Steam for Linux Coming in 2012

Well, there goes the OEM market for Windows. In a one-word e-mail to a fan (the word was “yes”) the Gaben hath confirmed that Linux will be getting a native steam client in 2012. This is surely to greatly reduce the amount of tweaking needed to play games on Linux and might seriously affect the operating system’s market share on PCs. With the playing field levelled like this, are the OS wars about to heat up again?

Source: The Escapist

Valve Teaming up with Overkill Software for Non-Half-Life 3 Goodness

Sweden’s Overkill Software, creators of Payday: The Heist are teaming up with Valve Software for a new FPS project. Details are scant, but the new game appears to be a cross-over between Left 4 Dead and Overkill’s respected Bank Robbing Shooter. Could we be robbing banks after a Zombie Apocalypse for useless paper? If it’s the undead guarding lost treasure, it sounds like Dungeons and Dragons transplanted to the modern age which…sounds pretty cool actually! Details of the project will likely arise at E3.


Source: Reviews on the Run.


Blizzard Entertainment and Valve Software End DOTA Dispute

Blizzard has issued a statement that they have come to an agreement with Valve regarding the trademark of DOTA (Defense of the Ancients). Under the new terms, Blizzard may use the name for its non-commercial modifications, and Valve will continue to develop DOTA 2. It’s a relief to see two great companies come together like this. I have a feeling that  if this was the movie industry, they would have to fight to the bitter end.

Source: GamePolitics

Gamestop kneels before Gabe and sells Steam Gift Cards

The press release says that Gamestop “thrilled to be partnering with Valve on this new initiative,” but we all know what’s going on here. Gamestop has made an agreement with Valve to start selling gift vouchers for the Steam PC download service in their stores across North America. The last video store in my town is just about to shutter, and its pretty clear that Gamestop will soon follow suit. They say that they are going to make a transition from software sales to refurbished hardware, but if you ask me, the future of retail is the face-to-face community surrounding their stores. Considering Gamestop’s relationship with the gaming community, it’s clear that the future is not for them.


Valve Employee Manual Revealed Online

The Valve employee handbook has been “leaked” to the internet, either through some unsecured share drive or a brilliant viral marketing campaign. The document details the company’s flat organizational structure and their dedication to promoting creativity and flexibility among their employees.

Most of the internet is ooh-ing and aah-ing over what it would be like to work in the company that makes their favourite games, but why is Valve such an exception? In this economy, with every company scrambling to get as much value as they can out of their employees, why is their so much focus on heirarchy instead of making money? Even Japan, the most heirarchic society in the world had quality control meetings where employees could contribute ideas in workplaces from warehouses to strip clubs. I’m not saying we should go so far as having desks on wheels like Valve does, but the fact that they are the exception and not the rule should drive us all to drink.

Source: Boing Boing.

Apple CEO Tim Cook pays a visit to Valve’s headquarters

According to Apple Insider, Apple CEO Time Cook was recently seen visiting Valve’s headquarters. While Valve is developing apps for the Mac and iOS platforms, this visit might be the sign of something more, considering the murmurings about Valve’s own Hardware dreams. What joint venture could they be considering? Or could Valve be taken over by Apple’s $600 Billion Largesse?

Apple CEO Tim Cook spotted at video game designer Valve’s headquarters.

Portal Gun Replica Toy Makes the Noises


NECA has released a new video about their upcoming Portal Gun prop replica. This 1:1 scale copy of everyone’s favourite video game weapon is equipped with lights and sounds from the original Valve title. Pre-orders for the gun have already sold out, but you can bet they’ll be making more of these. These toys will be available, not for the combined organs and income of *insert hometown name here*, but the low, low price of $139.

Source:\TDW Geeks.

The Steambox is a lie….

Valve has now officially quashed rumours that it will be making its own set-top box to compete with the likes of Playstation and Xbox. Valve Marketing Director Doug Lombardi has said that while they are working on an interface update to Steam, the notion of it getting its own console would not be happening any time soon. Speculation about the console started swelling after there was talk of biometric interfaces and a prototype box built by Valve’s Greg Coomer. Lombardi had this to say about the issue

“Greg’s one of the guys leading the effort of the Big Picture mode,” Lombardi said. “The idea is that you can take Steam to any display. What we’re trying to do is say, ‘here’s a box that we’re going to use for testing that’s common for Big Picture mode and get performance at a base level.’… We’re always putting boxes together. Going all the way back to the Half-Life 1 days, we built special boxes to test our software render… it’s just part of development.”

So there you have it. The rumours were kind of sketchy to begin with. You can’t release a console system these days without amassing huge amounts of resources. The main three competitors in the console game are losing money on every unit just so they can secure a proper set of exclusive games. If anyone is going to release a console in this climate, it definitely will not be through the traditional channels of suppliers and retailers. Perhaps we might still see a PC build with a Steam “Seal of Approval”.



Valve’s Gabe Newell Crosses the Billionaire Barrier

Valve CEO Gabe Newell has debuted as 854th out of 1,226 global billionaires after a stellar 2011 has left Mr. Newell with a cool $1.5 billion. I can say without hyperbole that this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. This is the kind of person we want to think of when we hear billionaire. His company’s work to bring digital distribution has been a godsend. They even got Russia to pay for video games. Russia, a country that owes what freedom they have to bootleg Beatles records smuggled in on grooved X-ray images. Valve has done more to kill piracy than any moronic piece of legislature the guardians of old media can come up with. They’ve proved that Piracy is a technological problem, and if you give consumers an easy way to pay for digital goods online, and you’re not a douche about it, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.


Dear Esther Makes its Money Back in a Few Hours

The Success of the story driven first-person game Dear Esther proves that it’s not all doom and gloom for the indie game scene. Developed by UK developer thechineseroom, Dear Esther tells the story of “A deserted island… a lost man… memories of a fatal crash… a book written by a dying explorer.”

Locations on the island are randomized, so each playthrough is different. The $9.99 game made back its $55,000 investment within a few hours of its release on the Steam store. The game’s ad on the Steam website looks more like a mystery/romance novel than a video game. This disproves so much conventional wisdom about what it takes to make a successful indie game that other so-called “indie” platforms should stand up and take notice.