Posts Tagged ‘Gabe Newell’

Et Tu, E3? Valve Not Planning Any New Announcements

Nope.

[Sound of a doorbell ringing.] “Hello there! Yes, I have a delivery for you, Mr, um, Hugh Mann.” “What? That can’t be right. I never ordered anything.” “No, no, I’m pretty sure you did. I couldn’t help but notice you’re having a parade out back. It’s very nice. Wouldn’t want anything unfortunate to happen to it.” “Er, yeah. Anyway, I guess I’ll sign for this so you can go.” [Gigantic rain cloud emerges from box and ravages parade.] “NOOOOOOOO.” [Gabe Newell throws down his delivery cap and flees into a nearby alleyway, cackling maniacally.]

E3, ladies and gentlemen.

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Disnewell Land: Valve Re-Envisions F2P For DOTA 2

How weird. That is *exactly* what I wear to parties. And funerals.
Back when DOTA was nothing more than an elaborate WarCraft III map, it used to be my way of relaxing. Sure, I wasn’t some unholy whirlwind of might and magic, but it was an experience that fell somewhere on the spectrum between “pleasant” and “killing a million things.” Flash forward to today: I don’t really play LoL very often. It’s stressful! If I can get a couple friends together, sure, but the community’s a grab-bag of mean people who use curse words. So, how does Valve plan to avoid walking down a similarly suicidal lane with DOTA 2? How does an oddly utopian-sounding player-driven wonderland strike you?

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Gabe Newell Ponders “If we have to sell hardware we will”

Uncy Gabe
Penny Arcade’s new games journalism site (note the lack of capitalisation), the PA Report, has kicked off with an interview with Uncy Gabe of Valve’s new beard. Most interviews with the newly hirsute Newell have some form of forward looking speculation about the industry, because that’s the way his mind works, and Newell’s take on hardware shows that the Valve hivemeind are contemplating how best to serve customers hardware as well as software. Though Newell observes that “It’s definitely not the first thought that crosses our mind”, Valve’s biofeedback experiments have been so successful that they are, if no-one else does it adequately, prepared to sell the hardware themselves.

“It’s not a question of whether or not this is going to be useful for customers, whether or not it’s going to be useful for content developers, you know, it’s figuring out the best way we can get these into people’s hands.”

But how could that happen?

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Less Is More: Gabe Newell On Game Pricing

Will someone please listen to him?

There’s a lot we don’t understand about pricing games. But as more and more evidence pours in, the most common pattern appears to be: the less you charge, the more you make. There are so very many examples of this, from iOS pricing phenomena, to the extraordinary revenue generated by the Humble Bundle pay-what-you-want schemes. Further to this come comments from Valve’s boss, Gabe Newell, who recently explained how erratic pricing results can be, but the undoubtable success of offering massive discounts. And perhaps more surprisingly, they seem to have discovered the importance of using the phrase “Free to play”.

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Gabe’s Business Plan? “Not Sucking”


Say what you like about the dangers and problems of Steam’s digital distribution hegemony. Grumble about the lack of Half-Life 3. Point out that Valve are currently just making remakes. But interviews like this one remind us why Valve are where they are: “Premature monetization is the root of all evil,” says Gabe. “I think not sucking is way more of an important thing to pay attention to first.” That Valve business plan? Apparently just an enthusiasm for games: “Dota 2 is really a result of Erik and a couple other guys being huge fans of IceFrog. So that’s not like this incredibly, deeply reasoned business strategy.”

Lot’s more gems through the link, such as how Portal 2 sold more on PC than on the consoles, or how they love to talk “enemy design or user generated content” with Doug Church, but totally haven’t said what the Looking Glass veteran is working on… (Although he got a credit on Portal 2.)

Newell Says Valve Need To Bring EA Back


I mean they need to bring sexy back, too, but Electronic Arts – who have removed a bunch of games from Steam and don’t intend to put Battlefield 3 on there – will have to come first, according to this article over on Develop. Valve bossking Newell reportedly said: “We really want to show there’s a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do. I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam. It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether that can now get resolved. Probably not before Battlefield 3 comes out, eh?

Valve “Not Giving Up On Single Player At All”

I hate it when you eat fast-food and can feel it going straight to your eye.

