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Valve: “If there's something useful, we'll give it away"

Gabe Newell on making sure that the PC ecosystem thrives

One of the big announcements at this year's GDC was Valve releasing a new version of its gaming engine Source, and that it would be giving it away for free. Now co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell has explained why the company made that generous decision.

"Developers need the freedom to try out stuff; that's how we've been successful," he told MCV.

"If there's something useful, we'll give it away. Somebody else will figure out another way to use it, as long as we treat it as a tool and not a straightjacket."

He also spoke about the concerns that Valve had as tech companies turned their attention to mobile phones, and away from traditional desktop PCs.

"It was like Microsoft saw the iPhone and said: 'We should make the PC more like that; people should have to go through us to have new ideas'. And we thought that sounded like a terrible idea. The iPhone should be more like the PC and the internet. Not the other way around.

"We were happy doing what we were doing but we felt that, for our own sake, we needed to make sure that the PC and PC gaming continue to exist and thrive."

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: 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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