Why I love Valve.

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Yes, I admit it, I am a complete and total Valve fanboy. I'm not blind to things they do wrong, like the controversy over L4D2... but I think that is one very minor miss-step, considering everything else they do for gamers that you don't find elsewhere too often. I may have been blown away with Half-Life, but one game alone isn't the reason I think Valve is the greatest video game developer - it's how they treat their customers and their fans that really sets them apart from most other companies. So, partially because I'm EXTREMELY bored, and partially because I think Valve's history is actually pretty interesting... here's an asskissing essay on why I think Valve is great. I'll continually add more as I think of them.

PLEASE add yours as well! Help me fill this thread with reasons why Valve should be an example to all game developers out there.

The "Fly Gabe Newell Fund"

When Left 4 Dead 2 was announced, a Steam group started in the name of boycotting L4D2 on the grounds that Valve had promised continued support of L4D1, and had yet to deliver - so why was a sequel already being released? Anyway, to convert the non-believers, Valve flew the boycott groups two leading members to their HQ in Seattle, gave them a tour and an early hands-on of the game. The boycotters were convinced that L4D2 had purpose and gave up their effort.

Hoping to take advantage of Valve's generosity in flying random people to their HQ, a modder from Australia named Joe sent a smart-ass e-mail to Gabe Newell asking why he hasn't been flown to their HQ to preview his mod-campaign for them.

Gabe Newell responded in kind, and said "We are boycotting your campaign".

A couple responses later, Joe assesses that Gabe would not fly him to Seattle... but has not opposed to being flown to Australia. Of course Gabe had not expected anything to ever come of this, but he underestimated the power of the internet.

Joe started a donations web site to set up a fund to fly Gabe Newell and lead designer Erik Wolpaw to Australia to preview his mod-campaign. Long story short, various people over the internet donated a sum of over $3,000 to the cause.

Instead of just taking that money, of course Valve paid their own way and donated that money to charity. They went to Brisbane, AUS and put on a little press event, then personally went to Joe's house, drank some beer and played his campaign with him.

Gabe Newell:
The English language lacks the words to express the level of excitement that Erik and I feel that you and your friends have pulled this off. Give us some time to organize our affairs, as we are trying to ship a product, and then we'll let you know the time and date of our arrival.

Valve accidentally bans 12,000 Modern Warfare 2 players from Steam; Apologizes with Zombies

Everyone knows that Steam is imperfect - Valve Anti-Cheat is flawed but somewhat passable at best, but you wouldn't expect much more than a "sorry, you're all unbanned" from a company whose anti-cheat software went rogue and banned thousands of innocent players. But Gabe Newell stepped up, admitted the mistake, EXPLAINED the mistake, and automatically gave each person affected by the glitch TWO free copies of Left 4 Dead 2 - one for themselves, and one for a friend... or if they already had a copy, two for friends. Yes, it's marketing tactic to get more people hooked on L4D2, maybe steal some MW2 players. But it's free! They can market that way all they want, as far as I'm concerned!

Valve paves the way for Mac gaming, gives away Portal for free

Now, it's one thing to market a product or service, but your audience is usually limited to those who already have an interest in purchasing your product/service. BUT, throw in free stuff... and suddenly a lot more people are on board.

This year, Valve released the Mac version of Steam. To promote/celebrate this notable event in gaming history, they put Portal up as a free download to anyone with a Steam account who did not already own the game. Not just Mac users... ANYONE. So even if you've never touched a Mac in your life, you were given the opportunity to have one of the best games to come out in recent years for FREE, with no strings attached. Even a Steam account is free.

Aside from the Portal thing, releasing Steam for Mac is definitely a milestone in gaming. Just when the fear that PC gaming is dying was reaching a point where it could actually be taken seriously, Valve stepped in and took advantage of the popularity of Apple products as of late. This was a brilliant move for them business-wise for several reasons. One, they are currently the only video game vendor service available for Mac. Pretty much any publisher who wants a slice of the Apple pie (herp) is more than likely going to hop on board Steam, and probably not JUST for the Mac version of their game, but the PC version as well. Two, giving Portal away as a promotional gift puts Valve's hooks into people who are new to gaming, as well as driving up interest in the upcoming Portal 2. Three, once gaming on the Mac expands as it undoubtedly will, you can bet that iTunes will offer games. It's the only logical conclusion. Valve can say that they were the first to offer games for Apple platforms - even before Apple themselves did it. With this move, Valve has set the foundation for them to become a giant in the entertainment industry, even if they do only stick to video games. One wonders how long before TV shows, movies and music are available on Steam?

