• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

How capitalism killed Valve, one of the best video game studios

Bernkastel

Member
Mar 8, 2018
7,484
15,675
950
In a word: capitalism. Valve has mutated from a game developer into a ruthless financial middleman through its platform Steam, which has become the largest platform for digital game distribution — allowing them to make huge amounts of money while creating virtually nothing original themselves.
.
.
.
Indeed, innovative single-player games — what used to be Valve's bread and butter, starting with their groundbreaking first game Half Life in 1998 — have completely vanished from their output. They haven't produced one for eight years
.
.
.
There is clearly a lot more money in being an Amazon-style distribution platform than in developing games. What's more, that money is a lot easier to make. First-mover advantage and network effects do most of the work for you.
.
.
.
One factor is that a capitalist business mindset is badly corrosive to an artistic temperament. Running a platform is all about tweaking its setup to maximize revenue, even if that comes as the cost of lousy art. For instance, Steam has long had a wide-open policy to independent games, doing almost nothing to validate quality and not even that much to stop copyright infringement. The result, as Jim Sterling has covered extensively, was an absolute tsunami of atrocious "asset flips" (games made by slapping together pre-made assets from third-party stores) and other even worse garbage
.
.
.
The development of microtransactions is even more corrosive. Research demonstrates that most revenue from these purchases come from a tiny minority of players with impulse control problems (like children with their parent's credit card number). That leads to games deliberately designed like addictive drugs or gambling to hook the "whales" — things like restricting processes behind frustrating time gates that you can pay to unlock, or selling slot machine-style "loot boxes" which have a small chance to contain something good, or even simple "pay-to-win" mechanics, where the best items in the game simply must be bought. A great many awful mobile games are designed around these techniques.
.
.
.
Valve has clearly internalized a lot of this abusive capitalist mindset.
An ex-Valve employee commented on this in Hacker News
I worked at Valve a few years back, and I could write a book about what's wrong there. I think the biggest problem they have -- which the author of this article touched on -- is that "success is the worst teacher." Valve have discovered that cosmetic microtransactions are big money makers, and thus every team at Valve was dedicated to that vision. When I was there (before Artifact started in open development) there were essentially no new games being developed at all. There was a small group that were working on Left for Dead 3 (cancelled shortly after I joined), and a couple guys poking around with pre-production experiments for Half-Life 3 (it will never be released). But effectively all the attention was focused on cosmetic items and "the economy" of the three big games (DOTA, CS:GO, and TF2). One very senior employee even said that Valve would never make another single player game, because they weren't worth the effort. "Portal 2," he explained, had only made $200 million in profit and that kind of chump change just wasn't worth it, when you could make 100s of millions a year selling digital hats and paintjobs for guns (most of which are designed by players, not the employees!)
I joined Valve because I excited to work with what I thought was the best game studio in the world, but I left very depressed when I found out they're merely collecting rent from Steam and making in-game decorations for old games.
 
Last edited:

Bernkastel

Member
Mar 8, 2018
7,484
15,675
950
In the Hacker News thread, Valve fans have resorted to strange mental gymnastics to defend their practices.
That's a great discussion in itself. You can look at Valve as a company that started out focusing on making exceptional products (Half-Life), or focusing on their users (Steam), which then transitioned into a business that directed it's attention more toward optimizing profits.
A company can take this stereotypical start-up approach of worrying about users and the 'product' first, but eventually, you might end up in the same position as Valve - and here's the thing, maybe you can only end up in that position if you first focused on something other than pure profit? How many businesses get to be the size of Valve by purely starting out chasing profit vs trying to create a great product first?

It's common to see people begrudge a company - or even an artist - who seeks to make money with the least effort, we sometimes refer to them as 'sell-outs'. We tend to look at people who once concentrated on developing something that has a quality or true value, only to later exchange this for the pursuit of money over everything else, in a negative light. Conversely, we applaud successes where the intentions of the individual or the business were seen as 'honest.'

