation, the Portal 2 developer found that the unnamed intruders had gotten into a database that also had account names, e-mail, encrypted credit card numbers and passwords, and purchase records. While Valve had no reason to think the account information itself had been compromised, Newell advised gamers to watch their credit card activity "closely."
Scooby-Doo books released for iPad
Frozenbyte has announced that its upcoming game, Trine 2, can now be pre-ordered through Steam. Trine 2 is a side-scrolling platforming game that places players in the role of one of three heroes. Customers who pre-purchase the game will gain access to the Trine 2 Beta, which features the first two levels, as well as full multiplayer support. The company has also announced that it plans to release all versions, including Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Steam versions on Mac and Windows, simultaneously in December.
NPD gives Xbox 360 lead in May despite new low
New NPD data unveiled Monday night showed the video game business at a rare low with Microsoft getting the most benefits. Although it hesitated to give full numbers, it had the combined hardware and software sales in May at their lowest point since October 2006 based on a "light slate of new releases" led mostly by LA Noire and Brink. The Xbox 360 was the top system of the batch at 270,000 units and was up 28 percent, making up 34 percent of the revenue, while the Wii's continued fall was the primary drag on the industry.
We chat with id's Rafael Brown at E3 2011
Legendary first-person shooter developer id Software was at the Bethesda booth for E3 2011 as part of its tie in with ZeniMax, and we got a chance to talk to the company's Rafael Brown, who handles much of the company's mobile work. He discussed the company's current hesitation on Android and gave us brief hints about iPad 2 and iPhone 5 plans, the Sony PSVita, and even hints of a Mac port of Rage.
Hints appear in manual on Steam
The long-awaited first-person shooter Duke Nukem Forever could be coming to the App Store, reports suggest. The game is now available for pre-order on Steam, and there people can already access the title's digital manual. Unusually the document contains a legal section entitled "Apple App Store Additional License Terms."
Mac, Windows versions bundled together
Developer Valve Software has released Portal 2, a sequel to a game originally bundled with The Orange Box in 2007. Portal 2 differs not only in being a separate retail product, but also a full-length title rather than a small side-project. Windows, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are launching simultaneously. The Mac and Windows versions are bundled together, whether on Steam or at retail.
Valve gives us Portal 2 for Mac clue
Valve Software today began giving out cryptic teases for what's presumed to be the launch of Portal 2 for the Mac. MacNN was given a piece along with several others that all follow the same theme. Our copy read "troops be cores," which like the others is an anagram of "reboot process" and hints at the reborn GlaDOS AI that became the villain of the original game.
GameStop to use Spawn for tablet gaming, own model
GameStop during its Investor's Day event on Friday outlined major plans to get into remote gaming and the tablet field. Its purchase of Spawn Labs, which provided remote console streaming for developers, will let it offer an OnLive-like streaming service to play many games, including console titles, on a tablet, a notebook, or other devices with large screens. The Dallas Morning News was told that GameStop would still try to protect its retail business by limiting the streaming to buyers who register their games with the Power Up Rewards program and may take on an additional subscription fee.
Extent of possible integration unknown
Valve is investigating the possibility of expanding Steam to iOS and Android, a member of the official Steam forums claims to have learned. The person says he was told of the company's plans in speaking with co-founder Gabe Newell at Valve headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. Steam is currently only available for Windows and Mac, and even then with a much stronger emphasis on the former.
Windows 8 said having gaming focus
Microsoft's Windows 8 could have a much stronger focus on gaming, a slip alleged today. The developer is said making gaming not just important but a "key component for the whole OS." What that would entail wasn't given to the TechRadar source.
New game uses hexagonal tiles, city-states
Aspyr has launched Civilization V for the Mac, porting Firaxis' turn-based strategy game two months after the debut of the Windows version. The game is now available in boxed form, or as a download from Steam or GameAgent. Steam users who have already bought the Windows version of Civ 5 can get the Mac edition for free.
id dips toes into high-end iOS games
As promised by the company's co-founder, John Carmack, id Software has launched two iOS versions of Rage at the App Store. A narrower take on the upcoming PC and console Rage games, the iOS apps are rail shooters in which players compete in a violent gameshow called Mutant Bash TV. Players use pistols, shotguns and machineguns to kill mutants in three different environments.
Time-management game debuts later this month
Game maker Firemint aren't waiting for the Mac App Store to launch to get their popular airplane-landing management game Flight Control HD onto the Mac -- they're releasing a version via the Steam game engine later this month, the company says. Versions of the popular game are already available for iOS devices and other game platforms.
UK game retailers threaten to boycott Steam games
Driven by fears of its developing an unassailable monopoly, big games retailers in the UK have said they will boycott selling games that support the Steam digital games distribution platform. According to a Thursday MCV report, retailers' concerns are growing that selling games with Steam will bring gamers to buy games using the download service exclusively. It;s estimated the US studio Valve that runs Steam commands 80 percent of the PC download market.
