Mods get Steamworks
Five mods have been given special access to the Steamworks SDK and will be releasing future versions over Steam. The news was announced by the co-op HL2 mod Synergy, probably earlier than it was supposed to be:
I would also like to inform you that we will be releasing Synergy and future updates through Steam! Valve Software has allowed us to do so by giving us access to the Steamworks SDK.
We are honored to be one of the four (sic) first selected mods to be given this opportunity. We will certainly put this to good use!
For you players, this means that you will see Achievements and Stats coming to Synergy in later updates. (Not to mention the automatic updates, provided by Steam.)
This plugs the final gap in Steam’s handling and presentation of mods; now they are to all intents and purposes they are free games, including, apparently, support for sub-mods. Previously mod teams had been told they were too small for Valve to support, and before that that their work was one day going to be distributed over Steam’s Peer-to-Peer network.
Although Steamworks doesn’t by itself give a game a presence in the Steam store, the more popular mods are already listed and are unlikely to be removed just to comply with Valve’s rules for commercial games.
The names of the other four mods have been found referenced in Steam’s content registry (thanks AciD):
And Synergy, of course. There’s no known date for when Valve will start extending offers to other mods, and knowing Valve most likely isn’t one at all!