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 we’re 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, I’m not sure I’m answering your question directly. It’s sort of like this kind of messy issue, and it doesn’t 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 you’re not doing that it doesn’t really matter what you think about various supreme court decisions or EU decisions. If you’re not making your customers happy you’re 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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Re: Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games
Feb 21, 2012, 12:14
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Re: Gabe Newell on Valve Hardware and Owning Steam Games Feb 21, 2012, 12:14
Feb 21, 2012, 12:14
 
avianflu wrote on Feb 21, 2012, 07:40:
Whenever Steam is sold off for $$ (and it will) there's all kinds of unpleasant possibilities. A $20 a year maintenance charge to access your games. $20 per install of network client on different computers. $20 to create a Steam account for the first time. etc. And believe me, the suits sitting around the table at Steam are already thinking about the above.

Look what netflix tried to do when it split the service, reduced the services, and raised the prices (though happily it failed at all of that). ** We already know this is what digital business can do legally to bring in more revenue on existing user accounts.** Steam is no different. There's nothing legal to stop Steam from changing the rules of access tomorrow morning and then again 6 months from now. Geez look how often phone billing rules change and nothing ever happens to them via any legal entity!

So yea, a "game on an install disk" seems extra extra quaint in the digital age but the bottomline is that owning a game disk was far better for the consumer versus the unknown of buying games off of a network client.


There's kind of a difference between Netflix and Steam though, and that's that Netflix started coming up with all their weird shit when their growth stagnated and their costs spiraled out of control. Steam is still growing double digits every year.

If and when that eventually ends, they might come up with weird shit too, but on the flipside, Steam isn't a publicly traded company and they have no fucking useless assholes shareholders to please. So it's not really a given that Steam is going to turn against its own client base in an effort to wring a few extra pennies out of them.

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