Mac bundles also available for Halloween
Steam today quietly brought Left 4 Dead, the first of the "zombie apocalypse" series, to the Mac -- and put it on sale for $10, half off it's usual $20 price. The company also slashed prices on related bundles, such as Left 4 Dead combined with Left 4 Dead 2 for $15, and a four-license version of Left 4 Dead for $30.
Physics-based take on hero quest
Award-winning fantasy platformer game Trine is on its way to the Mac, debuting on Steam in November and making its way to other digital distributors later this year. The game, which is already available for the PlayStation 3 and PC platforms, is a physics-oriented action adventure set in a fairytale-like atmosphere amid exceptionally rich graphics.
Strategy game updates UI, adds features
Mac gamers who use the Steam gaming service can finally get a taste of the popular Supreme Commander series now that the recent sequel Supreme Commander 2 is available via Virtual Programming's Deliver2Mac download service. The game, first available for the PC and XBox in March, is a top-selling futuristic real-time strategy adventure featuring online multiplayers (up to 8), skirmish mode and spectacular environments that is set 25 years after the original.
Should improve speed of game production
Valve will provide some extra resources to Mac developers using the Steamworks community infrastructure, says Jason Holtman, the company's business development director. In exchange for the closer integration with Steam, developers should soon get "a portion" of Valve's graphics code to accelerate production. Specifically the code is meant to help with the Mac OS X graphics layer, considered the biggest obstacle to Mac game development. Windows is typically more concentrated on game support.
Wraps in enhancements from Windows update
Following up on an earlier claim, Valve has released the first Mac version of Counter-Strike: Source through Steam. Players take sides with a team of terrorists or counter-terrorists as the former try to plant a bomb and ensure it isn't defused. Until today, the popular multiplayer game has only been available for Windows users.
Will allow play between Macs, PCs
A Mac version of Counter-Strike: Source should be available through Steam next week, developer Valve says. The company has generally committed to releasing new Mac games once a week, but missed this week as a result of having to present at E3 in Los Angeles. There the company showed early gameplay footage of Portal 2, due to come to the PC, Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011.
Amazon may have advanced gaming on web or handheld
A new job posting for Amazon has hinted that the company is working on a secret gaming strategy. The position for a Senior Product Manager in Video Games asks for someone to work on a "stealth project" for a "completely new type of technology." While the post doesn't explain more, the recruit would have most of the control over the project.
Team Fortress 2 shares PC servers
According to Valve’s official Team Fortress 2 blog, the multiplayer warfare game may be coming to Steam for Mac tomorrow. While the company has yet to explicitly state the exact date, the latest post suggests the big announcement rhymes with “Speem Gortress amavailable on the Babac”. Back in March of this year, Valve announced that all of its Source engine games would be coming to the Mac platform. The announcement answered several questions regarding the Mac version of Team Fortress 2.
Win 7 overtakes XP, Mac gets significant share
The launch of Steam on the Mac has seen the Mac surge to 8.9 percent of the audience in less than a month, Valve's May hardware survey said. The platform was only available from May 12 but has already overtaken Windows Vista 64-bit in share. Most of the Mac share was using a 64-bit version of Snow Leopard.
Episode One and Episode Two also added
Valve on Wednesday added several new titles, including Half-Life 2, to the Steam gaming service on Mac or Windows platforms.. The company also added two earlier versions of the game, Half Life: Episode One and Episode Two.
Valve finally brings Half-Life for Macs to Steam
Valve gave Mac users a hint of Half-Life 2's release on Steam tomorrow with a teaser video (posted below). The spot parodies Apple's 1984 ad and uses Half-Life 2 characters in place of the original actors, such as Dr. Breen as Big Brother, Alyx as the runner and City 17 residents in place of proles. The short spot proclaims freedom from having game ownership "dictated by platform," an allusion to the option of re-downloading some games for free through Steam Play.
Macs have unusually large share of Steam sales
Valve as part of its first weekly update to the Mac Steam library revealed that Macs make up a disproportionately large number of game buyers. About 11 percent of downloads on the service now go to Macs, two thirds of which are portables. The developer also took a jab at Windows and noted that Portal was a fifth as likely to crash on Mac as it was on Windows platforms.
Torchlight, Portal, Sam & Max form early wedge
Wrapping up a beta period, Valve has officially released the first Mac version of Steam. The software functions as a way of buying, launching and updating games, as well as well as joining multiplayer matches and tracking groups and achievements. Titles bought through Steam can be installed on multiple computers and multiple platforms at no extra cost.
Steam for Mac very similar but with quirks
Mac users with gaming roots are no doubt eager to load Steam for Mac when it hopefully goes public on May 12th. It will mark the first time that many of the best games in recent years will be available for the Mac and could catch the platform up to Windows in grand fashion. MacNN and Electronista have had the opportunity to participate in the beta and can give a clue as to whether or not it will be worth the wait -- as well as a test to see if it's worth abandoning that Boot Camp partition.