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Valve missed a huge opportunity to be the "first party" of PC gaming

Ev1L AuRoN

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Oct 30, 2020
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To me, Steam is PC Gaming, and I hate having to install 3rd party launchers to play certain games. Steam is miles ahead of the competition in the PC space.
 
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With the launch of Steam and shortly afterwards Half Life 2 in 2004 Valve nearly instantly transformed the PC gaming market. They gave a single storefront and DRM for games of all shaped and sizes. Since that time they have released depending on how you count the various mods as few as 7 games which most recently includes Artifact a failed collectable card game and Half-Life Alyx which while apparently amazing requires expensive and bulky equipment to fully enjoy.
They could have easily taken the money earned from Steam and invested it in their own studios or purchased studios to release games on Steam. Fast forward to 2021 and Epic is eating into their storefront space and Microsoft is gaining huge ground with game pass for PC. I think they took their position for granted and really failed to capitalize on it when they had virtually no competition.
Thoughts?

Wut?

Meme Reaction GIF by MOODMAN


How is Valve refusing to use their mountains of cash to moneyhat games and studios a bad thing?

Them not money-hitting games isn't a bad thing.

Them not reinvesting their mountains of cash into making new original games that can take greater creative risks than 3rd party games can, is very much a bad thing... that's what they sorely missed out on.

Image Valve building whole new, wholly-owned studios to work on the half-life franchise. We would have played and enjoyed HL3 and the franchise could still be relevant today.

Valve could have done so much more as a game creator and producer if there weren't so simply content to skim the profits off their storefront and little else.
 

IntentionalPun

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Aug 28, 2019
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Them not reinvesting their mountains of cash into making new original games that can take greater creative risks than 3rd party games can, is very much a bad thing... that's what they sorely missed out on.

Yeah sometimes I think their company is really cool; the best paying jobs in gaming, amazing freedom of what to do.. a company trip to Hawaii every year... like a half dozen on site masseuses for 300 people (and everything else, from personal trainers to free day care), etc.,etc.

But then you realize all of that money is going to 300 people and it's kinda fucked up.
 

Dream-Knife

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Feb 22, 2021
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if valve doesn't want to develop games themselves they should license their IPs to other devs. arkane would have been a top tier studio to make half life 3 before bethesda bought them. i'm sure there are lots of indie devs who would love to do another portal.
They have. Black Mesa is a fan remake of Half-Life: Source.
 

SF Kosmo

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Jul 7, 2020
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Valve kind of has been the first party of PC gaming but it's now well known that they seriously fucked up once they started trying to transition to an unfinished engine/suite in Source 2. It was never a lack of investment, they were constantly developing stuff but it was badly mismanaged because they were using a woefully incomplete engine and tools.

Now that Source 2 is out and Valve has gotten a AAA game under their belt we might see Valve finally shaking off the developer's block. It's going to be a lot easier for them to attract top talent again too and maybe even pull some old collaborators back in the way they did with Wolpaw. I am more bullish in Valve's future as a dev than I have been in a while.
 

Kokoloko85

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But they still make games lol
Since 2016, they’ve made Half like Alyx, A card trading game and dota mod thing.

Like I said they were smart to profit off almost every game released on the PC.
Not there own work because that wouldnt make them one of the richest gaming companies out there.

I think every other publisher, studio and platform (Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo ) make more games then them.

They are living off the success off everyone else lol.
 

nivix

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Jan 15, 2021
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I think the most important question is, what happens to Valve/Steam when Gabe Newell passes away?

Do his wife and children take over? Does the company get put on the auction block?
 

Kenpachii

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I think the most important question is, what happens to Valve/Steam when Gabe Newell passes away?

Do his wife and children take over? Does the company get put on the auction block?

That's the real question, the guy isn't the healthiest and hitting 60's he probably isn't going to last to 70 i assume if he doesn't improve his habbits.

I could see his wife or whowever gets the platform will just straight up sell it off to the highest bidder and call it a day.

The thing however what i never understood is with gaben is that he never ever bother to talk with 3rd party developers to get games like kingdom hearts on the platform when it was relevant and other games. I guess he didn't wanted to push lower cuts at the end.
 