A couple of weeks ago we were speculating on what US journalist Geoff Keighley meant in his iPad-only documentary The Final Hours of Portal 2 (yes, iPad-only) (I DON’T KNOW) when he said…

“Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience… What this all means is something Newell is still trying to figure out.”

…and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and many were the bottles of Coke Zero accidentally upended onto keyboards by corybantic nerds. Now Ripten‘s reported on an interview with Gabe Newell where he explains most of what he meant. Click through the jump for the quote in full.
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Gabe Newell Is Messing With Us

Ooh, it's like Lost. But hopefully without the religious guff

Something’s going on in Valveland. Well, something’s always going on in Valveland: these are clever, playful people. However, this time we (and other sites) appear to be a part of it. We’ve been sent the below two, super-cryptic images from one Mr G. Newell himself. What do they mean? They’re presumably related to the ongoing potato-related ARG, so hopefully by sharing them here we can help the smart cookies who are busy deciphering that along.

Take a look, see what you think. Even the filenames are dripping with bewildering and sinister mystery.

Update: aha! We appear to have one of the final pieces of an existing puzzle… Stick with this story, it’s going to be evolving throughout the day.
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Gabe Newell’s Favourite-Ever Game Is…

17 Klingons? I'm pretty sure they didn't even have that many Klingon costumes in the original show

Well, it’s a Mario game. 64, specifically. Nnng. That game is quite good, but every dev seems to say the same thing these days – or is that just me being a misery?

Fortunately, at least if you’re a PC gaming site, Valve boss Newell tells CVG of two other most immortally-beloved games, one of which is Doom (“made me rethink everything I thought about games – control systems, design, rendering”) and the other one of which is simply enormously charming. It’s a punchcard-based Star Trek game for the Burroughs mainframe, played via logic and long-winded printing.
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“When Will You Release Counter-Strike 2?”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO nonononono

Aw, bless. I share the below video not because it gives much away in terms of when and if we’ll see Counter-Strike 2 (though it’s certainly not a denial, which is some kind of good news at least), but because of the charming awkwardness of Gabe Newell’s reaction when asked directly in front of THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE whether Valve’s evergreen man-shooter will be sequelised any time soon…
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Gabe In Australia


Courtesy of Byteside, we have Gabe Newell’s speech to the gathered Australian gamers when he met modder Joe W-A yesterday posted below. Newell talks about the importance of the PC gaming community to the creativity of the industry. We also get to hear from the modder himself, the chap behind flying Gabe and Erik to Australia in the first place, who seems kind of dumbfounded by the entire thing. A Q&A and some interviews follow. Congratulations to everyone involved, it’s been very funny, and good for charity too.
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Gabe Newell Suggests Public Funding For Games

This looks familiar!

Gabe Newell has offered another of his interesting ideas. How about gamers fund the development of games? Sounds odd? Well, it might be clever for a couple of reasons.

Speaking to ABC’s Good Game show, Newell put forth the idea that the $10 to $30 million that’s traditionally invested in games could come from the audience who’s likely to buy it. Investing at this stage, he points out, could even make you a profit.

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Gabe Newell: Valve Are Very Rich. It’s Awesome.

I miss the staring eyes running gag
Well, that’s what you get reading between the lines of Gabe Newell’s keynote at this year’s DICE Summit, which featured the Valve boss speaking about his company’s experience with Steam and how digital-download direct sales are an enormous success. G4 liveblogged the event in loving detail while Gamasutra did an overview of the whole thing. I’d read the whole G4 thing if I were you, if only to have a chuckle at the comment thread at the bottom full of PS3 owners who just won’t let go. However, I’ll pick out the key points – and some exciting percentages – beneath the cut.
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Google To Buy Valve? – Update

Right...

We asked Valve to comment on the rumour, and received a succinct reply:

“Which is all it is… a rumor.”

Can it really be true that Google are about to buy Valve? So goes the rumour that’s currently setting the internet alight. A rumour we look on with dubiously raised eyebrows and possible scorn. Yeah, right. Very happy to be proved wrong. But we’ll see.

The Inquirer cite “well placed sources”, who say the purchase will happen any moment now. All other stories link back to that one. The Inquirer seems pretty confident, but then also pretty vague. But it does sound like a special kind of nonsense. Never mind that it’s a little early in the morning US time for a deal to be happening. It’s currently 4.30am in Seattle, where both companies reside.

