Valve has taken the wraps off
their new Steamworks developer technologies. These tools allow developers to add voice chat, community features, matchmaking, and a bunch of other cool features to their games for the low price of zero dollars. That's right they are giving away these tools for free as a way to get developers to sell their games through their online service. While this isn't necessarily a big deal for gamers this is a hell of a deal for developers as Valve is giving them a big set of tools for free. This just isn't some toss away crap either as this is the stuff that Valve uses in Half-Life 2
It will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to this as Steam is a big competitor of Windows Live and it has the added benefit of handling digital distribution, something that Microsoft has yet to get working on the PC side of the house.