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Valve Releases Steam Audio as Open Source

Game developers should be happy to learn that Steam Audio SDK, including all of its plugins, are now covered under the Apache-2.0 license.

Steam Audio Logo

Steam Audio, a feature-rich audio solution for game developers, has been released as open-source. In an undated item evidently posted on Tuesday, Valve, which develops the game distribution platform Steam, announced on its website that the complete source-code of the Steam Audio SDK is now available under the Apache 2.0 license.

“With this release, our goal is to provide more control to developers, which will lead to better experiences for their users, and hopefully valuable contributions back to the wider community of developers using Steam Audio,” the company said.

As often happens in the open-source world, Valve’s move to open the platform wasn’t motivated by software idealism, but to scratch a very real itch for users of the software. Valve pointed out that much of the development on Steam Audio is done on-the-fly, to meet needs and solve problems that the company is facing in its own game development efforts. By open-sourcing the platform, game developers from outside Valve can make modifications to address their own needs.

“The choice of what features we work on is often driven by the needs of internal projects,” the company said. “For instance, during the development of Half-Life: Alyx, we spent a lot of time working on our hybrid reverb and pathing features, which we later released as part of Steam Audio 4.0.0. These priorities might not always align with partner priorities, so we want to remove roadblocks that prevent partners from implementing spatial audio features that require access to the core Steam Audio SDK.”

Valve went on to say that this open-sourcing includes the entire Steam Audio SDK and all of its plugins.

“This allows developers to use Steam Audio in commercial products, and to modify or redistribute it under their own licensing terms without having to include source code,” the company added.

Additionally, Valve has opened the doors for a little community building around the project by saying that developers who would like to fix bugs or add features to the platform are welcome to do so. Potential contributors can go the files and in the GitHub repository for more information.

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