Valve boss Gabe Newell calls Windows 8 a 'catastrophe'

Operating system Windows 8 will be a
"catastrophe" for PC game makers,
according to Valve Software's boss.
Speaking at the Casual Connect game
conference in Seattle, Gabe Newell said the
next version of Windows could mean big
changes to the PC market.
Many took his comment as a criticism of the
changed user interface in Windows 8 as well
as its built-in Windows Store.
The Windows Store could dent the success of
Valve's own online market, Steam, through
which players buy games.
Hat tricks
Mr Newell, who worked for Microsoft for 13 years on Windows, said his
company had embraced the open-source software Linux as a "hedging
strategy" designed to offset some of the damage Windows 8 was
likely to do.
"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on
Steam to run on Linux as well," said Mr Newell.
"Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."
The arrival of Windows 8 would be likely to drive some PC makers and
others out of the business because it put so much pressure on their
sales margins, Mr Newell added.

He said the success of Valve, known for its Half Life, Left4Dead and
Portal titles, had been down to the open nature of the PC.
"We've been a free rider, and we've been able to benefit from
everything that went into PCs and the internet," he told the
conference. "And we have to continue to figure out how there will be
open platforms."
However, he added, the openness that helped
Valve as well as firms such as Google and
Zynga could disappear with Windows 8.
"There's a strong temptation to close the
platform," he said, "because they look at what
they can accomplish when they limit the
competitors' access to the platform, and they
say, 'That's really exciting.'"
This is seen by commentators to be a
reference to the inclusion of a Windows Store
in the Microsoft operating system.
This is a shop through which users will be able
to buy apps for their Windows 8 device.
On some versions of Windows 8, it will be the only way to get
downloadable software such as games.
Microsoft takes a cut, up to 30%, of every sale made through this
This could be a significant threat to the massively successful Steam
online game store that Valve runs and which gives it a commission on
every title sold through the online market.
A Windows Store closed to everyone but Microsoft might reduce the
range of games available for sale through Steam.
Windows 8's links with Microsoft's Xbox Live online game service
could also dent the appeal of Steam for many people.
Mr Newell said Valve was preparing for the future in other ways. In
particular, he said, it was trying to make tools and services that
players could use to make games and gaming more fun for everyone.
"We think the future is very different [from] successes we've had in
the past," he said.
"When you are playing a game, you are trying to think about creating
value for other players, so the line between content player and creator
is really fuzzy."
One harbinger of this future was perhaps found, he said, in the success
of one Team Fortress player in Kansas who was earning $150,000
(£97,000) a year making virtual hats.
"This isn't about video games," he said. "It's about thinking about
goods and services in a digital world."

1 comment:

  1. Well, this Win8 is making me whao already...let's keep our fingers crossed till it hit d market...what do you feel about WINDOW8...drop ur comment


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