Custom Game Passes has been introduced by Valve as a system for supporting and rewarding custom game developers. Only a small, limited number of games will be available within the new system as part of quality control measure. The first game to be introduced will be the popular Roshpit Champions. It will be available for only $1 for 30 days.
— Dota 2 (@dota2updates) March 15, 2016
Valve has now introduced the Custom Game Pass – a new system to support and reward custom game developers.
A limited number of high quality games that have already established themselves within the community will be selected to be included in the new initiative. By purchasing a pass, players will be supporting the creators of the custom game and will provide additional features to the pass holder.
Custom games were introduced with the launch of Reborn last September.
All custom games are still free to download and play, the pass is an additional and optional cost.
Roshpit Champions will be the first Custom Game Pass available at a price of $1 for a 30-day duration. The Custom Game Pass will enable additional stash and character slots, and offer multiple perks for the duration of the pass.
Valve did not confirm an exact date for the debut of the Custom Game Pass, but expect it soon.
To address concerns of the “pay to win” structure and the failure of previous attempts with the game Skyrim, Valve had completed a preemptive interview with PCGamer.
We think it is important to support the developer in a way that encourages them to build large, vibrant, long-term communities around their games. As a result, we’ve set Custom Game Passes to have a 30-day duration. This activation period will allow customers to continually reassess their choice to support a game, and to support the creators of the games they most enjoy playing. We also now have a Steam-wide refund system that’ll help ensure custom game pass purchasers are happy with their pass.
Custom Game Passes Frequently Asked Questions
What are Custom Game Passes?
Custom Game Passes are in-game purchasable items that grant additional content or features to select custom games within Dota 2. Once purchased, a pass will remain active for 30 days.
Why did you add Custom Game Passes?
We wanted to create a method by which hard-working developers could be directly rewarded for their work while also encouraging the continued development of enduring custom games and vibrant communities.
How can I get more information on what a specific Custom Game Pass includes?
You will be able to see the full details of what an individual pass includes on the overview tab of the custom game offering the pass. For the Roshpit Champions Pass, it will enable extra Stash and Character save slots in addition to other perks, some of which apply to all players in the game.
Will games still be free to play?
Yes. All custom games will still be available for free, even if they offer Custom Game Passes.
Why does a Custom Game Pass last 30 days?
We want a system that encourages developers to work hard to continue to support their games, and for fans to be able to reward developers if they are happy with the work the developer is doing. For custom games to be successful in the long term, they will require ongoing updates from their creators, and a cheaper but limited activation period allows players to continually reassess their choice to support a game if they think it’s going in the right direction. It also allows players to have a clearer understanding of what content a pass offers at any given point in time.
Will a pass renew automatically?
No. Custom Game Passes are not subscriptions, and will not renew automatically.
Does one Custom Game Pass apply to multiple custom games?
No. The contents of each Custom Game Pass are specific to the custom game itself, and each eligible game will offer a separate pass. It helps to think of a custom game like a free-to-play title, very much like Dota 2 itself. The core game must be freely accessible, and fun enough that it earns the option to sell a Custom Game Pass. After that, developers will be able to provide in-game value for players who have purchased the pass. This could be cosmetic highlights, access to additional content, or gameplay additions that increase the fun for everyone playing in the same session.
Who receives the funds from my purchase?
The custom game creators will receive the same revenue share as other games sold on Steam.
Are there any limitations on overly-aggressive systems creators might implement?
Creators should focus on rewards that provide premium value to pass owners without harming the experience of users who have not chosen to purchase a pass. If we see custom game developers implementing reward structures that are not in line with those goals, we will work with them to improve the design of their system. If necessary, we will suspend a custom game’s ability to sell Custom Game Passes.
How will games be determined to be eligible for a Custom Game Pass? Can any custom game have a Custom Game Pass?
The process will be curated by the Dota team. We will be carefully selecting which custom games are able to offer a Custom Game Pass, selecting only games which have already established a sizeable community and are mature enough to offer good value to customers. Ultimately, players will help determine which games are right for a pass by choosing to play and engage with growing communities, and the Dota team will continue to work with the custom game community to identify good candidates.
What if I am unsatisfied with a Custom Game Pass?
Players have up to 48 hours after purchase to try out a Custom Game Pass and make sure it matches their expectations. Check out the Steam Refunds page for more information.