GameStop, the biggest specialist video game retailer in the United States, and video game developer Valve have announced that they have entered into a partnership designed to allow the Steam Wallet initiative to be funded directly from real-world stores.
Customers who usually use GameStop
will be able to purchase physical Steam Cards in the United States, which will offer them access to codes that can then be entered into Steam in order to add funds to the virtual account.
At the moment the cards come in two flavors, costing 20 and 50 dollars (15.57 and 38.9 Euro), and presumably more values will be added as long as customer ask for them.
The Valve and GameStop partnership is somewhat unusual given that the two companies are actually competitors in the digital distribution space, with Valve going up against the former Impulse service from Stardock, which GameStop picked up during 2011.
The GameStop service started offering Valve video games earlier during 2012 and the fact that physical cards can be purchased from brick and mortar stores probably means that the retail company understands that Steam is the market leader and plans to take advantage of its position.
GameStop has announced that it plans to shift its strategy in the coming years in order to account for the digital shift of the entire industry.
This means that it plans to offer more PC download codes in its stores, offering access to more than 1,500 PC titles, both recent releases and classics.
Valve has also been aiming to expand its customer base recently and there are rumors that the company is also planning to create its own hardware that will be able to run Steam titles
Valve does not offer actual results for Steam sales, but the company has indicated that it still sees increases when it comes to both new users and the value of games sold.