Valve admits it needs to communicate with fans more

Ben Parfitt
Valve admits it needs to communicate with fans more

Steam owner Valve has said that it must improve the way in which it communicates with its passionate fan base.

While companies such as Microsoft have enjoyed great success recently by opening up its channels of communication with the Xbox fan base, Valve has typically taken a more Apple-like approach, developing games in private and announcing products very shortly before they are released.

All of which could be about to change.

"For a long time, the way we've operated – especially with games like Counter-Strike, DOTA, and Team Fortress – is by writing software for our customers," Valve business development boss Erik Johnson told Kotaku.

"Our plan on that has been, 'Let's be as efficient as possible in building features and content.' We want all of our customers to be as close to the people who are actually building content as possible. That influences things like us not having a marketing department. The teams themselves do all of that. We try to be transparent because they're no point in being otherwise. Customers will always find out what's going on. You can't lie to the internet.

"[Time spent communicating] isn't free. It's not coming from a marketing department. That's the programmer who's gonna be doing that instead of writing code.

"In our model, we always thought customers would think they'd get the most value out of that person delivering new features to them. But there definitely does seem to be something where we need to be doing a better job of walking people through what we're doing. There is something we're missing where we need to spend more time explaining things to users."

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