People like to make fun of Valve for the painfully slow development time of features and games, but it's undeniable that they've been making gradual improvements to Steam over the years. One more such improvement has been released with the ability to purchase Steam soundtracks without actually owning the base game — and a sale is coming to celebrate this feature.
Previously, most developers didn't really have a dedicated way to sell a Steam soundtrack. The vast majority of them made the sensible decision: consider it as a piece of DLC for the game.
Unfortunately, this had an unintended side effect because you can't buy DLC for a game you don't own. If people wanted to buy a soundtrack — and just the soundtrack — they couldn't. Even worse, you couldn't install a soundtrack without also installing the game.
Now, that's changed according to an announcement from Steamworks Development. Moving forward, a new "soundtrack" app type is now available on Steam. It boasts the following features:
- customers can now purchase soundtracks without purchasing the base game.
- customers can now download soundtracks without downloading the base game.
- customers can browse and manage their owned and downloaded soundtracks directly from the new Steam library.
- customers can configure a Steam "music" directory where all soundtrack content will be placed, rather than having to locate it in subdirectories of game content.
- developers can upload and manage soundtrack content entirely through the partner site, without using steamcmd.
- developers can sell soundtracks where the base game itself is not available for sale on Steam.
There is one mild downside, though. Developers will have to convert their old "DLC" style soundtracks to this new format. Valve had the sense to create a tool which will automatically do the conversation for developers with minimal work. We should be seeing developers making the change over in the coming days, weeks, and months.
Steam Soundrack Sale Coming This January
With the creation of this new type of app, a lot of developers will probably be converting their soundtracks to this new format. Valve is never one to pass up an opportunity, and so they'll be hosting the Steam Soundtrack Sale on January 20, 2020, alongside a wider release of this feature for developers.
We can't say for sure which soundtracks will be featured as part of this sale, but it's sure to be a great opportunity to pick up some jammin' tunes. Keep your eyes open for the sale in a little over a week.
What do you think of the changes to Steam soundtracks? What other improvements could Valve make to Steam? Let us know in the comments below!