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Kenpachii

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The thing that people don't realize is that there is no direct competition for steam.

Its not gamepass or steam or epic

its gamepass and steam and epic.
 

Hinedorf

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In the present. The future is written on the wall. A business can't stagnate and stay on top for long.
Steam hasn't changed for close to 10-15 years and in that time many competitors have showed up and still remain amazingly incompetent. In fact now you have every IP trying to make their own Steam and you know what happens, the games are still sold on Steam.

Not to say I don't agree with you, but I'd be hard pressed to see anything change, especially when those who are mid-early adopters of Steam have a massive collection of games within it. Steam has shown a level of long term support for both games and gamers alike. Virtually all their competitors seem only invested to try to make some of that Steam-money and have little to nothing substantial to offer for it other than a glut of free games.
 

PhaseJump

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In the present. The future is written on the wall. A business can't stagnate and stay on top for long.


On top of what? The open platform nobody owns or controls.

You think they should flood it with money pit projects to earn some 'first party' optics. They are putting resources into linux & VR development. They are putting money into their own tournaments. By all means, tell us more about what they should be spending money on to ward off this impending doom.

Every argument you're making here is fucking stupid. All predicated on some point that Steam should "own" PC gaming. They don't own it, they're just the best at providing their service to an open platform, and no competition has come close.
 

MrFunSocks

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Valve don’t care about making games, and they make money hand over fist. They are the de facto pc gaming store, and have an army of “no steam no buy” devotees. They didn’t miss anything.
 

zcaa0g

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It's time to develop Half-Life 4 and Portal 4. The third releases had no gameplay.
 

LazyParrot

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In the present. The future is written on the wall. A business can't stagnate and stay on top for long.
As far as stagnation is concerned... they're up against a store that put a shopping cart on it's roadmap two years ago and still hasn't implemented it.
 

GuinGuin

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On top of what? The open platform nobody owns or controls.

You think they should flood it with money pit projects to earn some 'first party' optics. They are putting resources into linux & VR development. They are putting money into their own tournaments. By all means, tell us more about what they should be spending money on to ward off this impending doom.

Every argument you're making here is fucking stupid. All predicated on some point that Steam should "own" PC gaming. They don't own it, they're just the best at providing their service to an open platform, and no competition has come close.

I think they should spend the money they are making off of games on making brand new high quality games ideally through organic growth. They could be using those billions to advance the industry instead they are just sitting on their giant pile of gold like Smogg the dragon. Epic is giving money to great devs like Fumito Ueda and the creator of Silent Hill among others instead of just sitting on their Fortnite money or giving it to executives or investors
 
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Negotiator101

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Valve is the most relevant company when it comes to PC gaming, but "first party" doesn't really work on an open platform.



They are? How so? We don't have Game Pass for PC numbers and MS games on Steam are still selling quite well. If I had to guess, I'd say the vast majority of Game Pass subscribers are on Xbox consoles.
Don't guess, it's foolhardy.
 

GuinGuin

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As far as stagnation is concerned... they're up against a store that put a shopping cart on it's roadmap two years ago and still hasn't implemented it.

But Epic is investing in games and when it comes down to it the games are what matters most in any ecosystem.
 

Topher

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But Epic is investing in games and when it comes down to it the games are what matters most in any ecosystem.

Building a community is also important to building an ecosystem. I'd say that counts more than buying some timed exclusives. The simple fact is Epic's store has no community. Gamers are not even allowed to review a game. EGS is a shallow store front that is all.
 

LazyParrot

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But Epic is investing in games and when it comes down to it the games are what matters most in any ecosystem.
Epic isn't investing in games, they're paying developers to stay away from Steam. Aside from their own games, none of the "exclusives" on their store are games that would not have been made or released without their money.
 
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GuinGuin

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Epic isn't investing in games, they're paying developers to stay away from Steam. Aside from their own games, none of the "exclusives" on their store are games that would not have been made or released without their money.

Not even close to true. The funding from Epic is what allowed Gen Design and Bokeh Studios make the games they want to make.
 