Clever gamer mails in fake TF2 order-form, Valve responds with goodies

Part of the charm of Team Fortress 2 is this fictional reality Valve has created. Most in-game items are produced by a fictional company called "MANN CO.".

As Valve releases updates to the classes within TF2, they are adorned with promotional posters and advertisements all kept within the game's universe.

The update for the Scout included a humorous, but fake mail-in coupon to "TF Industries", which obviously doesn't exist.

Surprisingly, Valve didn't expect for some clever gamer out there to actually fill it out and send it in to Valve's HQ in Seattle. Of course, when it did happen, Valve couldn't break character, and had to respond in kind.

image

Later instances of these types of things have rewarded TF2 fans with one-of-a-kind Saxton Hale/TF2 comics among other goodies.

They're basically the pixar of gaming.

*SMACK!!* you forgot alien swarm, bow your head in shame

Worgen:
*SMACK!!* you forgot alien swarm, bow your head in shame

Did not forget, just have had enough beers to know that I cannot continue to type coherent paragraphs.

its probably the last developer that prefers client satisfaction instead of the money, since steam should give them a moneyenough to keep the company healthy they can think in making stuff with and for the community at decent prices

now why cant we all be the same
*looks at activision*

This is why Valve is my favorite developer. :-)

[Flameshield] Now if only they could make an amazing game! [/Flame]
Just kidding, I love those guys. I nearly died at the end of half life 2: episode 2.


Loving left 4 dead 2, just got it a couple days ago.
Hated what they did with the orange box for the xbox.
But otherwise they are not on my to kill list.

Nothing anyone can say justifies such a lazy ps3 port and such pathetic fanboyism from supposedly professional developers. "The PS3 is a waste of time", really? How can anyone possibly think that a professional way to behave is to slag off a third of your market like that?

Edit - their games are ok for what they are but I suppose putting up with such a shoddy port for my favourite platform made me see them as just generic. They're decent and I had fun playing them but, except for Portal, a lot of what makes their games special to others just didn't get through to me.

In before Valve hate?

edit: Scratch that.

I love Valve, it ranks about 12th on my "things I love" list.

hyperhammy:
[Flameshield] Now if only they could make an amazing game! [/Flame]
Just kidding, I love those guys. I nearly died at the end of half life 2: episode 2.


Loving left 4 dead 2, just got it a couple days ago.
Hated what they did with the orange box for the xbox.
But otherwise they are not on my to kill list.

Spoiler fail, haha.. but yea even if their games aren't perfect, there is a LOT of heart put into them. You can't deny that. Left 4 Dead may be crude compared to modern team-based games, but those characters are more life like than in most character-driven single player games in existence.

I do love the fact that they care about their community. I just hate their games. All but TF2 I found fun

I love them, but I wouldn't even care about the games. They would be a favorite of mine because they said the ps3 was a waste, then a couple years later they came on stage and were like "yeah, so you proved us wrong, sorry. Here is a basket of fruit and portal 2.".

They weren't afraid to go back on their word for the good of the company.

MichiganMuscle77:

hyperhammy:
[Flameshield] Now if only they could make an amazing game! [/Flame]
Just kidding, I love those guys. I nearly died at the end of half life 2: episode 2.


Loving left 4 dead 2, just got it a couple days ago.
Hated what they did with the orange box for the xbox.
But otherwise they are not on my to kill list.

Spoiler fail, haha.. but yea even if their games aren't perfect, there is a LOT of heart put into them. You can't deny that. Left 4 Dead may be crude compared to modern team-based games, but those characters are more life like than in most character-driven single player games in existence.

Thanks for pointing out my spoiler fail. Fixed it now, no one should have that game spoiled. I completely agree with you, I don't think portal, half life or even left 4 dead are perfect. There are a lot of games that are better, but I don't think I'll ever forget the end to half life 2 episode 2. Do I still know the end to halo 3? No idea. Hologram Stippers FTW!!!

Yes well done Valve you took DRM and made it so that the average idiot on the street will thank you for giving them Steam for nothing rather than charging you for it.

Valve aren't wonderful or godly or any of that other bullsh*t they are a company trying to make cash and Steam, the source of so much of your plaudits, started life as nothing more than a massive pain in the arse DRM. It still is a pain in the arse DRM but you can buy stuff through it so... uh... so what.

Beyond that what have Valve done of late that is really of notable worth.

Well the whole Portal for free thing was a con designed to get Steam / their DRM / their advertising engine on to as many systems as they could. Portal was a fine game at launch but no one would have actually bought it as a stand alone game and no one would have batted an eyelid if they had charged anything for Mac owners to buy it when Steam launched. So they got it for free.

