In an interview with Develop, Valve boss Gabe Newell says that his company is more interested in "looking into what Valve can do with payment services than engine services". What that means is some crazy ideas on how to take your money.
"The industry has this broken model, which is one price for everyone", he says. "That's actually a bug, and it's something that we want to solve through our philosophy of how we create entertainment products."
"What you really want to do is create the optimal pricing service for each customer and see what's best for them. We need to give customers, all of them, a robust set of options regarding how they pay for their content."
Now, this is where it gets a little nutty.
"An example is – and this is something as an industry we should be doing better – is charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with. Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them. Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave. We should have a way of capturing that. We should have a way of rewarding the people who are good for our community.
So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice."
You know, Valve being Valve and this being 2011, I honestly can't tell if he's joking or not.
Gabe Newell on Valve [Develop]