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ClosBSAS

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Not even close to true. The funding from Epic is what allowed Gen Design and Bokeh Studios make the games they want to make.
who? who the hell are thosE? indie studio? thats fine let them keep their indies, but stay away from everything else with their shitty moneyhatting and keeping games from steam, cause thats what it it, it has nothing to do with the cut o competition, its all about kepping it away from steam.
 

LazyParrot

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Not even close to true. The funding from Epic is what allowed Gen Design and Bokeh Studios make the games they want to make.
The idea that studios fronted by the creators of Silent Hill and Shadow of The Colossus couldn't have gotten their games funded without Epic's help is ludicrous. And even if it weren't, my statement about the store still remains true since neither of them have actually released anything yet.

Edit: did some Googling and while information on Epic's involvement with Gen Design was easy enough to find, I couldn't really find any mention of them funding Bokeh. Do you have any links?
 
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ViolentP

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Valve missed a huge opportunity to be successful in a way that is different than their current success.
 
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Topher

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Not even close to true. The funding from Epic is what allowed Gen Design and Bokeh Studios make the games they want to make.

That funding requires EGS exclusivity (as well as 50% of the profits after recouping their funds) so what he said is true. Either way, you were criticizing Valve for not investing "in their own studios". Epic's moneyhatting exclusives is not an investment in their studios at all.
 

horkrux

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Ok but they never had to. They own PC gaming by the balls already. Not even Tim Sweeney and his Tencent cash could make so much as a dent in GabeN's golden armor.
Companies like MS and EA even came crawling back like beggars.
 
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hlm666

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Microsoft gaining ground by having their games sell best on steam?


Valve doing nothing, meanwhile they have an esport game with the biggest tournaments in the world
Will post this here before you tell me lol is bigger, the prize money sure isn't.

they have created the best VR device available and probably the most expensive (and arguably best but that's subjective) VR game dev cost wise to date.

If Newell thought like you want him too he would have never left microsoft because that was gonna make him rich without the risk starting valve had.
 

PhaseJump

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I think they should spend the money they are making off of games on making brand new high quality games ideally through organic growth. They could be using those billions to advance the industry instead they are just sitting on their giant pile of gold like Smogg the dragon. Epic is giving money to great devs like Fumito Ueda and the creator of Silent Hill among others instead of just sitting on their Fortnite money or giving it to executives or investors



This is fucking dumb.

Valve has had engineers doing R&D on haptic devices, controllers, Linux & Proton support that gets kicked upstream, VR headsets, their game engine supporting it, the economies and community tournaments around their own games. Valve has historically taken in outside developers like Icefrog, or entire studios to better develop or release sequels or updates to the games.

You think Epic Games is investing more into PC gaming now? OK. Sure. They're money hatting exclusives and partnerships to their platform.

Meanwhile, Valve is the one using it's fortune to feed the open platform everyone thrives on, and here you are, trying to paint this picture of them doing nothing with their money.

They're successful and have a lot of money, and ignorant fucks like you try to demonize the very concept of being successful or having wealth accumulated in the first place.
 
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PhaseJump

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I wouldn't be surprised if the R&D Valve has been doing has helped with equipment development in the medical field.

All while dumbasses here call them "lazy" and imply they are parasites that do nothing, just because they don't appear to be behaving like the competitors that can't even touch them.
 

Amiga

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the major consensus is, gamers prefer their games on steam.

business doesn't care about your preferences that don't include them. they will do what they can to maximize their assets and revenue. some will be attached to Steam sentimentally. but gamers just want the games. we don't care where. and on PC it doesn't require purchase of new hardware. just install an app.

If PSN was on XBox or vice versa, do you think nobody would use them?

Sega and Nintendo once dominated console games. later came Sony and MS and the gaming community hated the "pretenders" at the start. now they dominate console games. Sega is out and Nintendo were forced to carve out a different market away from them.

Sony would have lost the console market if it didn't change after the PS3. MS also changed after the XB1 and retained a significant share of the market with big growth potential after their games come out. Valve needed to change years ago. I don't think they have time if they just change now.
 

twilo99

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No need for "1st party" on Windows when you have Microsoft behind it...every Microsoft studio is essentially xbox/windows 1st.
 

