'I Think Valve Is Single-Handedly Keeping PC Gaming Going'

Briefly: "I think Valve is single-handedly keeping PC gaming going. If Valve went away suddenly, it would affect the entire culture... They've grown a cult around PC gaming, which is really cool." Kerbal Space Program lead developer Felipe Falanghe, talking to PC Gamer about the role Steam had in KSP's rise to popularity.


    PC gaming would certainly survive, a service like Origin would step in to take up the slack in the market. However, it's highly unlikely anyone else would be as community-friendly, sale-happy and consumer-oriented as Valve in the that regard. Anyone else would probably seize the opportunity to be a money grabbing monopoly

      I think that's what he was getting at. More so than the service itself, I think he was talking about the culture and community that have sprung up around it and which it supports. Unlike, say, Origin which, if it became the standard instead of Steam, would foster about as much sense of community as the iTunes store.

        I don't know. GFWL has proved to be a chore every single time I've used it. Even when I knowingly avoided, I still found "GAMES FOR WINDOWS LIVE!" rearing its ugly head in Steam games like the Arkham series (lost a bunch of save data to that debacle) and Trenched. If Valve closed up shop, I shudder to think how someone like Microsoft will try to fill the power vacuum and ruin PC gaming.

        Last edited 27/12/13 1:01 pm

          It's not like consoles look a whole lot better

            even the console devs are realizing people are realizing consoles are nothing more than glorified PC's that are even worse than macs

      PSN sales are very attractive. You could argue as attractive as Steam sales. Not everyone would agree. But they are attractive.

      PS+ could be argued to be better than Steam sales. A lot would agree. US PS+ are about to get Bioshock Infinite and DmC for free.

      Crysis 3 is on sale for $9.99. Not bad.

        Yeah, I'd certainly rate PS+ up there with Steam Sales in terms of value for money - I don't know if I'd say better value, but certainly on par. Although Steam tends to offer more stuff to choose from at those low, low prices while PS+ you just kind of get what you're given. Not that you can complain too much given the quality of what you're given is generally outstanding.

          Yeah PS+ you get what you're given, so it can never be the perfect system - but the amount of games you get, and the quality of those games make the deal outstanding value.

          I'm not sure if I'll buy any more disk based games. Or many more. I just bought Ridge Racer Unbounded for $6, and Crysis 3 for $10. I bought Call of Juarez Gunslinger last week for $7 or so.

          Sure, you can probably get similar prices on Steam, but then the PS3 is plugged into a 42" plasma right opposite my comfy sofa, and Steam isn't quite able to replicate that - yet - at least, for me.

          I think PSNs value is remarkable not only because it is impressing in the same way Steam does, but also because it's come such a long way in such a short period of time.

          A year ago there were no cheap games on PSN. Now they're all over the place.

          Full retail games slipped below the $30 mark, then $20, now they're under $10. And for plenty of games that were released in the last 12 months.

          That's exceptional value.

          Why buy a PS4 and pay $80 for a game, when we can buy great PS3 games for $10, and be given a couple a month for free.

          Last edited 28/12/13 5:52 pm

            I have 130 games installed out of 231 owned on steam. My steam folder is 441GB. Of course one could argue that I don't need that much installed at once but it costs me nothing. You can't really do that on a PS. Not to mention all my shows, movies and music.

            PSN as a service is definitely getting better but until it becomes optional instead of forced on users just so they can play online, it will never interest me. I applaud what they are doing, clearly online distribution of games is becoming more mainstream and beneficial to the customer, but I'm not a huge fan of their business model.

              You can have 440gb+ on a PS. I have a 1TB installed. Game installs are probably around 6-700GB by now. I know I filled up my 500gb which is why I upgraded again.

        I agree that the PSN does have some very attractive deals for the past two or so years. However my issues with PS+ still remain, in that i lose access to those free games if my sub lapses. Don't get me wrong, it is incredible value but sometimes i just don't have the money to keep the sub going without a brief gap and it was incredibly frustrating last year for those 3 weeks i didn't have PS+.

        Also anyone else experiencing PSN downtime/spotty service since Xmas? I though that Sony might have made sure that there online services would be able to handle an Xmas rush, especially now that i am paying for my online play.

          Are you sure? If you have the games installed on your system you can play them, but you will not be able to redownload them; I've found that after a resubscription you gain access to any previous ps plus titles you have downloaded as well. It's not bad, not to mention the decidedly low sub cost.

          Plus I find it infinitely useful having my saves automatically preserved on the cloud. I can swap between multiple machines seamlessly

          It's a good idea to keep an eye out for when they have some kind of sale going on the PS+ memberships (either a discount or an extra month free or similar) and renew then rather than wait for it to expire. You can renew at any time and it will just extend from your current expiry date, so if you see a sale and you've got the spare money at the time then it's worth renewing then rather than wait for it to actually expire and then find either you don't have the money available at the time or it's not on sale and you end up paying full price.

