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This Might Be Why Valve Stopped Making Console Games

Gabe Newell talks about getting "really frustrated" with "walled gardens."


Valve has released some notable console games for last-generation systems, including Portal 2, The Orange Box, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and the Left 4 Dead series. However, the developer has focused more on PC in recent years. Now we may know why.

Valve founder Gabe Newell said during a roundtable interview recently that consoles can be like "walled gardens"--and this is not the situation the company is looking for. "We get really frustrated working in walled gardens," he said, as reported by Eurogamer.

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The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 allow developers to self-publish, though of course developers still need to work with the platform-holders to an extent. Asked by Eurogamer if Valve has seen the self-publishing model improve on Xbox One and PS4, Newell said, "We love the PC right now. A lot."

One of the things that Newell takes issue with for "walled gardens" such as console and iOS is that it can take a long time to get updates pushed out. "When we did the original iOS 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!" he said. "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 explained.

Newell went on to acknowledge that other developers have learned how to be "wildly successful" in the console and mobile space, but Valve is going in a different direction, it seems.

"Our DNA tend[s] to not work well when someone is trying to insert a lot of process between us and our customers," he said.

Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility, but that game was originally made for Xbox 360.

You can read the full story here at Eurogamer.

In other Valve news, Newell recently confirmed that Valve is making three "full" virtual reality games, though they have not yet been officially announced.

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