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[CVG] Gabe Newell on his Dota 2 obsession, Half-Life protests and EA’s Origin

post #1 of 28
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Quote:
Valve are constantly surprising. One month they’re making one of their most popular games, Team Fortress 2, free to play, and the next they’re running a $1 million tournament for the upcoming Dota 2.

That makes any chance to speak to company co-founder Gabe Newell a pleasure, because you never know what you’re going to get. I sat down with him during the Dota 2 tournament to talk about his obsession with his company’s new game, his thoughts on EA’s Steam-rival Origin, and what motivates him to come into work each day.
__________________________________

PC Gamer: Does the same apply to digital distribution platforms? Does the existence of EA’s Origin mean you’re going to make more money?

Gabe Newell: I think right now there’s always this temptation to assume that the way things are today is the way things are going to be, and having been through this long enough in the games industry, I think I and everyone at Valve know that you’re only as successful as what you’ve done lately. So the idea that Steam is somehow the answer to digital distribution ignores the fact that every two or three years, something is going to change dramatically.

It’s like, along comes the Wii and that overthrows a bunch of ideas; along comes social gaming and that throws over a bunch of ideas. If you stand still and you’re not doing the things that you need to do to be valuable in the future, you’re going to be left behind really rapidly.

PC Gamer: EA have recently said that Steam has restrictive terms of service. Can you shed any light on what they’re referring to?

Gabe Newell: I don’t really know what they’re referring to by that. In general, with Steam and Steam partners, it’s incumbent on us to create value for those partners, whether it’s EA or Ubisoft or Take-Two, or any of the other developers who are using it. That’s our goal, so we’re going to keep trying to do that with EA and trying to convince them that it’s worth it to have their games on Steam.

PC Gamer: Have you tried Origin?

Gabe Newell: I was talking to some people at EA about Origin, so I got an account before I came here and was trying it out. So yeah, I’ve tried it.

PC Gamer: What did you think of it? Did you like it?

Gabe Newell: I think it does some things well. I think there are still some areas where, as a customer, I’d like to see it improve. It’s not that different from any other system like this. There are positive things and negative things.
__________________________________

PC Gamer: What did you think of the protesters that appeared outside your office, demanding Half-Life: Episode 3?

Gabe Newell: We thought it was awesome! We wanted them to stay. We took them pizza – they’d only brought two sodas and they were planning on being out there for two days. They were very nice and very passionate about our games. At one point, somebody else in our building called the police and we were worried, but it turned out the police officer was a huge Team Fortress fan. He’s like: “Oh yeah, I totally understand, let me go get my sign!â€

So yeah, it was great for those guys to show up. We gave them a tour of the office and then they went back outside and protested.

PC Gamer: Are you worried you might get more protesters now?

Gabe Newell: I think it’d be great. They were very nice protesters so, definitely, we were all excited.

PC Gamer: They were obviously asking about Episode 3. Can you give us any news on that?

Gabe Newell: No, we don’t have anything. If the protesters couldn’t get it out of us…

PC Gamer: How many protesters would it take to get some Episode 3 news?

Gabe Newell: I don’t know, but if they’d like to come out, we could find out.
Source
Video interview

A nice interview I'd say.
 
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post #2 of 28
Quote:
So yeah, it was great for those guys to show up. We gave them a tour of the office and then they went back outside and protested.
I want to be one of those protesters
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post #3 of 28
He's excited about protesters, actually likes them and wants more. Now I've seen everything.
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFL Replica View Post
He's excited about protesters, actually likes them and wants more. Now I've seen everything.
Gabe and Valve are one of the few remaining devs who have not lost touch with what made them want to do all this in the first place; making awesome games for their fans.
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post #5 of 28
Protesting for Valve means lots of Valve freebies. Lol.
   
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post #6 of 28
I would be there in a second if I lived anywhere close by.
    
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post #7 of 28
Quote:
but it turned out the police officer was a huge Team Fortress fan. He’s like: “Oh yeah, I totally understand, let me go get my sign!”
I lol'd here, I admit.

Gabe must be a really cool guy, it's always nice to hear what he has to say. He's always honest about his ideals and his work and that's a big plus. No big words, no fancy arguments, just straight to the point - from gamer to gamer. Of course he's got some serious responsability, he can't just go berserk in the interviews raging about what he doesn't like and yelling stuff like "Origin is a piece of rotten crap" like some of the people in this forum do

Personally I like Steam better than Origin. Marketing is just SUPERIOR, they've got years of experience and customer feedback, and it's doesn't have that "cold" and "distant" feel that Origin has. EA simply doesn't know how to handle their customers, they never knew.
     
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post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNS0 View Post
Marketing is just SUPERIOR
Apparently.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MintMouse View Post
Apparently.
I'm not talking about the hype only, but also about the incredible amount of deals, the more games that use it as low-restriction DRM and, of course, the quality of the service and the Valve name.
Combine this stuff all together and you get from one side a money-making machine for Valve, and from the other side a gamer's best friend. It's usually a win-win situation for everyone.
I generally prefer physical copies of games because I like collections, the artwork, goodies in limited editions and the "physical" feel, but I can't deny that Steam is the real deal.
     
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post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNS0 View Post
I lol'd here, I admit.

Gabe must be a really cool guy, it's always nice to hear what he has to say. He's always honest about his ideals and his work and that's a big plus. No big words, no fancy arguments, just straight to the point - from gamer to gamer. Of course he's got some serious responsability, he can't just go berserk in the interviews raging about what he doesn't like and yelling stuff like "Origin is a piece of rotten crap" like some of the people in this forum do

Personally I like Steam better than Origin. Marketing is just SUPERIOR, they've got years of experience and customer feedback, and it's doesn't have that "cold" and "distant" feel that Origin has. EA simply doesn't know how to handle their customers, they never knew.
Don't start talking about Origin vs. Steam, you know what will happen then.

I always enjoy reading/hearing that Gabe has to say, although he barely gives any new information most of the time.
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