As part of the Steamworks onboarding process, you will be required to complete the following steps. This is so Valve can pay you correctly and accurately, and verify your identity. You will also need to electronically sign the Non Disclosure Agreement and the Steam Distribution Agreement.
What to Expect
There are a couple of steps along the path to getting your game up and ready for distribution via Steam. Here is a general overview.
- Sign the digital paperwork. You’ll need the information as detailed below.
- Pay the app deposit fee with any supported Steam payment method as detailed below.
- Complete the paperwork with your bank and tax information as well as identity verification so that we know who we’ll be doing business with.
- Now you have access to Steamworks and can begin preparing your title for release. You’ll need to build your store page, upload your builds, configure any Steamworks features, and enter your desired pricing. We’ve worked hard to streamline our tools and document all the features and functionality available to you. Check out the Steamworks documentation for more details.
- Before your store page or game build can go live, there is a brief review process where we run your game, look at your store page, and check that it is configured correctly and running as expected and not doing anything harmful. This takes between 1-5 days.
- There are a couple of additional timing requirements before you can release your first few titles on Steam:
- A 30-day waiting period between when you paid the app fee and when you can release your game. This gives us time to review your information and confirm that we know who we're doing business with.
- You’ll need to prepare your store page and put up a publicly-visible ‘coming soon’ page for at least two weeks. This will help you start building your audience of interested customers that can wishlist your game or participate in discussions. This also gives you the opportunity to practice how you talk about your product so that you can have the best presentation when you hit the ‘release’ button.
- Now you’re all set to release. The release controls are now in your hands and you can update whenever you want.
Information you should have handy
- Company Identification
We'll need accurate, legal identification of the entity signing so we know who you are and who you represent.
- Payment information
We'll need accurate bank information, such as routing number, bank account number, and bank address so we know where to send payments from sales of your application.
Note: The account holder name on your bank account must match the name you provide when onboarding. If you don't yet have a bank account established for your business, you will need to open one before you can proceed. It's OK to onboard as an individual, but your bank account will need to be under the same name you provided for Legal Company Name.
- Tax information
You’ll be directed through a brief tax questionnaire to determine your tax status and withholding rate. The information you need in order to complete the questionnaire will depend on whether you are signing up as an individual or as a company, and where you or your company is located. US citizens and corporations will need information similar to that found on form W-9. Citizens and corporations in a country with US tax treaty status will need information similar to that found on form W-8BEN. All required information is necessary to get you set up in Steamworks.
Note: Once you submit your tax information, it is verified with a third party service. This process may take 2-7 business days, and you may be asked to provide additional documentation. Please keep an eye out for emails requesting additional documents. You cannot make changes to your tax information until this process has been completed.
- Product Submission Fee
In order to get fully set up, you will need to pay a $100 USD (or equivalent) fee for each product you wish to distribute on Steam. You can pay this fee with any payment method supported by Steam in your region.
For more information, please see Steam App Fee.
When entering your company information, you must follow these guidelines:
- Enter your legal first and last name. Do not enter an alias or nickname.
- The Company Legal Name must be the legal entity that owns or has right to publish the product on Steam, and is the legal entity that will be signing the Steam Distribution Agreement.
- The company name you enter must match the name as written on official documents with your bank and on United States IRS tax documents or foreign tax documents, if applicable.
- You should not enter a Doing Business As ("DBA") or "friendly name" or alias/nickname for your company name.
You will need to provide both the legal company name and company form to onboard to Steamworks. An example of a Company Form is "A Quebec limited liability partnership" or "A Washington State corporation" or "A Sole Proprietorship". If you own the content as an individual, indicate "Sole Proprietorship" and enter your legal first and last name as the Company Name. Do not enter a "Doing Business As" (d/b/a) or "friendly name."
Note: We are unable to work with partnerships that exist outside the US, if that partnership is taxed at the individual partner(s) versus the partnership level.
If you have a partnership registered in the United States or if your partnership exists outside the US and the partnership is taxed at the partnership level, then we can support your partnership. However, due to the complexity of obtaining proper tax documentation we cannot enter into a Steam Distribution Agreement with partnerships that exist outside the US, if that partnership is taxed at the individual partner(s) versus the partnership level.
Rules and Guidelines
We have a few guidelines about the content that can be distributed via Steam. Please keep these guidelines in mind when choosing whether to proceed with distribution.
In addition to the items below, content you publish on Steam should of course comply with the Steam Distribution Agreement, the Steam Subscriber Agreement
, Steam Online Conduct guidelines
What you shouldn’t publish on Steam:
- Hate speech, i.e. speech that promotes hatred, violence or discrimination against groups of people based on ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation
- Adult content which includes a visual depiction that requires age verification of an actual human being; see, for example, [18 U.S. Code § 2257]. Link currently found here.
- Adult content that isn’t appropriately labeled and age-gated
- Libelous or defamatory statements
- Content you don’t own or have adequate rights to
- Content that violates the laws of any jurisdiction in which it will be available
- Content that is patently offensive or intended to shock or disgust viewers
- Content that exploits children in any way
- Applications that modify customer’s computers in unexpected or harmful ways, such as malware or viruses
- Applications that fraudulently attempts to gather sensitive information, such as Steam credentials or financial data (e.g. credit card information)
- Video content not directly related to a product that has shipped on Steam.
- Non-interactive 360 VR Videos
We don't have the tools and processes to handle a lot of non-game software very well, so for now we are focusing on games for Steam Direct. If you have non-game software that you wish to bring to Steam, please see Distributing Non-Game Software
After you have completed onboarding, check out the rest of the documentation for information on managing your partner account, exploring the SDK, and setting up your first product on Steam.