Here’s a spot of good news for the three of us playing Elite: Dangerous: we’re all getting free Steam keys for the game. In April last month, Frontier Developments released their space-sim on Valve’s shopfront, Steam. The release was met with mixed reactions by many who had been playing Elite from the get-go, with a number of people upset by not being given the opportunity to select a Steam version from the start.
At the time of April’s Steam announcement, Frontier said that they were looking into the possibility of pre-existing Elite players to link their game to Steam. It turns out their solution (which they worked towards with Valve) is to just give everyone a Steam key. Moving forward, everyone who purchases the game from Frontier’s store (which the team is encouraging because they then get all the money and don’t have to split the purchase with Valve) will get a Steam key in addition to the standalone version.
Those who already purchased Elite: Dangerous via Frontier’s online store will soon be able to generate a Steam key via their Elite: Dangerous account page. This applies to all who backed the game via Kickstarter as well. Keys will be available from 28 May. Because you’ll have to generate a key via your Elite account page, it’s likely that the key will be tied to said account, which means those hoping to sell off their Steam key or hand it over to a friend will likely not be able to do so.
Source: Frontier Forums