Gabe Newell: Modders absolutely need to be compensated

Remember the last time when Valve tried to introduce paid mods on Steam? It didn't go well and it did not survive contact with the PC gaming community. When the proposal was announced in April 2015 with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as a pilot game it mostly got negative feedback. Shortly after that Valve removed the feature altogether. To some gamers the notion of paying modders for their work was contrary to the spirit of modding. Many suggested a donation scheme for Steam Workshop modders as an alternative to traditional pricing. "We underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop," Valve's Alden Kroll wrote at the time. "We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there's a useful feature somewhere here." "... modders create a lot of value, and we think that … absolutely they need to be compensated, they're creating value and the degree to which they're not being accurately compensated is a bug in the…

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Chance to win Hatred thanks to Destructive Creations!

Heyyyy! Thanks to Destructive Creations - a Polish independent studio - I'm proudly presenting our brand new giveaway. In this one you'll have a chance to win Hatred for Steam! If you're not familiar with the title... well lets say it's been pretty controversial, got removed from Greenlight (for the psychotic idea I guess?) and resurrected by the Gaben himself later on. Now it's available on Steam for €16,66 and I gotta say it isn't just a controversial idea, it's a really good game - imagine Postal but in isometric view combined with GTA. This is not for kids obviously so just play that alone in your basement and pretend that you're normal. How to win Hatred? No Facebook, Twitter or other bullshit! Just leave a comment below and hope for the best! Winners will be picked on November 30th. To leave a comment you have to login (no account? register) so I could send you the game by PM or e-mail.

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Valve listens… at least for now.

Here's good news guys. Few days ago Gabe Newell showed up on reddit, acting like he doesn't know what the big deal is about. On Thursday I was flying back from LA. When I landed, I had 3,500 new messages. Hmmm. Looks like we did something to piss off the Internet. Yesterday I was distracted as I had to see my surgeon about a blister in my eye (#FuchsDystrophySucks), but I got some background on the paid mods issues. So here I am, probably a day late, to make sure that if people are pissed off, they are at least pissed off for the right reasons. People went very vocal in comments stating that they don't want purchasable modifications, not only Skyrim but in general. So yesterday at late night (European time zone) Valve announced that they are removing the paid mods from the Workshop and that everyone who bought mods will get a full refund immediately. Now community is divided between those who lost all hope in Valve (about time?) and those who went back to praising them as saviors of the PC gaming. Don't get me wrong, it's good that they listen but remember that every business just…

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Valve’s business increased by 50 percent last year

Gabe Newell stepped up to the stage during last week’s BAFTA awards to receive the prestigious Academy Fellowship for his contributions to gaming. Newell credited Valve’s successes largely to user-generated content on open platforms such as Steam Workshop before sharing some jaw-dropping numbers. “There’s sort of an insatiable demand for gaming right now,” Newell said. “I think our business has grown by about 50 percent on the back of opportunities created by having these open platforms. “And just so people understand how big this sort of scale is getting, we were generating 3.5 terabits per second during the last Dota 2 update,” he added. “That’s about 2 percent of all the mobile and land-based Internet activity.” Source: PC Gamer

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Microsoft doesn’t consider Valve as competition

Valve finally prepares to roll out prototypes for its Steam Box in as little as four months. During a talk at Microsoft’s TechForum conference earlier this week (via The Verge), Microsoft’s head of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick - that’s “Xbox boss” - said a simple “no” in response to being asked if he considers Valve a competitor. Thankfully, Mattrick keeps his respect just as high as his confidence, stating he admires Valve boss Gabe Newell and the studio’s drive for “doing some innovative stuff.” He indicates fellow tech and gaming giants Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google represent a “richer scale of products and things being brought to market.” [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"] Newell shared his own take on Steam Box’s stiffest competition back in January, citing Apple’s similar living-room ambitions as “the biggest challenge” facing the project. “I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed-down living room platform emerging,” he said. “I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish…

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Valve fires few people, including Jason Holtman

