Gretchen Creekbaum: In our November 2021 newsletter, we’re pleased to
What is a Commercial License and how does it work?
The Steam PC Café Program allows licensees to offer Steam, SteamVR and select titles in their establishment(s). The program leverages a host of Steam tools that makes it easy for licensees to administer and manage the service. After successfully signing up, you will have access to hundreds of commercial game licenses through Steam; you will see what patrons are playing in your facility and use our content cache features to distribute game files across your LAN.
The program is suitable for any location that provides access to the Internet which includes but is not limited to Cybercafés, PC Bangs, retail shops, coffee shops, schools, libraries, hospitals, theaters, airplanes, cruise ships, buses, trains, subways, etc. They must also be registered as a non-profit, public institution, sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporation, or other organized group with a registration number.
- A license to offer Steam access to the public in your registered locations.
- Access to purchase commercial licenses for content offered on Steam from participating developers/publishers.
- Commercial license discounts and bulk purchase option.
- Access to Steam PC Café Server software for every registered location. Inlcudes toolsets for user identification and license management.
- Usage reporting so your organization can better manage the number of commercial licenses it needs to meet the needs of its location(s).
- Content Cache in LAN for your PCs and visitors with personal laptops
- Dynamic site license management based on concurrent usage. Licenses can be used on any PC that is permanently or temporarily connected to the licensee’s network.
- Allows visitors of the location to connect their laptops to the network and its licensed content.
If your organization operates from multiple locations you can identify each location during the registration process and share all of your Steam content across those sites. Steam handles the management of that content for you. All you do is run a local Steam PC Café Server at each location.
When a customer visits your café they will go to the PC you assign them and login using their own personal Steam account. If they do not have a Steam account they will be able to create a Steam account while launching Steam. Once the customer is logged in they will see both the games they own and the games you are making available on their library screen. When they choose to play one of the games you are offering the Site License Server will notify the Steam backend service that a user is requesting a game license. When the user exits the game, the license will be returned to the site’s license pool for that game. Customers will be able to use site licenses for any given game until the number of licenses you own for that game are concurrently in use.
For example: Your café has 50 PCs available and you have 35 licenses of Left 4 Dead 2 in your license pool. Up to 35 customers will be able to play Left 4 Dead 2 concurrently on the PCs in your café. If a 36th customer comes into the café and wants to play Left 4 Dead 2 they will be presented with a message that there are no licenses available. If any of the 36 customers own a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 on their personal Steam account they will be able to play and that user will not pull a license from the location’s pool.
Commercial accounts will have access on Steam to purchase commercial copies of any game where the publisher is offering a commercial copy. During the purchase process you will be able to enter the quantity of the commercial game you wish to purchase and any applicable volume discounts will be applied at the time of purchase. See our bulk discount rates.
Steam PC Cafe Requirements & Sign Up Instructions
As part of the Steamworks onboarding process, you will be required to complete the following steps:
- Provide information about your organization.
- Electronically sign the Non Disclosure Agreement and the Steam Site License Program Agreement. The NDA is required to access the Steamworks partner portal.
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 will be signing the Steam Site License Program 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 organization 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: While we can work with non-US corporations and non-US sole proprietorships, we are unable to work with partnerships that exist outside the US, if such a partnership is taxed at the individual partner(s) versus the partnership level.
In order to sign up for the Site License Program, you will need to have either a new Steam account or an account that has not purchased or activated any Steam products. This is the account that you will use for signing digital paperwork and for configuring and managing your site(s). This will be referred to as your Master Account.
To create a new Steam account, please visit the Steam website.
- To get started with the digital paperwork, please visit Steamworks partner website and sign in with the empty Steam account (Master Account) that you intend to use for signing the paperwork. If you have not created a Steam Master Account, visit the Sign Up page to do so.
- Select the Steam Site License Program Sign Up button to start the sign-up process.
- Follow the instructions and provide your company information, agree to the Valve Non Disclosure Agreement, and agree to the Steam Site License Program.
Setup instructions for a Steam PC Cafe Server
- Visit the Steamworks website and login with your Steam master account credentials. That’s the account you signed up with and registered as a licensee of the PC Café Program.
- Download the Steam PC Café Server file by clicking the link located under the “Tools + Links” section on the right. Unzip the server files to your hard drive.
- Create a new Steam account here that will be used at the individual location as a server account. If you have multiple physical locations, you will need one Steam Server account per location.
- Once the account has been created, go back to the Steamworks website (make sure you’re logged in with your Steam master account), navigate to the “Users & Permissions” menu option and select “Manage Users”. On this page click the “Add User” button and fill in the required information about the Steam server account you’ve just created. Don’t give it any special permissions.
- Go to the “Manage Sites” page and add a new Café location. The name you select here will also be displayed in the Steam client library of your patrons. Once the new location has been added, move the mouse cursor over the new location entry. You should see a key symbol appear under the “Server Account” section. Click on the key and select the Steam server account you just added. Repeat this step if you have multiple locations.
- Important: Ensure that the “Country” you select for your site location matches the actual country that your site server will operate in. We may reject Café Server logins from IP addresses that don’t map to a matching country or region.
