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Steam introduces first developer-run Item Store

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A developer-managed storefront featuring in-game items has debuted on Steam. Rust is the first game to receive its own Item Store, in which players can purchase downloadable content at prices decided by the game's studio.

The store functions similarly to Steam's community markets, in which players can trade, buy and sell items with each other at prices they set themselves. The key difference is that, unlike with community markets, the developer keeps the total profit from sales. Additionally, items in developer Facepunch Studios' store are currently priced lower than the ones sold by the player marketplace.

More details come from a Reddit thread on the new Item Store regarding the ability to integrate with Steam Workshop in order to sell user-made items, as well. This functions similarly to Team Fortress 2, the thread's original poster notes.

Garry Newman of Facepunch Studios updated his blog today to discuss microtransactions in the game, just in time for the store to be unveiled. Defending Valve's particular way of incorporating downloadable contents into games on Steam, Newman writes that selling items to the player community is "a total no-brainer."

"In fact," he adds, "I would go as far as to say that by not being involved in the marketplace we're screwing our community."

Launched via Steam's Early Access program, Rust is currently still in its alpha state. Players have been able to buy and sell cosmetic items for the survival game since last year. The items sold in the official Store are currently along these lines, with clothes the primary items offered.