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Steam users have earned more than $50 million selling in-game hats and maps

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Since Valve launched its community content marketplace Steam Workshop in 2011, creators have earned more than $57 million. According to the company, that money was made by more than 1,500 creators spread out across 75 countries.

That makes for an average of about $38,000 per user, though of course we have no idea how that money is actually spread out — chances are that, much like on YouTube, there are a few creators who have made a lot, and a whole bunch who have earned very little. You probably shouldn't quit your job to make Team Fortress hats, but it's still a nice chunk of change.

"We expected that it would grow, but not that it would grow this much."

Steam Workshop is essentially a market where you can buy user-made items for games like Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2. These items can include things like maps or new character skins, which help extend the life of popular games. "When we launched the Workshop late in 2011, we expected that it would grow, but not that it would grow this much, this quickly," Valve says.

Unsurprisingly, the company is hoping to build on that success, and today is opening up the first curated workshops for non-Valve games, letting users earn money by selling items for both Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. "We expect more curated Workshops to become available for creators and players in various games over the coming weeks and months," says Valve.