So How Will Valve Make Money From Source 2? Steam Release is Mandatory
GDC 2015 was huge for content developers, three of the biggest engines in the market went free. One of those was the second generation Source Engine. A hefty upgrade from the original, Source 2 was announced as free for all.
When a creator says “free” we all know it’s not entirely free, there’s always a catch. For example, in the case of Unreal Real 4, developers will have to pay royalties on the content they release in the market. On the other hand Unity 5 in monetized by a subscription fee or one-time payment.
So when Valve announced Source 2 as “free,” everyone was waiting for them to reveal their detailed policy behind it. Interestingly, you’ll be surprised to know that Valve’s Source 2 is actually free, like really free. There are no hidden charges but there is a requirement though.
Games built in Source 2 must release on Steam. That doesn’t mean developers can’t release the product on other distribution channels, but a Steam release is a must. It’s a really smart move by Valve, they are charging the developers, without charging them at all.
Confused? Let me explain, Valve takes a cut from every game sold on Steam from developers. That means even though the engine is free, the requirement of the product being on Steam will secure a slice of the profit for Valve.
Which isn’t a bad thing as with it, developers get all the perks that come along including DRM, Early Access, Steam Workshop Support and much more.