Last year we had the following exchange with Valve boss/owner Gabe Newell:

RPS: I have a friend (an idiot) who is determined that in six months Valve will be owned by either Microsoft or EA…

Gabe: Tell him that I’m not interested in buying either one of them.

Left 4 Dead Demo Confirmed, But Not When

Brrr, that rope bridge is a scary place.

Valve boss Gabe Newell has confirmed that there will be a demo of Left 4 Dead. Speaking to Videogamer.com, he said,

“We will be releasing demos for both the Xbox and for the PC. I don’t know what the date is for release on that, though. I think it’s going to contain the first part of one of the campaigns. I think it’ll probably be Hospital but I’m not sure. That’s a decision that Doug Lombardi [Valve marketing guru] is making.”

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Steamworks & Steam Cloud – In Summary

I'm running out of old Steam images we've used!

Valve has announced Steamcloud. That’s the headline that should be at the top, I suppose. That will be the headline on all the gaming sites that respond to today’s news. A new system for storing player data, from save games to keyboard configurations, on Steam is a brilliant idea. Your games are now available on any PC, and you can play exactly where you left off, without having to invert the mouse and disassemble your friend’s lunatic configuration.

But what I think what’s most exciting about this afternoon’s mini-conference (about seven journalists are here) is the motivation for its existence. PC gaming is strong, and getting stronger, and Valve wanted to say so.

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Zero Punctuation in Another Nation (USA)

It’s not just Walker who’s had a chance to fawn over Gabe Newell. Taking a break from eviscerating Clive Barker’s Jericho, Yahtzee has been off for an audience with Valve. And he’s written a travelogue of his escapades over at The Escapist. And here’s a picture of him with Gabe Newell.

We're going photos of Gabe Newell crazy here at RPS today. NO-ONE CAN STOP US.

Yahtzee is the one in the hat and Gabe Newell is the one who looks like Gabe Newell.

RPS Exclusive: Gabe Newell Interview

In our exclusive conversation with Gabe Newell, we discuss the nature of Valve as a company – its ethos and potential, the real reason Gabe hired the Portal team, the vision for Steam, and indeed all online distribution, have every game ever available to download, Gabe’s beginnings with id, and how Valve was very nearly called Rhino Scar.

gabe newell

At any other games developer, Gabe Newell would be the big boss man. Technically, he is at Valve too, but due to the unique structure of their business, Gabe appears as just another name in the alphabetical list at the end of their games. Having graduated Microsoft with financial security for life, he could have gone on to do anything. What he chose to do was make Half-Life – one of the most signficant PC games of all time. The business Valve has grown into is a remarkable one. Developers are not at the behest of evil money men, driving them to rush releases through to meet financial targets. Teams work in relaxed, open environments, interchanging who works where, who is responsible for what. Anyone is able to bring ideas to the table, and the company is constantly looking out for potential amongst modding communities and indie developers. The man who lets all this happen is Gabe Newell.

RPS: Do you think of Valve as a philanthropic company?

Gabe: I don’t usually think of it that way. We think of ourselves as very much grounded in the community, and as part of the community. We’ve got our role; everyone has their role, whether it be the press or people who build levels, and so forth. We feel like we’re in there as part of the community, rather than benevolently standing above it.

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Quasi-Exclusive! Newell on the future of the PC

I met Gabe Newell a while back when I was reviewing Half-Life 2 or something, but I completely failed to interview him. Well, he was distracting me – I had a game to play! And my dictaphone batteries were probably dead. Anyway, I shook his hand and said that I was just fine, thanks. Comrade Bramwell from Eurogamer.net is a little cannier than me, and when he met Mr Valve at the recent Leipzig computer games convention he sat down to ask him all kinds of searching questions.

Sexy Valve

Many of the answers to those questions are contained within this expansive interview. Bramwell and Newell discuss things such as the problems with DirectX 10, the fact that Portal and TF2 look awesome (more on that later in the week, Valve-fans), and the fact that Gabe didn’t know how much his games cost to make. There’s loads more too, so click up there to read it.

But not all facts were disclosed. No, because Newell also talked about unified gaming and the nature of the PC, and we have those quotes right after that click-hop.

DISCLAIMER: We’re not affiliated with Eurogamer, right. We just know them, and sometimes work for them. Okay – so if they go and do something crazy and dangerous right now, it’s nothing to do with us.

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