Here’s some sad (?) news. Copy pasta from Gamasutra: Several employees were let go from Steam andHalf-Life maker Valve on Tuesday. The lay offs affected couple of employees (approx. 25) describing the incident include "great cleansing" and "large decisions." Affected employees were asked not to speak about specifics, but the impression we get is that these cuts were driven more by company challenges than by individual performance issues. After reports started circulating that Valve's director of business development Jason Holtman was no longer at the company, we thought we'd take a look at the company'semployee directory (no longer accessible at the time of this writing) and compare it to a versionscraped by The Internet Archive from last month. This is by no means an accurate indicator of who was let go yesterday -- some employees we know were never on this list to begin with, and it's possible that some left the company for other reasons in the interim -- but for the sake of trying to find a pattern to who is no longer at the company, we pulled together a roster of those who were no longer appearing as of our last check this afternoon. Moby FranckeAt Valve,…

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Gabe Newell’s new vision for Steam: More choice

Gabe commented on Steam's approval process: Steam is a "dictatorship" and that has to change. At a candid talk at the University of Texas recently, Newell outlined his vision of where Steam is going: doing away with the approval process, converting Steam into a network API that any developer can call, transferring ownership of its "boring" storefront to its users and, surprisingly, killing off the "Greenlight" crowd-voted approval process introduced just months ago. Steam’s approval process "One of the worst characteristics of the current Steam system is that we've become a bottleneck. There's so much content coming at us that we just don't have enough time to turn the crank on the production process of getting something up on Steam. So whether we want to or not, we're creating artificial shelf space scarcity.” "So the right way to do that is to make Steam essentially a network API that anyone can call. Now, this is separate from issues about viruses and malware. But essentially, it's like, anyone can use Steam as a sort of a distribution and replication mechanism.” "It's the consumers who will draw it through. It's not us making a decision about what should or shouldn't be available.…

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The Verge: Gabe Newell’s exclusive interview on Steam Box

Check out this cool interview with Gabe Newell, talking about Steam Box, biometrics and Windows 8!

So you’re working on your own Steam Box hardware. Why work with so many partners when you have your own ideal design in mind?

What we see is you’ve got this sort of struggle going on between closed proprietary systems and open systems. We think that there are pluses and minuses to open systems that could make things a little messier, it’s much more like herding cats, so we try to take the pieces where we’re going to add the best value and then encourage other people to do it. So it tends to mean that a lot of people get involved. We’re not imposing a lot of restrictions on people on how they’re getting involved.

(more…)

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Valve will release its own console with Linux based Steam on board

At last night's Video Game Awards, Gabe Newell confirmed the company's plans to sell its own living room PC that could compete with next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft. The biggest revelation is that Valve seems set to release its own complete hardware and software solution. Newell says that he expects companies to start selling PCs designed for the living room next year and that Valve will create its own distinct package. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"] Newell suggests that the company will create its own carefully managed PC ecosystem that's distinct from the one offered by other hardware partners. He also tells Kotaku that "our hardware will be a very controlled environment," and that some people will want a "turnkey" solution for their living room. But Valve doesn't reap any income from the sale of hardware that runs its platform or the software it hosts, and the company doesn't control Windows, which is the most popular platform among computers running Steam. Newell stopped short of saying that the company was building a Linux-based Steam OS, but he reportedly says that…

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EA wants to buy Valve for $1 000 000 000

  Electronic Arts has reportedly been making a play to purchase Half-Life and Portal studio Valve. The New York Times reports that EA has sought to purchase the firm for years, valuing the company at well over $1 billion. Valve isn't likely to sell to anyone anytime soon. According to "people with knowledge of the discussion," the talks did not progress far. Valve's finances are private, but a Forbes report from March estimated the firm's value at $3 billion, with cofounder Gabe Newell's personal net worth believed to be about $1.5 billion. Despite the billion dollar offer, Newell said Valve would prefer to "disintegrate" than ever sell out. “It’s way more likely we would head in that direction than say, ‘Let’s find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate,’" he said. EA is no stranger to big buyouts. The company purchased Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled studio PopCap last year for $650 million in cash, with an additional $550 on the table for staffers as bonuses provided certain performance benchmarks are hit. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding=""…

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Gabe Newell calls Windows 8 a catastrophe

Operating system Windows 8 will be a "catastrophe" for PC game makers, according to Valve Software's boss. Speaking at the Casual Connect game conference in Seattle, Gabe Newell said the next version of Windows could mean big changes to the PC market. Many took his comment as a criticism of the changed user interface in Windows 8 as well as its built-in Windows Store. The Windows Store could dent the success of Valve's own online market, Steam, through which players buy games. Mr Newell, who worked for Microsoft for 13 years on Windows, said his company had embraced the open-source software Linux as a "hedging strategy" designed to offset some of the damage Windows 8 was likely to do. "We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well," said Mr Newell. "Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." The arrival of Windows 8 would be likely to drive some PC makers and others out of the business because it put so much pressure on their sales margins, Mr Newell added. He said the success of Valve, known for its Half Life, Left4Dead and Portal…

