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Print 115 comment(s) - last by johnsmith9875.. on Oct 19 at 10:06 AM


  (Source: Haloz)
"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 Half-LifeCounterstrikePortal, and 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."

Source: TechNW: Best and worst of times for games, Valve vs. Apple



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RE: Glad someone sees this...
By corduroygt on 10/13/2011 12:41:45 PM , Rating: 3
You realize Steam takes a similar cut from its online store, right?


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/13/2011 1:18:34 PM , Rating: 5
So? That doesn't make what Valve said any less true. I'm not even sure if they are directly comparable. Developers are free to publish their games on the Internet for everyone and anyone to use if they so choose. However if you want to develop iOS apps, you HAVE to go through the App Store.

Valve is offering a service and therefore should expect some compensation. They aren't forcing game dev's to use Steam are they?


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By corduroygt on 10/13/11, Rating: -1
RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/13/2011 1:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
Because Valve doesn't control the Windows operating system and the entire Internet?

You do NOT need Steam to get your game out there. Hello? Comparing this to Apple is a flawed analogy. Valve doesn't sell consumer devices or hardware of any kind.


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By MrBlastman on 10/13/2011 1:56:04 PM , Rating: 5
Very true, I don't need Steam at all to get my game out there. There are other places like Direc2drive and Gog.com for instance.

Steam does provide a lot of value, though (unlike Apple's store) with their sales. I'd say the bulk of my gaming purchases in the last couple of years have been through Steam (quantity-wise, not dollar wise) through these sales. When they start offering games for 2.50 - 5.00, I find myself giving in. In fact, I've built up such a backlog of titles now I have no reason at all to buy anything new for years to come.

That doesn't mean I won't though. Note I said quantity-wise. I've probably spent more dollars outside of Steam in the occasional purchase I make; mostly it is money spent on flight simulators as I feel the developers need every cent due to the small niche market it caters to.

I like Steam. I hate Apple's store and i-tunes. No, I loathe i-tunes. Anything that is invasive enough to brake my capability to burn CD's is bad enough I don't want it ever again.

I do feel a little bit like though that Valve is worried about what Apple might do in the future. As they should be. Apple, as much as I hate them along with everyone else, probably still has a few Steve tricks left up their sleeves and with marketing muscle, might put a dent in some markets (like Steam) that we don't see yet. The only problem is, they lack Steve, which, I feel was the true magician behind the magic show. The stagehands can only pull so much off once the magician has left the show...


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/13/11, Rating: -1
RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/13/2011 5:45:01 PM , Rating: 1
Shut up Tony. You don't get the point, as usual.


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/14/2011 8:47:26 AM , Rating: 2
You must be a miserable person, the name calling, that only serves to show how small minded you really are. Grow up. Seriously.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/14/2011 5:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm one of the happiest people you'll ever meet. Trolling horrible posters like Leroy is hilarious


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/15/2011 6:46:00 PM , Rating: 1
Note that he started the name calling in every single case. He's one of the most short-fused and vicious posters here. If he wants to sling shit then he should be ready to get it back instead of crying like a little baby.


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/15/2011 11:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
No, I don't believe he did. Calling him trailer trash, redneck and other various names, that's you. Like I said, grow up.


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/16/2011 6:01:21 AM , Rating: 2
Oh no, that was loooong after he started with me....


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/16/2011 12:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Give me a break, you can't be THAT thin skinned. The worst I have ever called you was the occasional "idiot", as I do with almost everyone I argue with here. I've never gone into your background, or made stupid assumptions about you based on where you live, or anything like that.

Your attacks don't bother me, but they're really mean spirited and just kind of immature. It makes it seem like I'm debating with someone in middle school. I'm half expecting you to resort to "yo momma" jokes soon.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/19/2011 6:33:03 AM , Rating: 1
"Idiot" opens up the gate to mean spirited, sorry dude. Don't sling shit if you're not ready to get it back.


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Netscorer on 10/13/2011 1:32:29 PM , Rating: 3
That is true, but Steam does not require that vendor can not sell their product elsewhere for whatever price fancies them at the moment. As a result, gamers can often have a choice to purchase game on Steam or go to other sellers for a smaller price. This is true even for Steamwork-only games.
Apple dictates that you can not sell your goods elsewhere for a lower price then what you charge via iPhone/iPad. This rule is what prompted Amazon to start their own Tablet and Marketplace.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/13/2011 5:34:39 PM , Rating: 1
Apple doesn't enforce pricing for applications on other platforms. You are getting confused with subscription and in-app sales.

