Steam Workshop, Valve’s service that pays gamers for user-generated content in specified games, passed $57 million in payouts, the company announced in a post on Wednesday.
The service allows users to upload their own content for games such as DotA 2, Team Fortress, and the Counter-Strike series while receiving a portion of revenues from each sale. Much of the content is cosmetic, such as hats and character skins, but Workshop items have become an integral part of Valve titles.
With the growth in user-generated content, Valve also announced Curated Workshop content from third-party developers, starting with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and Dungeon Defenders: Eternity.
“This is really exciting news and means that more high quality content will be available for the game you love playing. Plus, purchases of this great new content directly enables those community members to continue practicing their craft and making more awesome content,” Valve wrote in a Steam post.
Some games, such as Skyrim, have allowed user-made content in the past but only free-of-cost. By allowing new paid-for Workshop titles, Steam will be growing an already-large user base of independent content creators.
The trend follows a digital movement in other fields. Amazon has allowed users to self-publish books for years, changing the landscape of publishing. Valve, with their Greenlight and Workshop program, seems to be aiming for the same scope with video games. Their programs will allow developers without major publishing deals to release content they may not abe able to release otherwise on the world’s largest digital game distribution platform.
The programs have not be without criticism, however, as Steam recently came under fire for the lackluster quality of several Greenlight and Early Access titles that had been allowed for sale.
In addition to more Workshop titles, Valve is also launching new revenue tools so users can better track their sales and data.