Hello Master Malstrom, I would just like to share with you nothing
more than my own thoughts on the Valve Corporation. Full Disclosure:
I’m one of those people with a 200+ game list that doesn’t play the
games that he purchased. I only regularly touch anywhere between 8-15
of them every year. I try everything out after I buy it to make sure
that it works on my machine, but I always decide to wait until it
appeals to me. I haven’t bought a game from Steam all year. I will
however be buying Dark Souls once it releases and I’ll be doing that
directly from the publisher if it’s possible.
Moving back to Gabe and Valve.
He may be highly ideological along with the rest of his employees.
They may simply want to do the same thing that Notch has done. Find a
way to do whatever the hell that they want and make a living from it.
If they become public then they would definitely receive a decent
payout but at what cost? Would their company structure be forced to
change to accommodate the expectations of investors?
The company already commands a solid amount of the pc game
distribution market, their expansion would be stifled. They can only
make games for iOS and Blackberry. Android would allow for them to
make games and release their own store but how successful has that
been for Amazon and Nvidia? WebOS is all but dead and the company
decideds which of the Big Three they will support and how they will
Valve Corp could release their own stationary and portable consoles
but I don’t believe that is too likely to happen. They would need to
improve their relationship with companies that would make their
content like EA. They may also have to make concessions for retail
that they aren’t willing to make if they’re going to integrate Steam
on their system. You can already enter product keys of games that use
Steam to activate them on the system but what about the obscene amount
of obscene sales that Steam regularly hosts? Retail isn’t going to
want their partner constantly undercutting them for the sales of
products on two platforms.
Just as you mentioned in an earlier post, Steam shows the true value
of their game selection with sales. Not in every case, but Steam
definitely contributes to consumer expectations of crazy low sales
that B&M stores and even other digital stores cannot compete with. If
iOS and Android allow for a race to the bottom then Steam definitely
enables a demand for that drop. I’m for fairer pricing in games but to
allow for a single entity to control the prices for a market is what
allows Valve to be predatory or to at least allow for the capacity to
Getting directly back to Valve not wanting to go public, they may lose
quite a bit of their freedom to experiment. Would they be preparing a
linux client right now? It’s definitely not due to some fear of Desura
of the Ubuntu Software Center. How about the endless updates to Team
Fortress 2? They may have been pressured to release a for-pay
expansion or to have kept it making a sizable amount of money longer.
Sure, they make money off of hats now but that either may not have
happened or they would have kept the game going in a more conventional
manner. Then there’s Half-Life and their other games. Why does it take
them so long to get their games on non-pc platforms? What kind of deal
did they sign with the devil that stopped them from being able to
update the 360 version of the game?
I’m not defending them, moreso pointing out that they may not want to
be scrutinized more closely. That may be what’s keeping them from
going public and doing other things that gamers want from them. At the
end of the day, they’re still about making money but maybe in their
case they actually make “enough” money. They make the sort of money in
a private company that Miyamoto would desire to endlessly fuel his own
Notch and his friends want to make games. Maybe games no one wants to buy, but they still want to make games nevertheless. The Valve Corporation is showing no desire to making games. All they do is use poor modders’ games as their own.
Not sure where this idea of going public means ‘losing control’. Nintendo is a public company, and they do whatever they want. Iwata has to answer to shareholders to make sure their investments are creating money. In other words, Nintendo has to grow. If Nintendo was not a public company, they would still be making Virtual Boys and Gamecubes. But by the pressure to ‘grow’, they made the DS and Wii which has enriched gaming.
The purpose for gaming is to grow as a medium. This cannot happen with just making the same games over and over again.
I’ve never been involved with a company in the process that went from private to public. But with the Valve Corporation, one major change would be more financial overseeing. For example, Facebook was hiding that much of its growth were in multiple accounts and even pets making accounts. Facebook being public has revealed this duplication fraud. If the Valve Corporation went public, information like that would get out. Only an idiot thinks every Steam account out there corresponds to an actual Human being. I’m sure there are numerous duplicate accounts. But we will never know the number with Valve Corporation not being public.
The only pressure would be to show growth. The most obvious path for the Valve Corporation to grow is beyond the ‘Manchild’ demographic of young males. Families don’t use Steam. And where are all the women? Women make up the majority of PC gamers so why does it seem they have no presence on Steam?
If someone knows why Newell won’t take Valve Corporation public, let me know. It would be a great question to ask him. Instead of asking him celebrity questions like ‘what are the technology trends?’ and all that, ask him questions about his business decisions.