Valve is famous for many, many things, and yes, video games are one of them. When you think of Valve you think of Portal, Team Fortress, and of course, Half-Life. All of these were able to be played on both PC and consoles. Yet, as time has gone on, the team at Valve have pulled back from wanting to make console games, much to the disappointment of gamers. Especially those wanting Half-Life 3.
But why are they restricting themselves like this? Well Valve found Gabe Newell spoke about this to Eurogamer and others in a roundtable event, and he made it very clear about why this was:
“We get really frustrated working in walled gardens.”
By this, he means he hates the restrictions that consoles often put on developers. He believes it limits not just the vision of the game, but what the game can truly be.
“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’.”
He went on to note the very toxic experiences he and Valve had with console makers, in noting how they had updates ready within days, but they would take months to release for no reason at all. Whereas on PC you can do it with the click of a button. He didn’t like that these publishers put themselves above the needs of the customers.
“I’m sure that other people are wildly successful in those environments, but sort of our DNA tend to not work well when someone is trying to insert a lot of process between us and our customers.”