I think this just boils down to some basic human condition around what we perceive people and companies deserve for their efforts, about fairness. OP wanted to work at Valve because OP believed it was a company that deserved to be where it was because it created something of quality, something of value. OP was disillusioned because what was being produced there at the time didn't deserve the praise and financial success.
Because HL3 would suck. First person shooters today are very different than what first person shooters were when HL2 was released. It's Quake vs Overwatch. So Valve is between a rock and a hard place; do they make HL3 in the modern style and alienate all their original fans? Or do they make HL3 in the dated style and risk a flop because the market for that dated style has only gotten smaller over the past decade and new players aren't interested in it? That's why HL3 would suck. No matter which path they take, and no matter how expertly they make it, it will almost certainly be something that leaves a TON of people dissatisfied.
So it's better for Valve to not make it. They'd rather HL3 be an urban legend than a disappointment. That's better for their image as experts in their craft.
Doom 2016 was a nice tribute I suppose, but compare it to the massive success of Doom 1&2. It's not the same sort of cultural phenomenon. What I will give it though is it nailed the attitude. Doom 1&2 had a certain raw metal attitude, and Doom 2016 captured that well. I've never seen the HL series expressing attitude like Doom did.
What Valve really wants to avoid is a Doom 3 moment. When an old franchise is given a modern tuneup and the result is something nobody really thinks does the IP justice.
GOG is for the 1% Linux desktop market.
Physical media is for the last century. Even slow thinking incumbent console makers are starting to realize that.
It's ridiculous how this article is displaying Valve's strength as a failure. Valve is exactly the poster boy of a successful agile organic company that is run by software engineers. A company able to reinvent itself to meet demands. They have been pioneering the concepts of the app store and micro-purchases making it the most profitable company per employee. Things that Apple and Google get applauded for. What's amazing is that those profits didn't come from the demands of profit seeking shareholders. It came from the demands of the people, the software engineers, themselves who work at the company.
So they stopped producing games. So what? Valve is probably in the most optimal position to quickly reinvent itself yet again if new demands and opportunities arise.

This article is an attack on software engineers. Where non-engineers try to swoop in and take their power positions because they "know" better what a company should be doing. This is where engineers get pushed down in the power chain. It's exactly how great products get killed.
'll also add, as a regular dota player, that they don't just "get rent" out of it.
First, the game is free to play and very deep as-is. There is no missing feature or add-on to pay for in order to have the full game experience, and the experience is amazing.

Second, they update it every month and managed to keep it interesting through the years. It's an incredible feat.

In the end, it's one of the few places where I'm more than happy to pay micro transactions for virtual hats and idiotic gimmics. Because they do a hell of a job.

Of course I would love a portal 3. But I'm not disapointed of what they are doing right now. They still rock.
This feels like another sour grapes article by someone that wants Valve to focus on their favorite games instead. Dota 2 is Steam's most played game [1] and has been so for most of the last decade. I have spent thousands of hours playing it during that time and I know dozens of people personally who have played it even more. We are happy that Valve is providing unprecedented support for the game. The kind of support which is rare. Just look at new games like EA's Anthem, where players are complaining about barely receiving any updates, although they were promised a bunch.
Dota 2's success doesn't come from a release dump in 2013 and then just an influx of hats. There's continuous development that's happening on the game. There are new features added all the time, game mechanic changes, new heroes, new items, map changes etc. The whole engine was swapped out from Source to Source 2. There was a year where there were two branches of Dota 2 being played concurrently as this transition happened. Very few games in history have received this kind of attention.

On top of that Dota 2 has one of the best executed e-sports scenes. Valve has been directing the scene structurally, supporting it with unrivaled prize pools [2], and building a lot of features into the game to support e-sports, e.g. in-client spectating with both observer camera and player perspective.

So no, Valve has not mutated into a financial middleman. They're hard at work at supporting one of the most successful games in history. The kind of success that other game developers can only dream of. Sure that means they can't also be working on a bunch of other games, but that doesn't make them any less of a game developer.
Valve created the digital game stores as we know today, away from the expensive physical copies into the digital distribution.
Before that, to release a game, one would need a publisher, a distribution deal, a ton of money wasted to get the game into the player's hard drives.

What Valve did is much much more significant for the gaming industry and sparked a ton of indie developers. That's much more impactful than half life 3 could have ever been.
By focusing on the Steam platform rather than on its own creative game productions, Valve has shared more creativity with the world than it could ever had accomplished on its own. It is a creativity multiplier. It's a tremendous success in business and the arts.
I really don't see the problem here. It's not like there's a shortage of games, or game developers in the world. If one of them has gotten out of that market, to develop a shared platform that everyone (developers and consumers alike) want and need, isn't everyone better off?
Making hit/innovative games is super hard.
Not only from a financial perspective but from an emotional/personal as well. You need people who can dedicate years of their life developing new tech and actually making the thing, knowing that there is a large chance to fail.

