Orange Box soundtrack for sale soon
Steam is to begin selling music “in the coming weeks”, starting with the OST from Valve’s Orange Box.
So far the success of “Still Alive” can be measured only in indirect ways like word of mouth or the 149 comments on Coulton’s blog post about the song. Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi told me that the song will be released early this week on Valve’s Steam download service as well as through the iTunes alternative TuneCore. It will also be included on “The Orange Box” soundtrack which Lombardi said will be sold on Steam “in the coming weeks.”
I don’t think it’s likely that Steam is going to become a full fledged music store any time soon, and the songs on offer are unlikely to ever extend beyond soundtracks. But even within a targeted remit like that, how much commercial demand can there be? If you own a game you already have access to all of its songs (even if they take a bit of getting at), and, with the possible exception of Still Alive, there isn’t much music from games that would interest anyone who’s never played the title it came from.
It could be that enabling purchases was so easy that Valve decided to go ahead and do it anyway — or it could be that they intend to charge people again to download music that they already own. After the non-arrival of the Black Box package on Steam, I’m not as inclined to dismiss the latter as I once was…