Valve’s resistance towards developing PS3 games is routinely portrayed as the studio harbouring an agenda against Sony’s flagship console, yet studio boss Gabe Newell suggests the issue is far more complex than it seems.
Newell confessed that he can’t explain why Valve isn’t yet making PS3 games “without having to detail this pretty long process about how we evaluate those kinds of decisions.” However, in a wide-ranging interview, the company’s co-founder appeared positive about the potential of the PS3.
”There are a lot of interesting things about the PS3, and easily the most interesting thing is the number of [Steam-user] customers who have PS3s,” he said.
”The fact that our customers are interested in the PS3 is probably the single biggest determinate in how we think about the console.”
Speaking in an interview with online broadcaster 5by5, Newell made it clear he understood why Vlave’s lack of PS3 output was a controversial subject.
”Porting our games to the Mac – I know from the outside seems like a pretty strange decision,” he said. “Y’know, ‘how could you ship on the Mac and not on the PS3?’”
Newell said that the plan to ship games on other consoles something the studio routinely evaluates. He explained that the studio looks out for what’s best for its customers and how customer needs can feasibly be reached.
”There are a lot of issues - It would be hard to explain how we make decisions on [which platforms to develop for],” he said.
”Where are our iPhone games?” he asked. “Where are our iPad games, why don’t we ship anything on the DS, why don’t we ship anything on the PSP? Why don’t we invest in microtransactions, why don’t we have any Flash-based and casual kinds of games?
”That sort of analysis is something we look at all the time. The outcome is that we’re shipping all our games on the Mac. I don’t really know how to go into it without walking through the whole [evaluation].
”What are the trade-offs, what are the opportunity costs, how do we leverage work in one area to benefit work in other areas?”
Though reluctant to roll out what appears to be a large number of explanations for Valve’s current output, Newell insisted that the studio has no agenda.
”To us, we try to be super agnostic,” he said. “The better the job we do of giving our customers choice on these kind of things – that creates net aggregate value.”