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Valve Talks About Lack of Communication

There's an interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talking with Valve employees Jan-Peter Ewert, Jeff Cain, and Louis Barinaga. Whatever the pretext of the conversation, RPS chose to focus on communication, which they suggest is often a one-way street, noting the company is often silent on questions about topics like the delayed Diretide event for Dota 2, company layoffs, and the long-overdue Half-Life 2: Episode 3. When asked specifically about the lack of information about whether there would be a Diretide this year, Ewert and Cain defend their silence, saying:

Jan-Peter Ewert: I don’t think there is a lot of improvement to be made there. The thing is, if you feel something is wrong and your customers tell you something should be fixed, the right response is to fix it – not to tell them, “Yeah, at some point in time we’ll fix it.” Because that’s expectation. And if you’re ultimately not able to fix it, then that only makes people even more angry.

So I think the right response around SteamOS or anything we do will be what we did with Diretide, which is to bring out the thing people want [if it works out behind-the-scenes], not just tell them we’ll fix it.

Jeff Cain, business development: Reactions start even if people don’t hear anything. We’re listening. Things happen.

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9. Re: Valve Talks About Lack of Communication Jan 10, 2014, 20:39 Cutter
 
Yes, but communication helps - so long as you actually deliver. It's one thing to talk out your ass and another to deliver on it. If you deliver or are in the process of doing so, it certainly helps to assuage a lot of confusion and angst by giving a simple 'Hey, here's what we're working on.' So long as people know that the devs know it goes a long way. No feedback at all is definitely the wrong way to go. Even if they just said, 'No we're not ever going to anymore HL.' it would be better than wondering for years.
 
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