Time to expand, Valve

With only 250 employees in total, Valve Corporation makes itself a giant cash printer even more profitable averagely than Apple and Google in 2010. With new account growth of 178%, sales growth of over 200%, Valve has gained its reputation from every corner of the world.

Steam owns my loyalty since I was introduced to it by a friend. It is one of the most fantastic online service applications I’ve ever seen. For the first time I began to learn about PC games seriously, especially those singleplayer ones. On Steam, I’m aware that there are tons of games worth my time and energy besides Counter-Strike, StarCraft and WarCraft, in which I just focus on exercising to improve my skills of operating.

After finished Portal, Half-Life 2 series, Braid, Crysis, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, etc, I realize that E-sports is only a small fraction of the gaming industry. The imagination of game developers is more admirable, which caused earthshaking changes of my view about video games. Wonderful games should get our recognitions not only as it’s a kind of entertainments but also a kind of arts.

Valve, which was co-founded by Gabe Newell, won its fame from No.1 online E-sports game Counter-Strike and No.1 scored Half-Life series in the world in 1998. Gabe Newell is almost the richest man in the gaming industry because he owns over half the company which is now estimated to be worth 2 to 4 billion dollars. Crazy is that the number of registered Steam accounts has increased to over 30 million. It’s firmly convinced that Valve made several hundreds of millions of dollars only in 2010.

Holding 70% of the PC games sales all around the world, now Valve has expanded its famous digital distribution client Steam to Mac, almost all the famous game developers are releasing games on Steam(except one magnate, Blizzard, which developed famous franchises like StarCraft, WarCraft, Diablo), EA, Ubisoft, Activition, RockStar Games, SEGA, etc. These tycoons sometimes are not willing to release their new titles on Steam because Valve requires profit cuts from games sold on Steam, but nowadays they feel compelled to do this. Late in 2010, EA planned not to release one of its most famous franchises Need for Speed Hot Pursuit on Steam at the beginning, which turned out that it’s very wrong. Within a week after the launch, we saw NFS Hot Pursuit appeared on Steam store.

People will buy Left 4 Dead 2 despite whether they already own Left 4 Dead or not, which means that gaming market is definitely infinite. Source Engine is some old, maybe it’s time to update it, while they can’t say that Valve might bought Epic Games(for its Unreal Engine is by now the most powerful game engine in the world) some day. While Valve has just set out, we can expect more miracles with the gaming industry stepped into its spring.


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