            Can you get PS+ for $50 like XBL or is it more?

              Regular price is AU$70, but every now and again they'll knock 15% off or give you 13 months for the price of 12 or something like that.

                Seeing as you can get PS+ cards now at JB and the like, they may well get included in the period 20% off PSN card sales that they have too.

                  I guess if you could get the cards at a discount to top up your wallet then wait for PS+ to go on sale then you could do it even cheaper.

            Sales are always good but personally I don't get too excited by the 3 months extra for free. It's a bargain at full price. I don't feel the need to squeeze them any more.

          Steam went down too. Online services still aren't 100% stable, that's just life (for now).

          Yeah losing PS+ games at some stage isn't a good thing, but then we can't have everything for free - and even if it means you pay $70 a year for the next 20 years, $1400 might sound a lot but is peanuts for 1000+ weeks of entertainment.

          And of course, you'll be able to buy games that you have on PS+ (I think you can, maybe you can't).

          I think Sony should offer a a minimal token fee to be able to buy a PS+ game outright - pay $3 and you keep the game regardless as to whether or not you maintain PS+. But we'd probably end up paying for a game twice.

    Completely forgets about Blizzard & LoL.

      Arguably they don't support PC Gaming, just.... their own game(s). Sure, a quadrillion people play WoW, LoL, D3 and SC2, but they're just four games, not a well-rounded platform and culture to match.

    No doubt Valve has done a lot for PC gaming, but if they disappeared tomorrow we'd still be going fine.

      The fact that the community would survive shows how well Valve have done in building it.

        Fuck you, I was playing PC games WELL before Steam came along and forced intrusive DRM on my games!

          I'm sorry, that was really rude. I just don't like Steam!

          It was also dying a slow death at physical retail and suffering from rampant piracy - Steam made full-scale digital distribution viable on PC. As much as people might not like having DRM on their games, it's partly what made publishers allow Steam to become the de facto standard platform for online distribution.

          Without it, PC gaming (at least on the AAA side of things) may well have died off, or instead of Steam we would have ended up with something a lot more intrusive (e.g. Origin), or we'd have ended up with every publisher running their own service and the fragmentation would have just been a giant pain in the arse with everybody needing different accounts with different publishers' stores all over the place.

          Steam might not be perfect, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.

            The fragmentation is still thre however.

            Between Battle.net, Steam, Origin, Ark and whatever else. At one time I had all of them to play the games I wanted to play at the time. After getting over it I abandoned all but Steam.

          I've been playing PC games for a long time. My first gaming PC had my friends coming home with me from school to see how cool EGA graphics looked. I've always preferred PC to consoles, even though I've owned a hell of a lot of consoles.

          PC gaming was dying and the big publishers were helping it along because piracy was terrible. Steam introduced convenience, online servers, social network features, and other value-add things to make people want to actually spend money on games again and the publishers liked it because it dropped piracy to practically zero. Everyone wins.

          Steam has issues, sure. It certainly isn't perfect, but it single-handedly revived a dying platform and I'm incredibly happy it did. Just being able to download games has helped me so much it isn't even funny.

            I have a bias. Up until three years ago I was still living at home with my parents, who were out in the sticks. On a 24kbps dial up (that dropped out completely when it rained) until 2008 and on a 3G connection then. It was still slow, cost $90 a month and had a 3gig limit. After that it was 25c a mb. Imagine how I felt paying full price for a game on the shelf, only to take it home and realise I couldn't play it because either A, Steam wouldn't let me sign in or B, it forced massive updates.

            I'm on 250bg naked ADSL2 now, so that isn't an issue, but I still hate the clunky interface and having to turn off kiddy things like achievements that ruin immersion. Services like GOG are done infinite times better in my opinion, apart from the lack of new titles.

            I haven't been playing PC games as long as you, but I have been since 1995 and I don't ever remember it feeling like it was dying. Sure, I pirated games as a kid but so did all of my friends who had Playstations and Steam made me crack my store bought games a few years ago just so I could play them!

            Being better than GFWL will never make me like something.

    Yeah Blizzard and Riot are doing alot for PC gaming. I really do get why people love steam though. I just about gave up on pc gaming when most of the AAA games coming out came with "games for windows live" and i just had so many issues.

      I plan to dance on GFWL's grave.

        We need to erect a temple/shrine or monument for all would be digital distributors to come and learn about how not to go about the business. With hourly celebrations.

    I'd have agreed with this statement 3 or so years ago but now I think that if Valve suddenly became a minor player or closed up completely, it would just create a power vacuum that would be filled by someone else. My guess is that it would either be GOG.com or the humble store.

    I'd like to hear what Total Biscuit thinks about this absurdly hilarious article.


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