As per Valve handbook, each "co-worker" should think about the risks to the company and it is not surprising that as a group they work on less risky things which can generate profit. (Steam, existing titles).

But as competition in storefronts increases, I think they will be forced to innovate, either through VR, their own games or some other way
Personally I like steam, and I don't mind them being a current monopolists of gaming platforms. All of the gaming market has been capitalized and we see companies like EA pushing their teams to the limit just for a release before a fiscal year. Results in half-baked product. Big publishers, including Blizzard, are having a tough time, and steam is a great platform for smaller devs to promote their content (Darkest Dungeon is a good success story). Sure Valves economic policies are profit oriented, but IMHO there's a good side to steam.
> One factor is that a capitalist business mindset is badly corrosive to an artistic temperament.
Not sure I agree. In fairly recent memory I can think of a number of artistic successes that were huge risks. It’s easy to forget that the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie scared the shit out of Sony, and with good reason. It had a blockbuster budget and starred a contentious, commercially unproven actor doing an incredibly risky performance. To this day I suspect that Johnny Depp fully expected the movie to tank, and would have been quite happy if that had happened.

Marvel’s investment in “Iron Man” wasn’t too far off that mark either. Its star had only recently been in the throes of drug problems so severe that at once point he wandered into a neighbor’s house and feel asleep naked in their bed. IIRD correctly the director’s biggest movie up to that time was “Swingers”.

To me there were a couple of watershed moments in hip-hop that could have destroyed the careers of the people who finally said “yes”. Rap before “Straight out of Compton” was pretty much just supercharged melodic R&B with talking. Whoever signed Eminem was taking a serious risk as being guilty of the next Vanilla Ice.
We are now seeing an emergence of new companies, whose fans want them to use all possible ways to maxmise profits by aggressive monetisation. Corporate fanboyism(in a negative way, where instead of good content you just want them to profit more) is probably the most disgusting thing conceived.
 
Last edited:

Pinktaco

Member
Jun 4, 2013
546
95
495
Denmark, Odense.
That's odd.
I'd imagine creating new games would allow for new opportunities to earn money.
The portal comment is perhaps slightly off, I mean it's possible to make money from good single player games/coop games, if you do it right (looking from a business perspective).

It seem that simply do not care anymore.

But what do I know, I'm a physical therapist and not a numbers guy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

data_jack

Member
Apr 1, 2019
79
63
180
Good thread, OP, and choice quotes you pulled too. It's confusing to me how many "sour grapes" vibes I get from these comments when what I read at face value is a person who wanted to work for an amazing company (at the time) but felt short-shrifted after what they saw. Disillusionment doesn't always have to have a resentful connotation to it, although I think commenters have their minds set on that.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
17,201
17,552
1,325
Oregon
Any time you transition from doing what you love to doing what you love for money, there's a good chance you'll lose something along the way.

When Valve made games, it seemed like they put together a crew that was very passionate about creating enjoyable experiences and were masters of their craft. The people making the games didn't care about whether or not they were commercially successful, at least no farther than "if this makes enough money, maybe we can keep doing this and make a Half Life 2."

Valve today is a very different company. Steam is so wildly successful that releasing a full-blown Valve title like Half-Life 3 now would probably be a risky endeavor. Five years ago, that wouldn't have been the case. Now - the game would release on Steam only (no Microsoft Store, no Epic Game Store, no GOG) and if it didn't get a 100 on Metacritic, it could be seen as damaging to Valve's brand and weaken their market position against the other guys.

Valve might be independent, but they've sold out to the man.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Animagic

Samsomite

Member
Oct 24, 2018
736
1,835
420
Meanwhile Gabe Newell is sitting on a pile of cash and eating donuts.

Or eating cash sitting on a pile of donuts based on the insanity behind those quotes.
 

48086

Member
Jan 10, 2017
770
1,506
575
"Portal 2," he explained, had only made $200 million in profit and that kind of chump change just wasn't worth it
That right there is whats wrong with gaming today.

What's wrong with that? Product/Service A makes X amount of money. Product/Service B makes Y amount of money. Y is greater than X so the business focuses on product/service B. It's a very very basic concept that isn't hard to understand.
 