HL1 was great, HL2 was a massive meh, made worse by the fact that you had to install Steam / DRM / Valve advertising engine on to your PC to play it and the HL episodes have been nothing more than the same boring set pieces we saw in Hl2 rehashed... oh no I am in an underground area surrounded with zombies and have limited ammo... again, how unique.

L4D and Portal are the only two games of the last 10 years that are even worthy of note, yeah I know Tf2 and CSS has a huge following but to me both of these games (save for the zombie server mod in css) are cement my head in stone dull.

As for the argument of weather or not Steam / Valve saved gaming... well no. Their is still more than enough developers who release games that have nothing to do with Steam and fact is had Valve not released Steam chances are GFWL would have taken the place quite nicely. The fact that Steam got there first and did the job a bit better just means that many PC gamers ignore GFWL and as a result the whole PC side feels neglected.

The only notable aspect of Steam is that it allows you to buy games that you would have forgotten about at a knock down price, what I mean is bundles like the GTA collection and crap like that. Now would any one really go out and buy an old copy of GTA now... no they wouldn't but stick them in a bundle with four other GTA games and claim that you get all this for 20 and suddenly you have a whole market of idiots waiting to download the games.

For new games Steam is utterly missable as the cost of the game on Steam is either the same or in some instances more than the retail version and in the time it would take for Steam to download a five gig game I could drive to the nearest games shop and buy the product off the shelf.

Sapient Pearwood:
Nothing anyone can say justifies such a lazy ps3 port and such pathetic fanboyism from supposedly professional developers. "The PS3 is a waste of time", really? How can anyone possibly think that a professional way to behave is to slag off a third of your market like that?

Someone's bitter. Quit whining, they're adding Steam to PS3.

OT: <3 Valve so much. I personally loved Gabe's response to people who were complaining about him "kissing Sony's ass now."

Now if only they could like.... I dunno... DO HALF LIFE 3?!

I do agree that they treat their customers better then other gaming companys do and for that they have my admiration, but I have yet to get hooked on any of their games, but that's just personal taste.

Laughing Man:
Yes well done Valve you took DRM and made it so that the average idiot on the street will thank you for giving them Steam for nothing rather than charging you for it.

Valve aren't wonderful or godly or any of that other bullsh*t they are a company trying to make cash and Steam, the source of so much of your plaudits, started life as nothing more than a massive pain in the arse DRM. It still is a pain in the arse DRM but you can buy stuff through it so... uh... so what.

Beyond that what have Valve done of late that is really of notable worth.

Well the whole Portal for free thing was a con designed to get Steam / their DRM / their advertising engine on to as many systems as they could. Portal was a fine game at launch but no one would have actually bought it as a stand alone game and no one would have batted an eyelid if they had charged anything for Mac owners to buy it when Steam launched. So they got it for free.

HL1 was great, HL2 was a massive meh, made worse by the fact that you had to install Steam / DRM / Valve advertising engine on to your PC to play it and the HL episodes have been nothing more than the same boring set pieces we saw in Hl2 rehashed... oh no I am in an underground area surrounded with zombies and have limited ammo... again, how unique.

L4D and Portal are the only two games of the last 10 years that are even worthy of note, yeah I know Tf2 and CSS has a huge following but to me both of these games (save for the zombie server mod in css) are cement my head in stone dull.

As for the argument of weather or not Steam / Valve saved gaming... well no. Their is still more than enough developers who release games that have nothing to do with Steam and fact is had Valve not released Steam chances are GFWL would have taken the place quite nicely. The fact that Steam got there first and did the job a bit better just means that many PC gamers ignore GFWL and as a result the whole PC side feels neglected.

The only notable aspect of Steam is that it allows you to buy games that you would have forgotten about at a knock down price, what I mean is bundles like the GTA collection and crap like that. Now would any one really go out and buy an old copy of GTA now... no they wouldn't but stick them in a bundle with four other GTA games and claim that you get all this for 20 and suddenly you have a whole market of idiots waiting to download the games.

For new games Steam is utterly missable as the cost of the game on Steam is either the same or in some instances more than the retail version and in the time it would take for Steam to download a five gig game I could drive to the nearest games shop and buy the product off the shelf.

Saved PC gaming, I would say. The future of PC gaming may even lay with Mac for all we know, at this point. The future of PC gaming depends on the success of gaming on Mac - if developers jump on board this new platform, maybe people with PC's will go "Hey, wait, we want games too!" and more developers will go back to creating games suited for PC's.

