Valve: PC Gaming Alive and Well, But Developers Off Their Game


Valve’s marketing vice president and frequent spokesman, Doug Lombardi, laughed off the idea that PC gaming is dying, but said other developers need to get with the program.

“I mean, I think, we sort of laugh at it,” Lombardi said of increasingly high-pitched concerns over the viability of PC gaming in an interview with

“Because we’ve been wildly successful – we’re very fortunate, you know. Our games have all done really, really well, Steam has taken off and become this whole other business for us, Valve has never been in better shape – and yet everybody is talking about how in the PC world, the sky is falling,” said Lombardi.

Lombardi pointed out that the sales data often cited to buttress claims of a dying PC industry do not include MMOG subscribers, Steam users, other customers of digital download services, or even other countries.

“NPD, god love ’em, they release a U.S. retail sales report, and people take that and say that’s the world picture. And it’s just not true…if people were looking at WoW’s subscriptions alone and factoring it in, looking at Steam sales and factoring it in…Just look at what Popcap’s doing – Bejeweled and Peggle and all this stuff – they’re not in that NPD data.”

Lombardi also said part of the brouhaha was effective PR by console makers and the absence of anything similar on the PC front.

“It is absolutely a perception problem. I mean one of the things that happens is – Microsoft has an army of PR people that work for Microsoft. They have at least two agencies that are additional armies. Nintendo I’m not as familiar with their PR outline, but I’m sure it’s similar. Sony is similar. The PC has nobody,” he said.

At the same time, Lombardi blasted developers for not taking accurate stock of what computers gamers have, and for aiming only at the high-end. He contrasted this with his own company, which conducts surveys twice a year to gauge the horsepower of gamers’ computers.

“You know, it’s hard to be able to have games that scale, and to write performance on the high end, and write performance on the bottom end, but you know, winning in any industry means some hard work, and there’s a certain level of hard work that developers have to take responsibility for,” he observed.


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