GuinGuin

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Microsoft gaining ground by having their games sell best on steam?


Valve doing nothing, meanwhile they have an esport game with the biggest tournaments in the world
Will post this here before you tell me lol is bigger, the prize money sure isn't.

they have created the best VR device available and probably the most expensive (and arguably best but that's subjective) VR game dev cost wise to date.

If Newell thought like you want him too he would have never left microsoft because that was gonna make him rich without the risk starting valve had.

Good hardware needs good games to shine. If VR is their baby why have they only made one real game to support it? That's a massive failure of leadership.
 

PhaseJump

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Good hardware needs good games to shine. If VR is their baby why have they only made one real game to support it? That's a massive failure of leadership.

A massive failure of leadership, you say. As if they developed the technology to get there with no effort. Gabe himself said these things take time. You have no idea what they are doing internally as far as game development is concerned.

Nothing you say makes sense in the real world. It only makes sense if you're both stupid, and irrationally biased against Valve.
 

CuNi

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business doesn't care about your preferences that don't include them. they will do what they can to maximize their assets and revenue. some will be attached to Steam sentimentally. but gamers just want the games. we don't care where.
They don't care, that's right. But the "gamers just want games" part is very wrong as well.
Yes, there is a install-base that just buys games wherever they want, but a huge amount of gamers does care where their games are, which is exactly why Steam is in such a strong position.
Why do you think EA and MS return to Steam? It's not because their games are bad. Their games sell tons on Steam. It's exactly because people did not want other storefronts as they cannot compete with Steam in quality.
Everyone has his friends on Steam. Workshop and Community integrations are huge on Steam. People don't want to lose this and some even value this above playing that one game.

and on PC it doesn't require purchase of new hardware. just install an app.

That's a very naiv statement. People were slightly annoyed when we got a 2nd launcher, but now people prefer Steam exactly to NOT have to install a launcher for every game in existence.
You got Origin, uPlay, EGS, GOG, Battle.net, Rockstar Launcher and probably more that I don't even know of.
People also like to have their friends in one place.

It's not "just install an app" anymore and I'm sorry, that argument doesn't work anymore.

Sega and Nintendo once dominated console games. later came Sony and MS and the gaming community hated the "pretenders" at the start. now they dominate console games. Sega is out and Nintendo were forced to carve out a different market away from them.

Sony would have lost the console market if it didn't change after the PS3. MS also changed after the XB1 and retained a significant share of the market with big growth potential after their games come out. Valve needed to change years ago. I don't think they have time if they just change now.

Sega wasn't driven out of the gaming segment because of the storefront, neither was Nintendo. This happened because of a multitude of things, ranging from developed games, to consoles released etc.
You cannot compare closed off systems like consoles to the open nature of PC. On Consoles, you have to invest in the console first before you can even buy and play the games.
If you would have to buy a "Valve-PC" to play Valve games or a "Blizzard-PC" to play Blizzard games, PC would've died out ages ago.

Steam already has established its dominance in PC gaming. Yes, it might change one day, but that day is not anywhere soon nor likely to happen at all.
For people to loose interest in Steam, it would not only need a good competitor (there is none as of this time), but he would have to convince every major game developer to release exclusively on it's storefront for a long period of time.
And as you said, businesses don't care about your store preference. They care about where the costumers are. Fact is, most of them are on Steam and prefer Steam. EA, GOG, Ubi and EGS tried to fight Steams dominance and they failed completely.
 

GuinGuin

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A massive failure of leadership, you say. As if they developed the technology to get there with no effort. Gabe himself said these things take time. You have no idea what they are doing internally as far as game development is concerned.

Nothing you say makes sense in the real world. It only makes sense if you're both stupid, and irrationally biased against Valve.

They have had plenty of time. Vive came out 5 years ago.
 

PhaseJump

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They have had plenty of time. Vive came out 5 years ago.

Plenty of time for what, though? They made one of the few games that dominate and prop up the potential of VR in gaming, while also spending years working on the infrastructure and tools surrounding the whole thing.