And I think you miss the point of Steam. One purchase allows for infinite downloads. What if you bought a hard copy and lost/broke the disc? You're out of luck. My Steam library will exist forever, except in the event of Steam's servers melting down.

Also, the way you call anyone who likes Steam an idiot sort of discredits anything you have to say, because it makes you seem prejudiced, and we all know that prejudiced people are the truly ignorant ones.

JackRyan64:

OT: <3 Valve so much. I personally loved Gabe's response to people who were complaining about him "kissing Sony's ass now."

Which was?

Laughing Man:
snip

In case you've forgotten, GFWL is shit. It runs really slowly on even the best PCs and the interface is a real mess that feels like it was designed with the Xbox 360 controller in mind.

Steam, on the other hand, is actually useful. It's a tiny program that runs in the background, and it makes it so you don't even need CDs to play your games, which you can download to as many PCs as you want. It also provides an easy source for great deals on good games. So what if they're trying to push their platform? That's called good business. As for GFWL, Microsoft obviously didn't do enough of that and now their platform is just an obscure annoyance on a few games.

hyperhammy:
[Flameshield] Now if only they could make an amazing game! [/Flame]
Just kidding, I love those guys. I nearly died at the end of half life 2: episode 2.


Loving left 4 dead 2, just got it a couple days ago.
Hated what they did with the orange box for the xbox.
But otherwise they are not on my to kill list.

ea handled the port of it and ms doesnt let anyone give anything for free on the 360, I think patches on the system cost the dev to put out

hyperhammy:
[Flameshield] Now if only they could make an amazing game! [/Flame]
Just kidding, I love those guys. I nearly died at the end of half life 2: episode 2.
[spoilers]You failed at the spoiler tags[/spoilers]
Loving left 4 dead 2, just got it a couple days ago.
Hated what they did with the orange box for the xbox.
But otherwise they are not on my to kill list.

migo:

hyperhammy:
[Flameshield] Now if only they could make an amazing game! [/Flame]
Just kidding, I love those guys. I nearly died at the end of half life 2: episode 2.
[spoilers]You failed at the spoiler tags[/spoilers]
Loving left 4 dead 2, just got it a couple days ago.
Hated what they did with the orange box for the xbox.
But otherwise they are not on my to kill list.

So what's your reply to this thread?

Ahem, yes Valve is awesome. I now have a slightly higher love for Macs as it let me download Portal for free. Yeah bitchin!

Laughing Man:
Yes well done Valve you took DRM and made it so that the average idiot on the street will thank you for giving them Steam for nothing rather than charging you for it.

Valve aren't wonderful or godly or any of that other bullsh*t they are a company trying to make cash and Steam, the source of so much of your plaudits, started life as nothing more than a massive pain in the arse DRM. It still is a pain in the arse DRM but you can buy stuff through it so... uh... so what.

Beyond that what have Valve done of late that is really of notable worth.

Well the whole Portal for free thing was a con designed to get Steam / their DRM / their advertising engine on to as many systems as they could. Portal was a fine game at launch but no one would have actually bought it as a stand alone game and no one would have batted an eyelid if they had charged anything for Mac owners to buy it when Steam launched. So they got it for free.

HL1 was great, HL2 was a massive meh, made worse by the fact that you had to install Steam / DRM / Valve advertising engine on to your PC to play it and the HL episodes have been nothing more than the same boring set pieces we saw in Hl2 rehashed... oh no I am in an underground area surrounded with zombies and have limited ammo... again, how unique.

L4D and Portal are the only two games of the last 10 years that are even worthy of note, yeah I know Tf2 and CSS has a huge following but to me both of these games (save for the zombie server mod in css) are cement my head in stone dull.

As for the argument of weather or not Steam / Valve saved gaming... well no. Their is still more than enough developers who release games that have nothing to do with Steam and fact is had Valve not released Steam chances are GFWL would have taken the place quite nicely. The fact that Steam got there first and did the job a bit better just means that many PC gamers ignore GFWL and as a result the whole PC side feels neglected.

The only notable aspect of Steam is that it allows you to buy games that you would have forgotten about at a knock down price, what I mean is bundles like the GTA collection and crap like that. Now would any one really go out and buy an old copy of GTA now... no they wouldn't but stick them in a bundle with four other GTA games and claim that you get all this for 20 and suddenly you have a whole market of idiots waiting to download the games.

For new games Steam is utterly missable as the cost of the game on Steam is either the same or in some instances more than the retail version and in the time it would take for Steam to download a five gig game I could drive to the nearest games shop and buy the product off the shelf.

