Stardock: Steam may be holding Valve back

Written by Joe Martin

April 13, 2011 | 11:18

Tags: #brad-wardell #half-life #half-life-episode-3 #impulse

Companies: #stardock #steam #valve

The phenomenal success of Steam may be holding Valve back, according to Stardock's Brad Wardell, who recently drew parralells between Stardock and Valve.

Stardock's own digital distribution platform, Impulse, was recently sold to US retail chain GameStop.

In an interview with IndustryGamers, Wardell said that he thought the growth of Steam, which has over 30 million active accounts, may well be holding Valve back from creating its own games.

'Even though Valve is in Seattle, where you can get developers everywhere, [Steam's] had an effect on their own development schedule. There's not been a new Half-Life in a long time; a lot of people have complained about that,' said Wardell.

'[Valve has] had their own challenges getting new titles out the door, and a big part of that I'm sure is the same problems we've had. When one of your groups is so ridiculously profitable, every business instinct you have is to throw all your best people at it, because that's what's making the money. That's just sound business. At the end of the day, again you have decide if that's what you want to do.'

'Steam and Valve - of the companies out there I would say we're the most similar. Obviously they're bigger and far more successful than our games unit is, but culturally they're pretty similar. If you were to look at a time-line of games developed in-house by Valve – not developed externally and then acquired – and you look at before Steam and after Steam, it's definitely had an effect,' he added.

'I don't argue that that's a good thing or bad thing, but I do know the effect that's had on us, where I've had to put some of my top developers over the years onto Impulse to make sure it was getting better and better.'

Valve's next game, Portal 2, is out next week, however. Check out the Portal 2 trailer below, then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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