Last edited:

Nymphae

Banned
Jun 3, 2013
14,669
22,903
1,235
Canada
Valve might be independent, but they've sold out to the man.

You would think they would have enough money at this point to fund a dev team that works on shit on the side, I don't get why Steam prevents them from using their insane amounts of money to do what they did before they had the insane amounts of money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DonF and Zannegan

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
17,201
17,552
1,325
Oregon
You would think they would have enough money at this point to fund a dev team that works on shit on the side, I don't get why Steam prevents them from using their insane amounts of money to do what they did before they had the insane amounts of money.
If they were smart, they would have seen the great fracturing of service that we have now and rather than money-hatting exclusives would have just spun up a side dev house that did nothing but make Valve games for Steam. Like how Netflix is dumping a lot of cash into creating Originals so that people will stay subscribed and they'll stay relevant.

My only guess is that hubris and their strange corporate culture were standing in the way of this happening.
 

Helios

Member
Jun 13, 2018
3,527
7,025
850
Beyond the Colors of Time
I don't think there's anything surprising in saying that Valve has focused on Steam for the past few years. I also wish for Valve to go back to making games (especially as someone that still waits for that fucking Heavy Update) but I can see why the article received backlash. When you've got parts of the article like
Steam's quasi-monopoly may soon end — and that is probably a good thing
that sounds more like a hot take taken from kotaku than someone that does actual journalism.
There's also something ironic in people demanding Valve to make more games but than cry when Valve releases one because it's not THEIR type of game.
 
Last edited:

jakinov

Member
Nov 19, 2008
895
998
1,090
That's odd.
I'd imagine creating new games would allow for new opportunities to earn money.
The portal comment is perhaps slightly off, I mean it's possible to make money from good single player games/coop games, if you do it right (looking from a business perspective).

It seem that simply do not care anymore.

But what do I know, I'm a physical therapist and not a numbers guy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
IF you have a specific amount of money to hire people, and you know if you get them working on something that would make more money in the end; you'd rather they do that. You also want to keep as much as the profits you can for yourself. You'd have to get to a point where you don't think throwing more people towards the other thing won't make you anymore money so you have to make money other ways. That might be where they are at now, considering they said they'll make games again. If you're a rich person making millions of real-estate and big investments; you probably don't want to spend put money into something that might only make you a few hundred dollars a month. It just adds another liability and something to manage.
 

ymoc

Member
Feb 27, 2012
508
250
735
Slovenia
What's wrong with that? Product/Service A makes X amount of money. Product/Service B makes Y amount of money. Y is greater than X so the business focuses on product/service B. It's a very very basic concept that isn't hard to understand.
You talk about someone not understanding basic concepts, yet the original point flew right over your head.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
6,920
13,736
940
Valve has never been the best game developers in the world. They made one genre of game, and made very few of them. Naughty Dog has made basically one genre of game, over and over. Bethesda, same. CDPR, same.

Nintendo on the other hand has made groundbreaking titles in virtually every genre in existence, and made many more of them, for decades. Valve was always overrated. They were great, but they have never been the best ever, even in their prime.

I love hearing about how awful it is there though. Always fascinating to read about their lack of management, and absurd work politics.
 

Stuart360

Member
Sep 9, 2018
8,455
19,924
675
What's wrong with that? Product/Service A makes X amount of money. Product/Service B makes Y amount of money. Y is greater than X so the business focuses on product/service B. It's a very very basic concept that isn't hard to understand.
My point was that in todays gaming world, a freaking $200mil profit, for freaking Portal 2, is seen as 'chump change' and not enough to make a sequel.
That seems to be how gaming is today, if 'X' game doesnt sell 10mil copies, or makes hundreds of millions in profit, its not worth it.
 

A.Romero

Member
Feb 23, 2009
3,361
2,106
1,250
Mexico
www.lavejota.com
I don't particularly care for Valve games but I do care about Steam as a platform.

Truth is capitalism did converted Valve in a middle man... However, capitalism also created Valve itself.

Personally, I think Valve's contribution to the industry as a platform holder is way greater than their contribution to games themselves.
 

Woo-Fu

Banned
Jan 2, 2007
18,688
9,812
1,695
I don't see the problem. If Valve doesn't want to make games the talent that wants to make games will go somewhere else. Steam has been Valve's most important contribution to gaming, with Source in 2nd, and their games a distant 3rd.
 

