Whether you are harnessing your inner Chell from the Portal series, or wanting to recreate your favourite character from Dota 2, Valve is now paving the way for artists and fans to create merchedise based off of their beloved games without the threat of a legal reprimand. This newfound freedom comes from a new deal with Shapeways, a 3D printing company, that allows Valve fans to create real life products based off of their in-game counterparts. Because of this partnership, people can create and sell their own designs inspired by the Valve-verse directly through the Shapeways site without fear of that daunting legal desist.
The recently announced partnership aims to not only create replicas, jewellery, and toys off of popular Valve franchises; but also with hardware accessories and mods, as well.
"We’re incredibly excited to announce that, thanks to a first-of-its kind program, Valve and Shapeways are partnering up to empower our communities of creators to make and sell 3D printed, gamer-created merchandise and accessories based on Valve’s games and hardware.
Starting today, you can take advantage of a new Valve licensing agreement on Shapeways. This will not only allow you to create merch around any of Valve’s games and game assets, but also mods and accessories for hardware like the Steam Controller and Steam Link.
But the really revolutionary part of this partnership is how easy it is for you to licence your products. You just upload your model to your shop (as always, make sure to use tags and accurate descriptions to make sure shoppers can find you), and you will automatically be prompted to opt in. You’ll have the option to opt out of the license if you get the prompt in error.
Once you opt in, you’re good to go. No other approvals needed. No takedowns, no missed revenue. We’ll automatically deduct a 10% royalty from sales of merchandise connected to the game franchises and send them to Valve. No royalties are deducted on accessories developed for Steam hardware. And that’s it!"
This is huge for fans that have their hands on a nifty 3D printer, or for those in the market to add to their collection. We sure wouldn't mind a 3D printed companion cube from the Portal franchise! As explained in the announcement, Valve would receive a small sliver of the profit in exchange for licensing freedom. Makes sense, and it's a small price to pay for unique merchandise!
To check out all of the gamer-related goodness, feel free to peruse their wares right here on their official site.