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
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Glad someone sees this...
10/15/2011 7:16:04 PM
Whoops, good catch. :)
I'd wager that most of the applications people
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.
RE: Glad someone sees this...
10/15/2011 7:18:50 PM
Actually, I just checked and I have closer to
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 is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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