Apart from selling games via its digital distribution service, Steam, Valve has a service known as the Steam Workshop. It's been around since 2011 and it allows people to create and distribute items for games on the Steam platform, and sell items made for Valve's games, namely Team Fortress 2, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2).
On Wednesday, the company announced that since the inception of the Steam Workshop, content creators have earned over $57 million from their creations. These include 1,500 creators across 75 countries. It also announced that creators will now be able to earn from their creations for non-Valve games that enable the feature. Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare are the first two to support this.
To further optimise the sale of user-created content, there are new analytics and measurement tools on the horizon as well so creators have greater clarity on which of their wares are more popular. These would let the view realtime sales data and detailed per-item revenue breakdowns and historical statements as well.
With most developers choosing not to support modifications to their PC games, all of this results in larger variety of content that extends the life of games that still do and in turn sustains the people making it.