Valve Software has unveiled Steamworks, a free suite of tools ranging from copy protection to social networking tools designed to simplify the development and publishing process for new videogames.

The software suite is available for all PC games released via retail and digital distribution platforms such as Steam. The included programs are the same as those used in Valve’s hit releases Half-Life 2 and The Orange Box, and include real-time statistics on sales, gameplay and product activation, anti-piracy encryption systems, version control, automatic updating, matchmaking functionality, development tools, and much more.

“As more developers and publishers have embraced Steam as a leading digital distribution channel, we’ve heard a growing number of inquiries regarding the availability of the platform’s services and tools,”said Valve Director of Business Development Jason Holtman. “Offering Steamworks is part of our ongoing efforts to support the needs of game developers and our publishing partners.”

Gabe Newell, president of Valve, added, “Developers and publishers are spending more and more time and money cobbling together all the tools and backend systems needed to build and launch a successful title in today’s market. Steamworks puts all those tools and systems together in one free package, liberating publishers and developers to concentrate on the game instead of the plumbing.”

Steam is one of the world’s foremost digital distribution platforms, currently offering over 250 games to a membership of more than 13 million. More information about the Steamworks suite is available at

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