As it stands, they revoked that change a few months ago: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20070258-17/appl...

Clearly it was a terrible idea. Either way, Apple doesn't control app pricing on other platforms. To go beyond the policies of other closed systems like XBox Live (which is COMPLETELY locked down), iOS apps have no restrictions talking to apps on other platforms either. This means cross-platform multiplayer between iOS and Android handsets.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/13/2011 5:34:39 PM , Rating: 1
Apple doesn't enforce pricing for applications on other platforms. You are getting confused with subscription and in-app sales.

As it stands, they revoked that change a few months ago: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20070258-17/appl...

Clearly it was a terrible idea. Either way, Apple doesn't control app pricing on other platforms. To go beyond the policies of other closed systems like XBox Live (which is COMPLETELY locked down), iOS apps have no restrictions talking to apps on other platforms either. This means cross-platform multiplayer between iOS and Android handsets.


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By kleinma on 10/14/2011 10:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
Steam as an actual platform is totally free though. Sure you pay for the content, but with apple you pay for the platform and the content. with apple raking in HUGE margins all along the way, sitting on tons of cash, and doing nothing with it except flaunting a high market cap.


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/14/2011 6:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
There is tons of free content on iTunes. I'd wager that most of the applications that people buy on any mobile device is free.

The business models are different. Valve primarily makes money from software sales while Apple and some other companies make the money from selling hardware. Software is very secondary to them. iTunes is the largest seller of digital music and applications in the world and its net profit is only around 10%, well below the average 25% for all of their products. Gross revenue for iTunes is also far below the rest of Apple's products, so again, it isn't really where they make money. So why do apps in the first place?

Applications are obviously there to give value to the product, but from a pure financial standpoint they increase the cost of switching platforms. To entirely switch platforms whether it is Windows/OS X/PS3/360/Android/iPhone/Windows Phone 7 has cost involved because they all hook the customer in with purchases made for that one platform.

On a side note, it is awesome that with Steamplay you automatically get both OS X and Windows versions from a single purchase, same with Blizzard and Battlenet. But again, that's one more incentive to stay on the Steam platform. Valve's intention is for the Steam platform to be completely hardware agnostic. It's been on OS X for well over a year, and putting it on PS3 and the failed attempt to get it on XBox is just the beginning. If they see a reason to put it on mobile devices they will.

It is a very different approach, a completely closed system based around DRM that they intend to have on multiple hardware platforms and operating systems.

It totally makes sense since Steam's profit is entirely based on the sale of software. As you said, they give away the platform for free and then sell goods within it. It's just like people who say that TF2 or League Of Legends are free. Yeah, they're "free-to-play", but companies make a fortune from transactions made within the game. Riot isn't sponsoring half a million in tournament prizes this year because customers aren't buying characters and skins. :)


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/15/2011 6:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd wager that most of the applications that people buy on any mobile device is free.
How can something you buy, be free?


RE: Glad someone sees this...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/15/2011 7:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
Whoops, good catch. :)

I'd wager that most of the applications people DOWNLOAD on any mobile device is free.

There, corrected. :)

The point still stands, there are very different business models at work here. Software gives very little profit to Apple as the bulk of revenue goes to software developers, music publishers, and movie studios. They make their money selling hardware. Software partly serving to increase the cost of switching platforms.

It is the opposite with Steam. Valve makes the bulk of their income from selling software, particularly their own, so it is in their interest to be as hardware agnostic as possible. They're on both Mac and PC, and they're just starting to be on console with PS3.

What is similar is that there is an increased cost to stop using Steam or switch away from it entirely since that software can only be used when running it.

I have over 250 titles on Steam at this point. There is no chance I'm buying a game from another download service unless a publisher runs their own, like Blizzard does with Battlenet for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3.

In the end they are all closed systems based around DRM of some sort, they just go about it in different ways because of their different business models.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/15/2011 7:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I just checked and I have closer to 340 games in my Steam library. WTF, jeez, those cheap Christmas bundles threw a lot of stuff in I had no idea about and will probably never play. :)


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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