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Newell: Kickstarter is great, Greenlight needs work

Valve head answers community questions in fan video

Valve's co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell has shared his thoughts on the Kickstarter funding platform, and the success of Greenlight so far, with the Valve community.

“The Kickstarter thing is great,” he said in a video filmed during a community visit to Valve's Seattle HQ.

“If you think of what a publisher's doing, all they're doing is holding onto gamers' money for a little while and then attaching a bunch of strings. You guys should take a seat at a publisher's meeting. It's pretty grim. ”

Newell, leaning against the wall in what appeared to be a corridor, was hopeful that the cutting those publishers out of the process would lead to more varied projects.

“So that's one of the things I think the whole games industry will benefit from, gamers having more control over where money is going in terms of funding projects. There'll still be a bunch of projects that fail, but at least they'll be more interesting failures. And you won't just get the same damn game over and over and over."

Naturally what followed was a discussion around Valve's own publishing platform for Steam, Greenlight.

“Greenlight was trying to do that I don't think we did a super good job. We have a bunch of work to do.”

“First of all, there's way too much between a game developer and getting something on Steam. It's really because we've been kind of stupid about the amount of work we have to do, so just to process everyone applying on Steam is 20 or 30 peoples' work. We need to make that process a lot more efficient.

"Greenlight was trying to do that I don't think we did a super good job. We have a bunch of work to do"

“So Greenlight was more about, 'Why don't you guys choose which one we should turn the crank on', rather than, 'Let's just focus on making turning the crank easy, so that anybody can put it up'. Greenlight is better than nothing but still not where we really want to get to.”

One of the visitors suggested Valve create a platform allowing the community to work together to develop games, instead of just fund them.

"The direction we're headed in right now, not just Valve but everybody... one things you guys may not know is that the community generates about ten times more content for TF2 as Valve does," revealed Newell.

"And even though that's still in a pretty primitive state, my expectation is that all games will basically be about creating a framework where the community builds on top of it. And I think that that means it will end up going in surprising directions and that everybody is going to be happier with the results."

The video also features a discussion on DOTA and the new engine, and can be seen below.

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Rachel Weber avatar

Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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