Spukc

Member
Jan 24, 2015
16,939
17,993
920
sorry but valve games are just ok,

i like half life but they didn't age as well.
last time i played hl2 on my laptop i got stupid sick.
i upped the fov no change.. so weird.

portal is a lot of fun but only makes more questions instead of answering them.
same for hl 2

all that MP based shit is not for me. great if you like it not my thing

-edit- ofc i want hl3
 
Last edited:

somerset

Member
Apr 15, 2019
439
613
420
'Best'? On what planet? Their volume never made them a serious dev/publisher.

Steam is Valve's greatest possible work- a gift to the gaming community way beyond any lame new game Valve could have cooked up. Via steam, new devs at any scale can reach an audience and stand a real chance of making coin.

The OP article is clickbait garbage for the hard-of-tinking.
 

MDS

Neo Member
Oct 8, 2018
49
84
145
Valve is incredibly atypical. Their weird decentralized non-hierarchical structure is probably not even capable of the kind of massive focused development required for a modern game and played a significant part of their decline as a developer. A minor project like Artifact or their endless cosmetics likely represents the limit of their current capabilities.
 
Last edited:

angelic

Member
Apr 18, 2013
3,792
4,719
985
Capitalism is what allows society to function, the internet to exist, food being available in shops, and people not claiming your house is now theirs.

Topic should be called "valve decided to change approach in free country".
 
Mar 23, 2018
7,034
8,473
765
You would think they would have enough money at this point to fund a dev team that works on shit on the side, I don't get why Steam prevents them from using their insane amounts of money to do what they did before they had the insane amounts of money.

Like gaben gives a shit about gamers.

He has

- paid mods ( counterstrike ) that are riddled with skins / loot boxes called counterstrike with auto cheats enabled.

- only focuses on hardware instead of software in order to push more people to there platform nothing else. It's all consolish crap pc gamers give zero shits about to expand his business.

- Split the mod community with there workshop crap and basically try to push it towards there platform exclusively which kinda worked as people not create different mods.

- Tried to straight up charge money for all mods lamo. how more anti PC consumer can you get.

They are fighting against even more consumer rights:

- Game trades
- refunds ( they got forced to do so by governments on what you got stuff now, far from there choice.)
- they introduced renting games forever instead of actually owning games to prevent game trades.

They also completely ignore there playerbase by simple not even mentioning anything about half life 3 a series a lot of people liked. That's how little respect they have for there playerbase. Just straight up ignore them.

Hell the only reason they created half life 2 was to push there source engine and steam in order to milk free money. The moment steam took off, game developed went to shit.

They keep there 30% cut no matter if it helps gamers or not ( or 20% whatever it is now )

It pushes every single big publisher to make there own platform to get rid of these insane for just being a middle men that does jack shit for it.

Was the fee only a few % nobody would bother making there own shop, now everybody and there mom is making there own shop as 30% on 1 million sales is a fuck ton of money that company's lose out off.

It's so bad for mmo's for example, that it's basically a graveyard for death IP's as nobody in there right mind will ever release it on steam straight out as it can kill there company.

The company is a anti consumer hell hole and people are blind as fuck when it comes to valve, because they are heavily invested into it. or grow up with it while it was already set in stone. and think it's some universal standard on PC.

Steam greed is what kills the company. They are laughing joke at any developer conference where the community basically just straights up laugh in there face when they mention anything about that they care about game development.
 

brokenduck

Member
Dec 20, 2018
927
588
340
Dota 2 is one of the best games of all time and the updates keep it extremely fun, what makes the author thinks that half life 3 will be a better focus for valve? I want innovative single player games and I don’t mind paying more if 1 comes out but how many people are willing to pay a much higher price for a game? The research for AI and destructive physics breakthrough for gameing cost a lot of money.
 

Yumi

Member
May 18, 2019
348
195
365
I understand people being upset that they dont make games anymore. But they've never said they arent what they are. This conversation is always had with everyone except Valve. They are just going to keep doing what they are doing.

It is mildly frustrating that with all that money they show no interest in developing or publishing outstanding games. But thats their choice to make.
 

