Valve "Hates On" Apple at Conference
October 13, 2011 3:14 PM
comment(s) - last by
"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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RE: So to summarise
10/13/2011 1:13:42 PM
-Steam wanted access to apple, so they could sell there.
-Apple said no, only we control whats there.
-Steam is mad they are being shut out of a market.
I don't see anything in these facts that support your accusation that steam wants to or ever plans to control anything more than steam. It is the users choice if they want to use steam. What choices do you apple people have?
I will never use a platform or OS that I can not buy software for, from more than one place. It is stupid to let yourself be put in such a easily abused position.
RE: So to summarise
10/13/2011 5:34:16 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but Steam isn't a game, it isn't an app that does anything much, it's just a closed proprietary platform for selling and controlling the deployment of apps and games. Steam controls the deployment of all games that sign up to be distributed via Steam. Valve wants to control the distribution of all games if it can. Steam minus it's controlled content will be an empty space.
The aim of Steam is to offer a way to distribute a digital product (for a cut of the revenue), to prevent piracy, to ensure security and the absence of malware, and to distribute timely and easily accessible game and app updates. Steam wants to do on iOS devices exactly what what the iOS system and the App Store already do. Why bother? What additional function or advantage does Steam offer that the App Store doesn't already have?
The only thing Steam does is let Valve carve out a cut of the game revenue flow. Apple says no - we are going to have that cut. Bad for Valve good for Apple - but to the end user it makes not one iota of difference.
It's probably worth noting that the App Store has driven down prices for the end user more than Steam has. It is also worth noting that Steam keeps the percentage it takes, for offering the same service as the App Store, secret. Nobody knows for sure what Valve's cut is. Apple have a flat and completely transparent system for calculating the cost of using the App Store which is 30% for everyone.
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