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  (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: is it very hypocritical
By TakinYourPoints on 10/16/2011 6:45:59 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, you do need Steam if you want to play any of Valve's games on OS X. I just checked on my Mac, and the only Valve game on my Windows PC that isn't available on Mac is the DOTA2 beta, and that makes sense since it is still a work in progress.

I believe there are some other Steamworks games on OS X, but I don't remember them off the top of my head. I don't even really know the number of Steamworks games on Windows.

quote:
Mac programs dont have to be on their appstore. theyre everywhere.


This goes for non-Steamworks games on Windows as well. Again, I don't know the number off the top of my head. Actually, the last game I got, Rage (puke), uses Steamworks, but I still don't think it's anywhere near the majority.

quote:
Steam may make sense in the world of windows, but not on macs, it's just another unnecessary middle(fat)man that takes a cut. Why have it?


Auto-patching, unlimited downloads, cloud backups and syncing, screenshot/video gallery, friends list, etc etc. It's a business, no reason a good business can't make money if they make customers happy. I value the service of Steam even if I'm locked into it, I'll gladly buy all my games from them.

People criticize closed systems from Microsoft (who's XBox is the most walled off of the walled gardens out there), Apple, Steam, whatever, but for the most part they're great to use. People don't care about "open" or "closed" as long as it works well, and time and time again it's been shown that closed systems work pretty darn well.

The obvious exception is Sony with their month+ service outage and security leak, what a disaster that was.

In any case, I totally support Valve's right to profit from a closed platform available on multiple hardware platforms. Whatever DRM and platform lock-in they provide IMHO is outweighed by the convenience they offer.

I don't really agree with the rest of your points, but I also don't have a philosophical opposition to closed systems.

I do agree that Gabe has no place criticizing Apple for the same sort of platform lock-in his own company does. The only difference is that he profits from software and as a result has a hardware agnostic platform, while Apple makes marginal income on software and profits from hardware instead. Different approaches that ultimately lead to similar platform lock-in. Again, I personally don't mind lock-in, but complaining about it when you run one of the biggest walled-gardens out there is strange. :)

On the topic of revenue sharing, Notch explained a while ago that he isn't putting Minecraft on Steam, and I suspect that revenue split and the fact that he has a hit game anyway is the main reason. It's the same reason EA is making their own service for Battlefield 3. Valve still hasn't officially revealed what their split is, but it's been said to have started at 50/50 (wow), was 60/40 for years, and went to a 70/30 split this year (no doubt due to the mobile model). This is from developer boards btw. Valve has never gone official with their figures, so take that as you will.


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