Helios

Member
Jun 13, 2018
3,527
7,025
850
Beyond the Colors of Time
Kenpachii Kenpachii Damn bro, tell me where Gaben touched you.
- paid mods ( counterstrike )
Hiring up modders so they can improve their game and make a full product is now anti-consumers?
- only focuses on hardware instead of software in order to push more people to there platform nothing else. It's all consolish crap pc gamers give zero shits about to expand his business.
Steam is software. As is Steamworks and everything associated with it.
- Split the mod community with there workshop crap and basically try to push it towards there platform exclusively which kinda worked as people not create different mods.
Nobody forces the creators to upload their mods only on workshop. I wouldn't mind workshop being available for all, but it's also their creation.
- Tried to straight up charge money for all mods lamo. how more anti PC consumer can you get.
Agreed. That move was bullshit.
They are fighting against even more consumer rights:

- Game trades
Not one developer/publisher would sell their game on steam if they had game trading. Are you nuts?
- refunds ( they got forced to do so by governments on what you got stuff now, far from there choice.)
What. Sony as far as I'm aware is still strict about refunds. Are they not forced by the government?
They keep there 30% cut no matter if it helps gamers or not ( or 20% whatever it is now )
GOG operates at a 30% cut (and almost every other store-front out there, but they're not getting this type of backlash for some reason) and they've barely made a profit last year. Not only that but Steam taking 30% means that additional processing fees are not passed on to the consumers, unlike Epic Store. How is that not helping gamers?
It pushes every single big publisher to make there own platform to get rid of these insane for just being a middle men that does jack shit for it.
Worked out great for Bethesda and Microsoft, eh? Once again, this has been disproven multiple times in past EGS threads.

It's so bad for mmo's for example, that it's basically a graveyard for death IP's as nobody in there right mind will ever release it on steam straight out as it can kill there company.
what
 
Last edited:

Ban Puncher

Member
Jun 11, 2012
14,885
2,652
825
 

Solid Slammus

Member
Dec 17, 2018
66
53
180
the same sort of silly rationale that you should expect from console gamers talking bout PC gaming, the sort unaffected by context or real knowledge of the PC side of the industry. You know, business as usual
'Best'? On what planet? Their volume never made them a serious dev/publisher.

Steam is Valve's greatest possible work- a gift to the gaming community way beyond any lame new game Valve could have cooked up. Via steam, new devs at any scale can reach an audience and stand a real chance of making coin.

The OP article is clickbait garbage for the hard-of-tinking.
yuuuuup
 
Last edited:

daveonezero

Member
Nov 19, 2018
1,493
1,249
425
I don't understand the criticism. Am I just supposed to see the word capitalist. Eeeck as it is pegged to the right wing and then just assume Valve are Nazis?

Meanwhile the article sounds like gamers are entitled to made demands from publishers and developers like they were slaves. AT the same time saying that Valve is no longer a place for artists. Well damn I don't think you can have both a slave and artist either. Artists don't make things for fans.

This critique only works if you think success is only a result of putting other people down.
 
Last edited:

Solid Slammus

Member
Dec 17, 2018
66
53
180
In the Hacker News thread, Valve fans have resorted to strange mental gymnastics to defend their practices.














We are now seeing an emergence of new companies, whose fans want them to use all possible ways to maxmise profits by aggressive monetisation. Corporate fanboyism(in a negative way, where instead of good content you just want them to profit more) is probably the most disgusting thing conceived.
I think that enough of those posts are actually sensible and valid enough that they paint a worse picture of you for handwaving them away as mental gymnastics. Makes me wonder if you've got tunnel vision, if anything up to and including a benign explanation that Steam is a greater contribution to gaming than a Half-Life, is fairly reducible to 'corporate fanboyism', the way you see it.
 
Last edited:
Jan 3, 2019
853
1,406
415
So Valve was not in for the money when they were just game developers, right? They did it for fulfilling their artistic vision. How many companies like Valve exist in communist countries? The answer will shock you.


By the way, Valve by creating Steam has envigorated the PC market in a way that nobody has.
 

Nymphae

Banned
Jun 3, 2013
14,669
22,903
1,235
Canada
So Valve was not in for the money when they were just game developers, right? They did it for fulfilling their artistic vision. How many companies like Valve exist in communist countries? The answer will shock you.

