Steam’s alarming virtual-consumerism-for-the-sake-of-it trading card program will be leaving beta this Wednesday, according to Valve’s John Cook. Specifically, it should be available for everyone to mess about with from 11am Pacific Time on 26 June. That’s around 7pm in the UK, assuming everything is on time.
There’s a full Steam Trading Cards FAQ over here, but the basic summary is you get virtual cards to trade by playing certain eligible games. That list of games has been growing pretty swiftly, and Valve says it will add even more on Wednesday. You can swap cards amongst fellow Steam users and even sell them to anybody disturbed enough to pay money for imaginary goods with no actual value. Cards can be used to ‘craft’ stuff like badges, wallpapers and emotes if you’re some sort of crazy person.
Mr. Cook mentions that features like ‘Trade Offers’ and the ‘Card Binder’ are still being worked on, but will now appear post-release.
He then signs off with a bit of a tease, saying “Making trading cards available to all Steam users is a step towards an event we think everyone can be excited about.” Using my amazing powers of deduction, I would imagine that’s a Summer Sale reference.