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Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games

An interview on The PA Report talks with Valve's Gabe Newell, discussing some general topics with Valve's Managing Director, whose beard is growing in nicely (though not to the magnificent degree mine has at this point). The discussion covers things like his work schedule, his fascination with wearable computers, the possibility Valve might someday sell hardware, pricing games on Steamand more (thanks nin). He also offers responses to questions about to what degree customers won games purchased on Steam:

But even from kind of a more general point of view, you have services like Steam or Origin where these many purchases and micro-transactions and all these transactions weíre making through multiple companies are kind of tied to this overreaching account. Do you have lawyers who kind of look at the legal implication of where exactly you fit into that relationship?

Yeah, we have lawyers who look at stuff all the time, Iím not sure Iím answering your question directly. Itís sort of like this kind of messy issue, and it doesnít really matter a whole lot what the legal issues are, the real thing is that you have to make your customers happy at the end of the day and if youíre not doing that it doesnít really matter what you think about various supreme court decisions or EU decisions. If youíre not making your customers happy youíre doing something stupid and we certainly always want to make our customers happy. And I think we have a track record of having done that.

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43. Re: Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games Feb 20, 2012, 15:47 Dev
 
PHJF wrote on Feb 20, 2012, 15:18:
I can only assume Steam's recent venture into trading items/gifts is a step toward allowing some level of games trading. Perhaps purchased games can come with "trade activations", so that once a game is traded a certain number of times it is finally locked to a single Steam account.
No, its only allowing trade of a game before its locked to an account forever. And you can't play it without locking it. Once you play the game its activated and locked to your account. What you are trading is the games in a gift form. They are just making it easier to get an unused game to someone who wants it. And this way, if a gift is refused (I had this happen recently), it comes back to you as an inventory gift so you can give it on to someone else.

What would be cool is if you could pay a small fee and unlock a game from your account and trade it on to someone else. But valve would have to renegotiate all sorts of contracts if there was a way to transfer already activated games, and that doesn't even count the DRM hassles if something is layered on top of steam.
 
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