Founder of Valve, Gabe Newell, had a conversation with VentureBeat recently where he talked about the future of the PC market.
Newell said that many don't realize how “critical games are,” when it comes to choosing an operating system for a consumer. “The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior,” he said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy." He goes on to say, "[W]e’re trying to make sure that Linux thrives. Our perception is that one of the big problems holding Linux back is the absence of games... I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space. I think that we’re going to lose some of the top-tier PC [original equipment manufacturers]. They’ll exit the market. I think margins are going to be destroyed for a bunch of people.”
Open your mind
Gabe Newell also discussed innovation, stating that for it to happen, platforms need to be more open instead of the closed route. “In order for innovation to happen, a bunch of things that aren’t happening on closed platforms need to occur,” he said. “Valve wouldn’t exist today without the PC, or Epic, or Zynga, or Google. They all wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform. There’s a strong temptation to close the platform, because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors’ access to the platform, and they say ‘That’s really exciting.’” He goes on to say, “We are looking at the platform and saying, ‘We’ve been a free rider, and we’ve been able to benefit from everything that went into PCs and the Internet, and we have to continue to figure out how there will be open platforms.’”
Valve is one of the biggest game developers in the world and is at the forefront for PC gaming. They have come up with genre defining games like Half-Life and Portal. The latest game to be released by Valve is Dota 2 which is a remake of the original Warcraft 3 mod, Defense of the Ancients, in the Source engine which runs games such as Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Half-Life 2.
Dota 2 is set to be free to play, following the success of the business model of Valve’s own Team Fortress 2. The game is currently in beta, but access can be purchased from Steam, which nets you the game and some cosmetic items for your heroes in-game. The release date for Dota 2 is unknown.