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EA: Origin won’t copy Steam 75% off sales

Origin boss David DeMartini told Gamesindustry International that random deep-discounting of games "cheapens" intellectual property, and promised not to copy the practice. "We won't be doing that," he said, bluntly. "Obviously they think it's the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. “ "I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The game makers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom. "When I say that, I mean good value, we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 per cent off going-out-of-business sales." Origin is now the number two direct to consumer game service with over 11 million registered users, having launched a year ago. It is second only to Steam, which has some 40 million accounts. A year into its life, Origin has generated…

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Steam soon to introduce used game selling and new refund policy!

YES! Finally Valve Software has decided that soon all Steam users will be able to sell or give away their own “used” games off their Steam accounts. Here is what Gabe Newell said: “We are happy to announce that soon (May 1st) all Steam users who bought at least one game using Steam will be able to give away or resell their own Steam games to their friends. All of the funds gathered from their sales will either directly show on their credit card balance or Steam Wallet, so right now you don’t have to worry about buying a shitty game as you can simply sell it to someone else.” – Gabe Newell said. Additionally Newell mentioned the new, improved refund policy: “We really like how Google Play (former Android Market) handles refunds so we’re about to introduce a similar refund policy. You’ll have 12 hours to return any game whether you played it, liked it or hated it. Simple as that.” Here are some leaked screenshots of the upcoming feature:

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Gabe is more than fine… financially

Forbes editors have decided to estimate Gabe Newell’s fortune recently. As you realize there’s a list with the richest people in the world on which Gabe turned out to be… 854. This may sound not that great right? But as it turns out, if he wanted to sell his shares to someone else, he would be richer by $ 1.5 billion. Just imagine how much does he earn by month… congrats Gabe I guess? Now make your service (Steam) better…

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Message from Gabe

Here’s a message from Gabe about the recent database leak: Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users We continue our investigation of last year's intrusion with the help of outside security experts. In my last note about this, I described how intruders had accessed our Steam database but we found no evidence that the intruders took information from that database. That is still the case.   Recently we learned that it is probable that the intruders obtained a copy of a backup file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008. This backup file contained user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. It did not include Steam passwords.   We do not have any evidence that the encrypted credit card numbers or billing addresses have been compromised. However as I said in November it's a good idea to watch your credit card activity and statements. And of course keeping Steam Guard on is a good idea as well.   We are still investigating and working with law enforcement authorities. Some state laws require a more formal notice of this incident so some of you will get that notice, but we wanted to update everyone…

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Steam app comes from many direct requests from Steam users

Gabe Newell said that it’s going to be a great addition and was a result of many direct requests from their customers. “The Steam app comes from many direct requests from our customers,” he said “Seeing which of your friends are online and playing a game, sending quick messages, looking at screenshots for an upcoming game, or catching a sale – these are all features customers have requested. Mobile is changing way people interact, play games and consume media, and the Steam app is part of our commitment to meet customer demands and expand the service functionality of Steam to make it richer and more accessible for everyone” Newell added. We’ll be giving away 3 Steam Mobile invites later today!

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Gabe Newell: Piracy is a “Non-issue” to Valve; Providing better Services Will Result in More Sales

In a recent interview with TCS, Gabe Newell explained why Valve is so successful. Recently we posted how Ubisoft were abandoning the PC market due to piracy, and imposing heavy DRM on their customers, but according to Newell that’s not really the right way to go about it. He said that there is a general misconception about piracy, and it’s not really the high cost that forces people to pirate. It’s about the delivery service and how convenient it is to people with purchasing power: “In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem,” he said. “For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable.” Ubisoft said that, “95% of people will pirate our game.” It’s a ridiculous thing to say without releasing any sort of data and they have also cancelled Ghost Recon:…

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Gabe Newell promises 3 big surprises in next 12 months!

In the latest issue of PC Gamer Magazine, Gabe has given his word that 3 big announcements are going to be made by Valve within the next 12 months. Here’s what Gabe said exactly:   I can guarantee you people are going to be surprised at stuff we do. That isn’t going to stop any time soon. I’m just laughing because… people will be shocked again. We have three pretty big surprises in the next 12 months at least.   What do you guys think?

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