Valve has finally made headway on the microtransaction and DLC frontend that they added nearly a year ago, with five free-to-play franchises being offered on Steam. Spiral Knights, Forsaken Worlds, Champions Online, Global Agenda, and Alliance of Valliant Arms are all now available on the Steam platform for free. Microtransactions are handled via Steam’s DLC service, eliminating the need to give your credit card out to the developers themselves. This allows existing Steam users to feel comfortable paying for such content without having to worry about how that particular company handles its security.
Of all these, Spiral Knights is the most familiar to me, due to having read the webcomic of its current lead artist Ian McConville. It’s an interesting game, and while personally I do not generally enjoy free to play games, I played a good amount of Spiral Knights during the beta and enjoyed it. Global Agenda is also notable since it was originally a retail product that changed over to a free to play structure recently.
Steam has proved they are good at the microtransaction game with Team Fortress 2, but how will their systems fare as a third party platform for other companies to use?