It seems that Steam has rolled out a new feature called the ‘item store’ that sells cosmetic in-game items at a fixed price. It will exist alongside the Steam community market, and it allows players to directly purchase in-game items from the developer themselves.
The community marketplace is where players can buy and sell items that are found in-game. These in-game items are usually made by developers and released in-game as random drop items. Players can choose to either use these items or sell it on the community marketplace to fund for other items or even games.
On the other hand, the item store (currently, only for Rust) is set-up by developers or community contributers. The difference is that the same cosmetic items found in-game can now be sold directly to players at a fixed price. Whereas the community market’s pricing can fluctuate depending on the supply and demand.
For example, the Skeleton Hoodie on the Rust Item Store costs RM10.70 whereas it is available on the Steam Community Market starting at RM21.36. On the item’s listing page, both the store and community market prices will be shown.
It is interesting to see that developers can now establish their own item stores, selling their creations directly to players. That being said, it might affect the pricing in Steam’s community market but it does let players obtain an expensive item that would be cheaper to get from the ‘Item Store’ instead.