“We get really frustrated working in walled gardens.”
Last generation, Valve was only too happy to spread the love of its games among all platforms, with SP3 and Xbox 360 routinely getting versions of its major releases (even though those versions were never quite supported all that well after launch). However, this generation, it looks like Valve isn’t going to do that. Eurogamer reports (via WCCFTech) that Valve’s Gabe Newell has thrown his hands up in frustration when it comes to developing for consoles.
“We love the PC right now. A lot,” he said. “We get really frustrated working in walled gardens. So you try to talk to someone who’s doing product planning on a console about free-to-play games and they say ‘Oh, we’re not sure free-to-play is a good idea’ and you’re like ‘the ship has left’.
“There have been cases where we’ve updated products 5-6 times in a day. When we did the original iOS [release] of Steam App, right, we shipped it, we got a whole bunch of feedback and like the next day we’re ready to do an update. We weren’t able to get that update out for six months! And we couldn’t find out why they wouldn’t release it! They wouldn’t tell us. This is the life that you have in these environments. And finally they shipped it! And they wouldn’t tell us why they finally shipped it.
“So for us, while we’re spending all of our time trying to be as tunnel-vision in this loop with our customers, to all of a sudden have this complete uncertainty about doing updates… Like we don’t know how to operate.”
Newell’s stance here definitely makes sense, and it corroborates Valve’s reason for making Steam in the first place (to be able to deliver updates and pot launch patches to customers and players immediately, without delay). And while I am sure some people will be bummed that whatever new games Valve is making won’t come to consoles, let’s be honest- when have the console version of Valve games ever actually been worth it?