I just find their commitment to the art they did create themselves embarrassing and insulting to their fans, particularly given that from what I can tell, there doesn't really appear to be any reason this thing couldn't be wrapped up. How do you leave like the biggest game cliffhanger ever just dangling, while you fuck around with Steam for over a decade and gather Scrooge McDuck like piles of money?
 
Last edited:

#Phonepunk#

Banned
Sep 4, 2018
18,552
36,228
885
39
are they really one of the best video game studios? Half Life was fine, i never really cared for it, frankly im sick to death of hearing about HL3. Portal was pretty amazing but that's 2 franchises. you need more than 2 great franchises to be one of the best video game studios.

it's funny cos if they were uber capitalists, they would be pumping out Half Life 6 right now, Kotaku would be printing money off stories of Valve Crunch, etc. from the sound of things, Valve is a chill place that doesn't HAVE TO hustle like their lives depended on it. funny enough, it feels like they are chill and articles like this that demand they produce more are fooling themselves with this trendy & poorly thought out anti-capitalist talk.

this idea that a company is DEAD if they aren't constantly pushing out new IP and iterations on old product, it's actually very pro-capitalist. it seems like a dumb argument this person is making. because they aren't making the games you want, you call them "capitalists" as if the problems of capitalism would magically disappear if they started punching the clocks on named sequels. in reality we would all be Jim Sterlings crying and whining about MTs in Half Life 8 had they pursued this route.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: ROMhack

ROMhack

Member
Jul 14, 2018
3,928
4,340
735
are they really one of the best video game studios? Half Life was fine, i never really cared for it, frankly im sick to death of hearing about HL3. Portal was pretty amazing but that's 2 franchises. you need more than 2 great franchises to be one of the best video game studios.

it's funny cos if they were uber capitalists, they would be pumping out Half Life 6 right now, Kotaku would be printing money off stories of Valve Crunch, etc. from the sound of things, Valve is a chill place that doesn't HAVE TO hustle like their lives depended on it. funny enough, it feels like they are chill and articles like this that demand they produce more are fooling themselves with this trendy & poorly thought out anti-capitalist talk.

this idea that a company is DEAD if they aren't constantly pushing out new IP and iterations on old product, it's actually very pro-capitalist. it seems like a dumb argument this person is making. because they aren't making the games you want, you call them "capitalists" as if the problems of capitalism would magically disappear if they started punching the clocks on named sequels. it actually makes no sense.

Seconding this. Only contention is middle paragraph as you could argue the way they've handled TF2 and CS:GO is a bit cynical (i.e. microtransactions).

Problem with Valve is that they were the darlings of the gaming world for so long. I think people made them out to be something they weren't and got burned.
 
Last edited:

Three

Member
Oct 26, 2014
5,699
3,052
610
Collecting rent is all gaming is going to become with the way people hype and defend all the things these companies do.
 

48086

Member
Jan 10, 2017
770
1,506
575
My point was that in todays gaming world, a freaking $200mil profit, for freaking Portal 2, is seen as 'chump change' and not enough to make a sequel.
That seems to be how gaming is today, if 'X' game doesnt sell 10mil copies, or makes hundreds of millions in profit, its not worth it.

Right, my question is what's wrong with that? That's every industry. No business is going to focus on a product or service that offers less profit than another product or service they are capable of implementing or launching.
 

Trogdor1123

Member
Mar 2, 2012
9,095
2,511
955
Well who in their right mind running a company wouldn't choose the path that was easier and made more money? It's an honest question. This isn't about someones artistic vision, it's about a company... Plus, if thepeople want it, and clearly they do, shouldn't it be given to them?
 

daveonezero

Member
Nov 19, 2018
1,493
1,249
425
Steam has allowed more artists to flourish with its market place than any single developer or publisher ever could.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tesseract

DarthBuzzer

Member
Jul 9, 2018
1,209
795
335
Valve's structure is a mess, but why are people forgetting that we have 4 Valve games on the way? This includes a singleplayer game, and one releasing this year, most likely the Half Life game they've been working on.

People are going to lose their shit when they announce something at The International 2019, especially if it's Half Life.
 
Last edited:

Jubenhimer

Member
Nov 11, 2018
1,668
2,183
560
24
Kind of tired of people blaming companies declining on capitalism. It feels lazy and makes it seem like they don't understand captialism as a concept. Captialism didn't kill Valve, Valve killed Valve, they have nobody to blame but themselves here.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Zannegan