The Valve boss on the importance of freedom for developers

Newell: The iPhone should be more like the PC

The rest of the game industry should follow the lead of PC and tear down their walled gardens, argues Valve boss Gabe Newell.

Speaking at GDC, Newell said that the firm’s latest projects, including the Steam Machines, streaming box Steam Link, Steam Controller and game engine Source 2, are all part of his company’s strategy to grow PC, and is letting other PC firms use the technology for free.

Newell added that it was important to Valve to invest in this technology and make it available to everyone to ensure PC gaming continues to thrive.

“We started to get pretty worried a while ago when we saw this sort of closing off,” he said. “It was like Microsoft saw the iPhone and said: ‘We should make the PC more like that; people should have to go through us to have new ideas’. And we thought that sounded like a terrible idea. The iPhone should be more like the PC and the internet. Not the other way around.

“We were happy doing what we were doing but we felt that, for our own sake, we needed to make sure that the PC and PC gaming continue to exist and thrive.”

He continued: “Developers need the freedom to try out stuff; that’s how we’ve been successful.

“If there’s something useful, we’ll give it away. Somebody else will figure out another way to use it, as long as we treat it as a tool and not a straightjacket.”

This story was originally published on MCV.

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