Valve's latest addictive addition to its ubiquitous online distribution platform officially arrives on June 26.
Hope you liked the hats, as Valve Software is continuing its push to keep players wildly addicted to gaming via Steam with the official launch of a virtual trading card game come June 26. Those of you enjoying the gimmick's beta incarnation are likely familiar with the intuitive gameplay system, but here's how it shakes out for everyone in the dark.
As you'd expect, all of Steam's cards are intangible representations of gaming elements. Characters from Valve titles, images of hats, and so on. Players earn cards by playing Steam games with support for the "card game" enabled. Once a player earns more than half the cards in a given set, the system will stop automatically doling out cards. This is where Valve's profit comes in. The details aren't currently clear, but it seems exceedingly likely that further cards will be available to players willing to pay real cash money for the joy of owning a series of 1s and 0s cobbled together to resemble a tiny piece of cardboard. We have to think that these cards will also be available for completing certain in-game tasks, but again that remains to be seen.
Oh, and as with any relatively modern card game, Valve's effort includes special rare and "foil" cards. If any are going to command a high price it would be these cards, so expect their prices to quickly rise to unreasonable levels.
If this sounds similar to the hats Valve introduced to Team Fortress 2, it should: The systems are quite alike, though the cards can function as their own sort of game, while the hats are merely a cosmetic upgrade for Team Fortress 2. Despite this, the hats have become wildly in demand, so it seems likely that the card game will prove even more enticing to players.
Finally, come June 26, not only will the cards exit beta, but Valve will also introduce card support for "several games," all of which are currently unnamed. Expect more details at the end of the month. More details on the card game can be found at Valve's official page).