Your game, at retail and online.
When you can ship updates to customers as often as you want, product support becomes a proactive force for customer satisfaction. When you have access to real-time sales data immediately after a game's release, marketing decisions move light-years ahead. Steamworks also addresses grey marketing, player authentication, and piracy, so you can focus on the business of simply making great games.

Steam Anti-Piracy

Steamworks' anti-piracy suite combines three approaches to anti-piracy: (1) Custom Executable Generation, (2) Retail Encryption, and (3) Valuable Platform-Dependent Features. These work together to provide a seamless end-user experience, protecting your game and giving real value to customers.

1. Custom Executable Generation

Custom Executable Generation creates a unique build of your game for each user, making it difficult for any one user to share the game with any other user. Each individual copy of a CEG-protected game is only playable by the Steam account authorized to access it. CEG is transparent, and does not impose limits on users. It lets users access their content from any hardware, and allows unlimited hardware configuration changes without the content becoming unplayable. In fact, no changes are made to a user's computer for CEG to work. Instead, CEG works in tandem with Steam authentication, enabling content access based on user accounts, not arbitrary hardware-based "rights-management" restrictions.

2. Retail Encryption

Protect your day-one release by shipping encrypted media to stores world-wide. No need to worry that your game will leak from a replicator or stock room - your game stays encrypted until the moment you decide to release it.

Encryption technology also allows you to preload your game to users on Steam. Download encrypted data weeks in advance so that players have access to your game the moment it's released, increasing player numbers and satisfaction during the critical first days.

3. Valuable Platform-Dependent Features

Customers won't want to pirate a game that's connected to 20 million gamers and a feature-rich platform. Features like Steam Achievements, Anti-Cheat, Auto-Updating, and Steam Cloud simply dont exist outside of Steam.

Furthermore, constantly updating your game with upgrades and content leaves the pirates in the dust they are relegated to a featureless game with no community of players.


Be confident that all of your customers are running the most current version of your game. Update and expand your game as you see fit. Your community stays current, and your support burden will be significantly reduced. With no certification process, you're in control. Update as much as you want, with as much as you want—there is no charge for bandwidth.

Real-time sales data

Log on to your personal sales and data tracking site and see your product’s statistics up-to-the-minute. Don’t wait for weeks to find out where and how your game is selling. Real-time, worldwide activation and use reports give you the detail you need to make informed decisions about marketing and retail conditions when they need to be made.

Territory control

Open up new markets. Games can be set to authenticate only in specific regions, allowing you to go day-and-date worldwide without the worry of grey marketing of products intended for specific territories.

Key-based authentication

An easy, known, and proven path for customers to authenticate their game, keys are the backbone for inventory control and sales data. Keys can be customized for region, content, language, and SKU.

Free Weekends and Guest Passes

Hold events like Free Weekends (or any length play period) to entice customers and promote your game. Then securely and efficiently turn the promotion off at the end of the period. Also available is guest pass technology that allows you to promote your game through your community. Let friends give free, limited-time passes to their friends. This is proven tech that has been used with our games and third parties.