Valve: We "Routinely Evaluate" Making Games On Other Platforms
Many gamers - especially PlayStation 3 owners - view Valve boss Gabe Newell as an egotistical, PC-biased, PS3 hater. ...well, even if the first two are accurate (and we're not saying they are), the third might be stretching the truth.
Over the past few years, it has become abundantly clear that Valve doesn't want anything to do with Sony's console, and many have attributed this to laziness on the part of the developer; i.e., the Xbox 360 is very similar to a PC, so it's no real trouble getting one of their games to run on that platform. The PS3, on the other hand... But in speaking to online broadcaster 5by5, Newell defends the studio's stance and says the entire situation is a bit more complex. While he won't say the team is working on any PS3 games right now, he does admit that "there are a lot of interesting things about the PS3," and he can't ignore the number of Steam users who now own Sony's platform. He adds that the plan to produce games for other platforms/consoles is something the studio "routinely evaluates" and they want to do what's "best for their customers." Said Newell:
There are a lot of issues - It would be hard to explain how we make decisions on [which platforms to develop for]. Where are our iPhone games? Where are our iPad games, why don’t we ship anything on the DS, why don’t we ship anything on the PSP? Why don’t we invest in microtransactions, why don’t we have any Flash-based and casual kinds of games? That sort of analysis is something we look at all the time. What are the trade-offs, what are the opportunity costs, how do we leverage work in one area to benefit work in other areas?"
As to the idea that Valve is biased against the PS3, Newell denied this by saying they're "super agnostic." This is all very well and good, but has anyone noticed that all he ever talks about is "his customers?" While the rest of the gaming world is doing everything they can to continually expand their targeted demographic, to always cater to larger and larger groups of gamers, this guy only talks about satisfying their fans. ...that's only half the equation there, chief. You need to keep creating new fans, purely for the business angle of things and the only reason you wouldn't want to do that is because...um...maybe you're still biased and you want to keep your fans in your little "exclusive group?"
It's just a theory. For our part, we really don't care if Valve does or doesn't develop for the PS3; if they do, fine. But the rate at which they release titles and considering what we've seen from PS3 exclusives...eh, we'll live.
5/21/2010 10:47:10 AM Ben Dutka