Valve: streaming 'not in our short-term plans'

There are "interesting possibilities," says Valve business development chief, but "lots of advantages" to non-streaming games.

Valve has no immediate plans to add game-streaming technology to its online offering, says Jason Holtman, Valve business development director. "In the near-term, are we going to have a streaming system? No," said Holtman at game industry conference Develop in Brighton, England. However, game-streaming technologies like those of OnLive and Gaikai are of interest to the software outfit.

Though "those [technologies] are really interesting to us," said Holtman, "they're not in our short-term plans." For now, Valve is content with old-fashioned, non-streaming games: "We see lots of advantages in the way games work now."

The house of Steam also considers cloud gaming a staple of its service to players already, added Team Fortress 2 designer Robin Walker.

"We love cloud gaming and we think we do it already… you can think of it as just a way of using a back-end structure [for gaming]," he said, comparing streaming's server-side game processing to cloud saves and the back-end that drives the Steam Workshop creation tools.

According to Walker, streaming as a new mode of distributing products is of less interest to Valve than new and potentially better player experiences. "We're not so excited by distribution," he said. "We're excited by a change in customer experience…The exciting thing about Steam is that we can deliver new experiences, iterate on our games much faster."

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Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I like the old fashioned Digital Distribution = Choose, Download and Play.

(Steam, GOG.)

 

I don't like Online-streaming (Gaikai, OnLive.)

 

Braintrust2010
Braintrust2010

I'm wondering if their marketing department signed off on "Old-Fashioned Games"

Braintrust2010
Braintrust2010

I wonder if their Marketing department signed off on "Old Fashioned Games"

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

I think streaming is a bad idea. Remember when PSN was shutdown after being hacked? Now imagine if that happened to a streaming service. Yeah, a lot of people could get pretty angry, and part of that would be not being able to play the games that they paid for. Valve's probably aware of that, but they need to take things a step further and offer the option to start steam up in offline mode even if you decided to go online last time or you forgot to click restart in offline mode before you shut your computer down.

TrueGB
TrueGB

Yeah, "short term" plans doesn't mean anything. If they're intelligent, they will consider the possibility of streaming (nobody seems to understand the impact OnLive streaming to a TV as part of your everday cable TV service will have). Bandwidth limits suck, but I'm sure they won't last forever. Consumers already demand better and new providers are stepping up to the plate left and right.

NoelXYeul
NoelXYeul

So, it's in your "long-term" plans, I see Valve, good. ;)

supermoc10
supermoc10

I hope they'll support it when fast internet connections become more accessible in the entire world because not everyone has a powerful gaming PC.

never-named
never-named

Streaming games may have several untapped possibilities that may benefit both the game maker and the consumer but at the end of the day the bandwidth required just doesn't work for a majority of the countries that Valve (or any other digital distribution platform holder) can potentially serve. That and the fact that streaming all but eliminates the sense of ownership of a product.

never-named
never-named

 @DemonChorro Digital renting doesn't really need to rely on streaming actually. Case in point, how Sony handles free games for PSN+. You download the game data,play it to your heart's content and there's an internal clock leading up to the game's date of expiration and then bam! It stops working.

TrueGB
TrueGB

 @never-named Yeah, but since when were those clocks in any way reasonable? I've seen a lot of 10 - 30min limits. That's nothing! You need at least 8 hours to get a good feel of an RPG. The last good demo I've played for a game was Divinity 2 where they gave you full access to everything in the game's first major quest hub.

DemonChorro
DemonChorro

 @never-named Thats what I want from Steam.... Rent games, rent for X amount of days, install it, nd when you launch it your time starts, when it ends, can't launch game unless buy or rent again.