So it's all black and grey for ya? Name one company in the video game industry that isn't out for money, NOT even a little bit. Considering Valve does things that at least makes them seem a bit better than your average company, I would Valve is the lesser evil out of everyone else.

Kind of a stark contrast between Valve and many of the Bobby Kotick articles on here.... :)

Valve has been good to their customers. Now I can finally be one with Portal 2 coming to PS3.

I love Valve, they are great, great customer support and fun games + they are the reason so many ppl have those *realistic shooters* nowadays lined up for release. But still ...HL2 EPISODE 3 PLOX VALVEEEEEE!!!1111oneoneone

Nouw:

So what's your reply to this thread?

Ahem, yes Valve is awesome. I now have a slightly higher love for Macs as it let me download Portal for free. Yeah bitchin!

Letting the guy know he fucked up the spoiler tags so that he can edit his post.

migo:

Nouw:

So what's your reply to this thread?

Ahem, yes Valve is awesome. I now have a slightly higher love for Macs as it let me download Portal for free. Yeah bitchin!

Letting the guy know he fucked up the spoiler tags so that he can edit his post.

That could count as low-content, I suggest next time you actually post it as yourself.

WHY IS EVERYTHING VALVE MAKES SO EXCELLENT?!

Half Life 2: Episode 3 is one problem they have. The drama over Team Fortress 2 hats and related stuff could be another. But they have been awesome-in-a-can for the most part. I think part of the thing that keeps them cool is that they continue to innovate, rather than stagnate and churn out boring sequels with a few new gimmicks. Sure, they've continued from Half Life to Half Life 2 and all its sequels, but look at how different Half Life 2 is from the original. Valve has a knack for keeping enough core elements that the players like in their games, and then shaking up the box with the rest by adding new stuff. They could have simply made more Half Life stuff after Half Life 2 was a success, but they didn't. They did continue with the Half Life line, but they also introduced Portal, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead, which, while using the same rendering engine, offer totally different gameplay (and graphic style for Team Fortress 2).

Innovation is the key, and they have it. They came out with Steam, and, while it took a bit to catch on, they pretty much invented digital game distribution, which everyone else had to jump on ship with or be left behind.

And, really, I think the problem with Half Life 2: Episode 3 is that, at this point, it's like Duke Nukem Forever was: they've been working on it so long, that everyone expects it to be blow-you-out-of-the-water awesome. Therefore, they have to make sure it lives up to expectations, or else not release it. I will be quite disappointed with Valve if Half Life 2: Episode 3 is not ground-breaking in something, given how much time they've been working on it.

Nouw:

migo:

Nouw:

So what's your reply to this thread?

Ahem, yes Valve is awesome. I now have a slightly higher love for Macs as it let me download Portal for free. Yeah bitchin!

Letting the guy know he fucked up the spoiler tags so that he can edit his post.

That could count as low-content, I suggest next time you actually post it as yourself.

The mods aren't stupid. They'll see that I did and why I did it, and if anything will just edit the original post I quoted so that the spoiler tags work.

Sapient Pearwood:
Nothing anyone can say justifies such a lazy ps3 port and such pathetic fanboyism from supposedly professional developers. "The PS3 is a waste of time", really? How can anyone possibly think that a professional way to behave is to slag off a third of your market like that?

Edit - their games are ok for what they are but I suppose putting up with such a shoddy port for my favourite platform made me see them as just generic. They're decent and I had fun playing them but, except for Portal, a lot of what makes their games special to others just didn't get through to me.

Well firstly, they didn't develop the PS3 version, which I do own and enjoyed regardless (except for TF2, I have my PC for that). Secondly Gabe has since retracted those statements and is very excited about the PS3 (remember E3?).

My god!! they gave away Portal for free?? Why was i not informed of this?? now it cost 15 Euro..

AAAAARGH!

From one fanboy to another,

Sweet essay!

But seriously VALVe, I know you're providing updates to old games, making a sequel to Portal, making free games, flying haters of your company overseas so they can play early releases of your games and all...

BUT PLEASE GIVE US SOME WORD ON EPISODE THREE!

I think the problem with Episode 3 is that the hype is monumental. If Episode 3 sucks, or is anything short of incredible... Valve's reputation will be severely harmed.

Half-Life is to thank for Valve's existence, and for them to fail at a Half-Life game would be a travesty. They know this, and that's why I think they've decided to not rush Episode 3 along and take their careful time making it perfect.

As much as I want Episode 3... I'm really glad they're not taking the EA approach and releasing yearly rehashes.

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