Once you have completed the above setup, it’s time to run the server in your local network.
- Navigate to the folder that the server files have been extracted to and double click steamcmd.exe, enter the Steam account credentials of your Steam Server account for the location. You can double check what account has been assigned to the location here by logging in with your master account.
- The first time you’re launching the server on a new machine, you will need to enter the Steam Guard code that will be sent to the email address associated with the Steam Server account.
The content cache allows you to download game files once and then distribute them through your local network to the individual game stations. Patrons that bring their own computer or laptop can also access the game files instead of using your location’s Internet bandwidth. Please note that the game files will be saved on your server machine and you may need to increase your hard drive space depending on the amount of games that you will offer.
- To enable the content cache or make any changes, go to “Settings” and select “Content Cache” from the drop down menu.
- When a game is launched for the first time in your network, the download request will be sent to the server machine. If the game files are not cached on the server yet, the server will download them automatically, cache them, and return them to the client machine. If the game content cache is already available on your server, the server will automatically send the files to the client machine.
- Are there any special requirements for the type of hardware I use for the Steam PC Café Server?
To run a Steam PC Café Server, you just need a secure Windows 7 or Windows 10 PC connected to the location’s network. You will also be able to run it on Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016. If you are also using the PC Café Server as a content server cache we recommend that it has enough storage to support 1TB of content data.
- Do the client machines have to be on the same network as the Steam PC Café Server?
Yes, the feature will only be properly functioning if server and stations are on the same subnet. Packets are not forwarded to other subnets and only client machines that are in the same network will have access to the license pool and content cache feature.
- Provider authentication FAILED: This account is not associated with any sites
This error usually indicates that the account used to run the PC Café Server has not been added to the site location on the Steamworks partner page yet. Please navigate to Steamworks and make sure you log in with your master account. You can double check the account credentials under the “Sites” option at the top or by clicking here. If no server account has been assigned yet, a server account must be added to the license agreement first, by clicking the “Manage Users” option on the Steamworks page. Once added, you will be able to assign it to a site location. A server account is basically a Steam account that does not own anything.
- What ports are being used by the Steam PC Café Server?
The Steam PC Café Server uses UDP broadcast packets over port 27036 to announce itself to Steam clients on the network. The client machine must be able to receive those packets to know about the PC Café Server. Then, the Steam client will connect to the server using a TCP connection on port 27037. The server machine must allow TCP connections on that port. For a full list of other required ports and protocols for Steam see here.
- Can I turn off the auto logout feature in my network?
The Steam PC Café Server will make sure that inactive Steam accounts will be logged off automatically after a certain time has passed. We strongly recommend that you do not turn off this feature, as it is very valuable for customers that have left the PC without logging out of their Steam account. If you do choose to deactivate this feature, we recommend that you let your customers know. To deactivate the feature, you will need to navigate to the server file location and open steamconsole.cfg with a text editor. Adding the following command line will deactivate the auto log off within your network, when the server is active: @bSiteLicenseAllowCachedClientCredentials 1
Setup instructions for VR Arcade model
- First, please go ahead and create one Steam account per VR station that will be used at the location. Create the new Steam accounts here. Make sure to write down account name and email address used; you will need this later to register the accounts with your commercially licensed account.
- Once the accounts have been created, you will need to go back to the Steamworks website (make sure you’re logged in with your master account) and go to the “Users & Permissions” menu option and select “Manage Users“. On this page go ahead and click the “Add User” button and add the station’s account. Don’t give it any special permissions.
Adding the station’s account to your licensed master account is required in order to view and purchase commercial licenses with the individual station’s Steam account.
Only games specifically mentioned for commercial use on Steam can be offered to your customers and patrons. Commercial game licenses can be found by visiting a game’s individual Steam store page. The commercial license and details about it will be displayed right under the regular end user purchase option on the game’s store page. You can browse through our license catalog on the Steam PC Cafe content page.
With the VR arcade model you will need to purchase game licenses with the station’s individual Steam account directly – once purchased, they cannot be transferred or used by another station. You will need one game license per account.
Discounts from 10% to 50% are offered on our commercial products via the Steam PC Cafe program. See our Bulk Discount Rates below.
Commercial licenses are non-perpetual, and will last a total of 1 year before they must be renewed. You can renew your license at any time after the commercial license expires.
Yes, the Steam PC Café Server and the clients need to be able to communicate with Steam for it to manage the licenses and allow users to play. We will not support “offline” mode within the program.
Commercial Product Prices
Ensure you sign up for the Steam PC Cafe Program prior to purchasing a commercial license.
If you have not completed the steps prior and signed into your master account you will NOT see a commercial license when you go to purchase.
- Hadrian's Villa Reborn: Stadium Garden
$9.99 per copy. Save 10% to 50% with commercial license.
- Hadrian's Villa Reborn: South Theater
$5.99 per copy. Save 10% to 50% with commercial license.
- Rome Reborn: Basilica of Maxentius
$1.99 per copy. Save 10% to 50% with commercial license.
- Rome Reborn: Colosseum District
$19.99 per copy. Save 10% to 50% with commercial license.