What is your excuse for every other developer, in that regard? Why aren't they making VR games and eating Valve's lunch?

You're on here complaining about Valve doing nothing, and it's stupid.
 
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Amiga

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Steam already has established its dominance in PC gaming. Yes, it might change one day, but that day is not anywhere soon nor likely to happen at all.

Steam already lost the status it had 10 years ago and it will continue to lose status gradually for the next 10 years. it will not happen overnight.

old established PC players are attached to Steam. but the newer users coming from the console background don't care and just want the games. most coming from Xbox will surly go to GoW because of the integration and GP. those coming from PlayStation will interested in GoW because of GP also. they may go to Steam but will not use it exclusively unless they are carrying over their hardcore fanboysim.
 

GuinGuin

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Plenty of time for what, though? They made one of the few games that dominate and prop up the potential of VR in gaming, while also spending years working on the infrastructure and tools surrounding the whole thing.

What is your excuse for every other developer, in that regard? Why aren't they making VR games and eating Valve's lunch?

You're on here complaining about Valve doing nothing, and it's stupid.

You're just wrong. Both oculus and Playstation VR have supported their platforms with a huge amount of first party/exclusive content. Valve has done virtually nothing to support their VR platform in comparison.
 

PhaseJump

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You're just wrong. Both oculus and Playstation VR have supported their platforms with a huge amount of first party/exclusive content. Valve has done virtually nothing to support their VR platform in comparison.



How am I wrong? I'm not even trying to talk about Oculus and PSVR. Facebook and Playstation supported their closed platforms and incrementally tried to grab the market with their "fIrSt PaRtY!" and exclusive content. Meanwhile, Valve have done "virtually" everything on the back end by integrating better VR R&D into game engines, sharing their efforts, while also developing and putting out HL:Alyx. A superior game to anything else, and it came out years after the Vive, because Valve put in the work.

You don't see Valve following the others, so you think they're missing out on opportunities to do what? Shit out new game after new game? You are oblivious to the very point that they are driving the R&D that benefits and props up the new standard tech being used in the shit you think is competing with and beating them in some imaginary pissing contest.

You're just a console warrior minded clown, looking to shit on Valve to justify some narrative that they have done nothing and are doomed; despite being the defacto leading digital store of choice on the biggest OS used for PC gaming. You should be saying "Thank you, Valve. For making all things VR/AR a more open and useful standard, unlike Oculus & Facebook who want to lock me down in a proprietary world of shit. Or Playstation that wants to do the same with a platform that is fundamentally ancient and obsolete."

There are dozens of developers on this forum who work with VR every day, more qualified than I am to speak to your ignorance. Let alone your magical ability to know what Valve are developing internally, which is clearly inadequate anyway.
 
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GuinGuin

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How am I wrong? I'm not even trying to talk about Oculus and PSVR. Facebook and Playstation supported their closed platforms and incrementally tried to grab the market with their "fIrSt PaRtY!" and exclusive content. Meanwhile, Valve have done "virtually" everything on the back end by integrating better VR R&D into game engines, sharing their efforts, while also developing and putting out HL:Alyx. A superior game to anything else, and it came out years after the Vive, because Valve put in the work.

You don't see Valve following the others, so you think they're missing out on opportunities to do what? Shit out new game after new game? You are oblivious to the very point that they are driving the R&D that benefits and props up the new standard tech being used in the shit you think is competing with and beating them in some imaginary pissing contest.

You're just a console warrior minded clown, looking to shit on Valve to justify some narrative that they have done nothing and are doomed; despite being the defacto leading digital store of choice on the biggest OS used for PC gaming. You should be saying "Thank you, Valve. For making all things VR/AR a more open and useful standard, unlike Oculus & Facebook who want to lock me down in a proprietary world of shit. Or Playstation that wants to do the same with a platform that is fundamentally ancient and obsolete."

There are dozens of developers on this forum who work with VR every day, more qualified than I am to speak to your ignorance. Let alone your magical ability to know what Valve are developing internally, which is clearly inadequate anyway.

