Valve "Hates On" Apple at Conference
October 13, 2011 3:14 PM
"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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