Valve "Hates On" Apple at Conference
October 13, 2011 3:14 PM
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"They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things"
You may recall that top video game maker Valve Corp., makers of the
Left 4 Dead
series, as well as the hit video-game distribution client Steam, recently
aired some of its titles
on Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) Mac computers for the first time
following some teasers
But while Valve now is vending products for Apple's personal computer platform, it appears like there's little love between the firms. Valve president and owner Gabe Newell blasted the Cupertino tech giant for
its dictatorial approach
to the mobile market.
He comments, "I suspect Apple will launch a living room product that redefines people's expectations really strongly and the notion of a separate console platform will disappear. I'm worried that the things that traditionally have been the source of a lot of innovation are going - there's going to be an attempt to close those off so somebody will say 'I'm tired of competing with Google, I'm tired of competing with Facebook, I'll apply a console model and exclude the competitors I don't like from my world.'"
He continues, commenting that Apple has the "wrong philosophical approach" in its closed model.
He adds, "I consider Apple to be very closed. Let's say you have a book business and you are charging 5 to 7 percent gross margins. You can't exist in an Apple world because they want 30 percent and they don't care that you only have 7 percent to play with."
To be fair, Valve might be being a bit hypocritical here as its Steam is also a closed platform, as the interviewer challenged. Mr. Newell brushed this question aside, saying that while Steam isn't free, Valve does offer much free engine code and other tools to developers.
David Bluhm, president and chief executive of game company Z2Live, a mobile-focused gamemaker, jumped to Apple's defense after Mr. Newell's remarks, commenting, "I would argue Apple's system is very open but very proprietary ... it's open with their rules."
TechNW: Best and worst of times for games, Valve vs. Apple
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It's only bad if you're against change
10/13/2011 12:12:48 PM
I'm not condoning the way apple goes around beating everyone up and forcing others to change or die, but at the same time there is some good that can come of it.
If Apple (and as another person pointed out, Google and Microsoft as well), is forcing a 30% margin down everyone's throats, it's going to make everyone find ways to save money. This often involves cutting out the middle men - the ones everyone hates - like the MPAA or RIAA, and move to direct distribution. Not to say those organizations are entirely useless, but they're holding on to a model thats archaic and all but obsolete - hence the ridiculous legal battles over downloads (in the sense of the penalty amount not the legality of users actions).
It's really no different than Amazon, Walmart and other big box retailers forcing out mom and pop. Sure they're crushing the dreams of mom and pop, but we live in an age where we can buy almost anything online and and certain variety of things in stores. I feel bad for mom and pop, but they didn't have the volume to compete, and a book company, a music company or movie/tv companies will have to evolve their business model to continue to compete.
That is, after all, how capitalism works. If someone can set up a system that truly competes with Apple's iTunes, kudos to them and they deserve to take over the crown. If no one can over time, well that's where the government needs to step in (capitalism isn't perfect).
Not defending Apple, just saying it's not all boohoo.
RE: It's only bad if you're against change
10/13/2011 5:21:51 PM
Financial good may come of it.
Innovation suffers from it.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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