Writing several paragraphs doesn't mask the fact that your entire style of discourse is "durr durr you're stupid if you disagree with my opinions." Which ironically is the lowest form of discourse there is. It's video games. You don't need to resort to personal attacks.

The fact is that in the same amount of time Oculus and Playstation have produced at least a dozen VR titles to push their platforms forward while Valve has made one.

Their attitude of "we will build the hardware/Service and third parties can do the rest" worked for Steam but otherwise is a massive failure. Steam Machines, VR, Steam Controller, etc show that if you want to grow an ecosystem in gaming you need to push HARD to make lots of compelling software for it.
 
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PhaseJump

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Writing several paragraphs doesn't mask the fact that your entire style of discourse is "durr durr you're stupid if you disagree with my opinions." Which ironically is the lowest form of discourse there is. It's video games. You don't need to resort to personal attacks.

The fact is that in the same amount of time Oculus and Playstation have produced at least a dozen VR titles to push their platforms forward while Valve has made one.

Their attitude of "we will build the hardware/Service and third parties can do the rest" worked for Steam but otherwise is a massive failure. Steam Machines, VR, Steam Controller, etc show that if you want to grow an ecosystem in gaming you need to push HARD to make lots of compelling software for it.

I am masking nothing by writing several paragraphs. I'm making points that only seem to fly over your head. It's not personal at all. You continuously ignore half of the responses here and keep making the same stupid arguments like an idiot console warrior would, so the idea of it being rooted on a disagreement of opinion is long gone.

Valve aren't capitalizing on your dream scenario of making "at least a dozen" VR titles, when it took them years to create the best one yet. VR/AR is still not widely adopted and they aren't going to release games unless they're ready. They put in the work to support the ecosystem. Their attitude of building the tools and kicking the technology upstream has worked and failed in the market. As you say, Steam Machines, VR, Steam Controller were put out there and haven't taken off. Ignoring the successful growth of Steam and other things they are doing, it still all negates the points you're trying to make that they have done nothing.

So it seems you blame the market failures on the lack of software support now. OK. Again, stupid arguments leaning on the closed ecosystem, console warrior thought process, dismissing Valve's continuous growth, success, and actual software support on the back end that allowed them to try these things in first place. You cry about their impending doom, hand wave the defacto leader in the industry with "massive failure" talk, and praise old garbage like PSVR as some sort of benchmark they are losing ground to; and you wonder why people like me point and laugh why calling things stupid.

Valve never assumed the risk of selling a console under Steam Machines, they provided the ecosystem. OEMs tried and didn't want to keep losing money competing with their own products in the open hardware market. Steam controllers were an extension of that, and brought new ideas to standard controllers that anybody could use the R&D from. It wasn't hugely successful. Steam Link was successful enough and they rolled it out to other devices for remote play. They forked Wine into Proton and completely blew the doors open for Linux gamers.

"Valve does nothing" though. They are doomed. They aren't trying to sell us consoles, controllers, and VR headsets. PC is an open platform and they should be out there losing money trying to lock it down and shit on consumers like Epic Games, Facebook, etc. Right? Thoughts? Bubble wrap?

 
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With the launch of Steam and shortly afterwards Half Life 2 in 2004 Valve nearly instantly transformed the PC gaming market. They gave a single storefront and DRM for games of all shaped and sizes. Since that time they have released depending on how you count the various mods as few as 7 games which most recently includes Artifact a failed collectable card game and Half-Life Alyx which while apparently amazing requires expensive and bulky equipment to fully enjoy.
They could have easily taken the money earned from Steam and invested it in their own studios or purchased studios to release games on Steam. Fast forward to 2021 and Epic is eating into their storefront space and Microsoft is gaining huge ground with game pass for PC. I think they took their position for granted and really failed to capitalize on it when they had virtually no competition.
Thoughts?
Valve maintains a very high standard. When they release something new, it will only be to represent an evolutionary next step in gaming. Half Life 2 was the pinnacle of fps when released and is still representative of hq design. The genre itself hasn't really changed enough to just make a HL3 fps. It would have better visuals and physics, but they exist to bring everyone a true next-step exp. They did that with Alyx.