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Valve's Source SDK now available for free

By David Jenkins

Fri 01 Jul 2011 10:52am GMT / 6:52am EDT / 3:52am PDT
Developer Tools

Move was accidental following Team Fortress 2 admits developer

Half-Life and Steam creator Valve have announced that the company's Source Engine and modding tools will now be made available completely free of charge.

The software development kit (SDK) for the technology was previously only available after the purchase of a Valve game, but following the move to make Team Fortress 2 free-to-play the SDK has now also been made available at no charge.

Valve's Robin Walker has admitted that the free availability of the SDK was not originally planned and was an unintended side benefit of the change in Team Fortress 2's business model.

After a fan pointed out the loophole Walker revealed to website Rock, Paper, Shotgun that Valve decided not to limit the availability, but that the company had not planned in advanced for it.

"We are in the process of getting it all done," he said. "It’s a bit messy because we have multiple versions of the SDK, and there’s some dependencies we need to shake out. But yes, the gist of it is that we’re just going to go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available."

More information is available at the official website, although it still refers to the SDK as being only available with a purchase of a game.

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Frederic Eichinger Web Developer

33 27 0.8
This, combined with the release of Free2Play games on the Steam platform surely appears like an attempt to pull more developers onto the platform. This might very likely be connected to the Origin release, as well.
Let's see how this works out for Valve.

Posted:4 years ago


Daniel Vardy Studying HND IT, De Montfort University

90 1 0.0
I dont think Origin would ever compete with Steam, just because Steam is already the biggest and already has the most number of games available. Including the addition of F2P games recently, allows Valve to target more cheap deals at more people. Currently Steam is sitting at over 3 million players daily (sometimes 3.5 million) and no other online gaming service would ever be able to compete with that.

Posted:4 years ago


Alex Dawson Technical Art director, Firing Pin Games

13 0 0.0
Wasn't the sdk free since Alien Swarm?

Posted:4 years ago


Jeffrey Kesselman CTO, Nphos

112 0 0.0
So, the modding SDK is free. But you still have to license the engine to ship a game, right?

Seems to me this isn't much of a deal. Many game makers have made their modding tools free for quite awhile.

Posted:4 years ago


Frederic Eichinger Web Developer

33 27 0.8
@Jeffrey Kesselman, @Alex Dawson - Valve only released the Alien Swarm restricted modding SDK with Alien Swarm, now, from what I just saw on Steam, it does appear like the actual full Source SDK went free. I sure do assume, though, that Valve will charge a fee for using the license for shipped games.

Posted:4 years ago


Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,550 1,568 0.6
Still a damn great engine after all these years, so I guess it'll be great to see who comes up with what and when (and if they get it out faster than Valve does its games, ha ha)...

Posted:4 years ago

Could this possibly be an indication for a soon to be announced new engine?

Posted:4 years ago


Tobias Burandt

19 12 0.6
I think they get quite an advantage in the indiegame sector. If you look at comperable SDKs and distribution plattforms you will surly think first of the UDK. You can publish games on XBL or PSN. In case of XBL you have to pay another fee for a developer account.
If Valve succeeds you get an Engine, a distribution plattform and a developer kit free of charge. I think it will be glorious times for PC based indiegame designers.

Posted:4 years ago


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