According to Reddit user Two-Tone-, Valve's got its eye on Blender. Yesterday, the studio sent out an email to the Bf-commiters mailing list detailing its plans for the 3D modeling software. Initially, Valve's just looking to distribute the tool through Steam. Eventually, however, it hopes for bigger things - much bigger.
If there are any modders currently in the audience, I've some very good news for you.
"What we are currently looking at is offering," wrote Valve's Jan-Peter Ewert, "is a
completely vanilla version of Blender as a free download on Steam that is
completely the same as that offered on other websites. We'd hope that this will
get enough of our users exposed to and interested in Blender so they will be
inclined to work on Blender plugins that would talk to Steam's backend services
such as Workshop."
"This is something that we think would be a cool
feature for Blender to tap into. Like
modeling a sword in Blender, pushing a button and having it available to all
users of Skyrim. But we bet there are more creative ideas out there than this
Cool indeed. Basically, Valve is once more actively reaching out to both the modding community and the development community by providing players with a powerful tool that can be used in the creation of new content for the Workshop. That Valve affords so much legitimacy to modding as a hobby also speaks to its value both from a business perspective and as a potential byway into game development.
"Valve is a company that is built on modding," explained Ewert. "The
original Half-Life was built on a modified version of the Quake engine. All our
major games since then started out as mods which we found cool, hired the
people who built them and released them as major game titles. This is true for
Counter-Strike, the original Team Fortress, Day of Defeat and DOTA 2 (Portal
was not technically a mod but a student project - but you see the pattern)."
"Similarly," he continued, "one of the most successful features of
our Steam platform is the Steam Workshop, which is an interface for users to share, discover and install mods for their
games. Essentially, you can publish your mod there and other gamers can bring
your mod into their games with a single mouse click."
Visit Blender's official website here.