The Steam Review

Comment and discussion on Valve Software’s digital communications platform.

Splash Damage: “Steam is a third platform”

“There’s the 360, the PS3 and Steam” :: March 11th, 2008 :: Steamworks :: 10 Responses (Feed)

I don’t normally post straight news, but this deserves reporting. Via Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

Jim Rossignol [RPS]: What do you think about Steamworks?
Steve Gaffney [Splash Damage]: It’s great. We need someone to look after the PC platform, and only Valve are really in a position to do that. There’s no downside to it.
Paul Wedgwood [SD]: And there’s a big upside for Valve – to control the PC platform via more Steam subs. But that is a positive thing for other developers.
Jon Hicks [Official Xbox Magazine]: You’re not worried that Valve could turn around and start holding the platform to ransom?
Gaffney: Perhaps, but Steam is like a third platform now. It’s that big. There’s the 360, the PS3 and Steam…do you not think?
Tim Edwards [PC Gamer UK]: I completely agree, I’ve just never heard anyone say it out loud. Every gamer I know has a Steam account, and uses it regularly.

That makes Splash Damage’s next game a Steamworks title in my book! There are some vague details about what we can expect from it in the full interview.

Needless to say, I also agree with Gaffney and the other Edwards that Steam is the PC platform now — it would be madness for a developer to forgo Steamworks, even if they were to employ only its simple distribution and update functions.

(The updated Quake Wars demo Wedgwood talks about was released on Steam unannounced. Oops…)

10 Responses to this post:


  1. DavidR Says:

    Am I the only one to make the leap to the obvious, here? What if Valve released a set-top box–ie, The SteamBox? Basically it would be the opposite of what MS is doing with Live Games for Windows, bringing their platform from console to a PC software layer.

  2. demm Says:

    I don’t think Valve has any intention of doing that.

    When Microsoft decided to enter the console market, they had to pour billions of dollars into it and for years the XBox devision did’t make any profit. Even though Valve has deep pockets, they’re not as deep as Microsoft’s.

    They also wouldn’t have the manpower and expertise to pull something like this of. In a recent Interview Gabe was asked what he thought about the Wii and he said that he loved it and that he would like to make games for it. The interviewer then asked ‘Then why don’t you?’ and Gabe replied ‘Not enough hours in the day’.

    Let’s just hope that Blizzard will jump onto the Steam-train and then we can definitively say that Steam ‘is’ the PC platform.

  3. Andy Simpson Says:

    No, I don’t think they do either. Valve are a pretty small company, smaller than you’d imagine by their output. They don’t have the resources or the expertise to launch a console, and anyway, that would defeat the point entirely.

    Things like Steamworks are an attempt to get all the best bits of console gaming (like IM and matchmaking built into every game, achievements, autoupdates, etc.) and use them on PC without having to jump through a platform holder’s hoops.

  4. Tom Edwards Says: