247w ago - Valve announced today that their digital gaming service Steam will now support in-game downloadable content for its library of games. Yes, PC gamers, now you too can be charged for another hour or two of gameplay.
The first game utilizing this new Steam feature is Twisted Pixel's The Maw. The game now has two levels entitled "Brute Force" and "River Redirect" available for $1.25 apiece.
Hey, at least you don't need to buy Microsoft Points first, eh? The announcement by Valve also mentions that this DLC can be added to any game available through Steam, regardless of whether you purchased it on Steam, at a retailer, or through another digital store.
This news is bound to surprise a few people, as Valve's known for releasing huge amounts of free post-release content for its game.
There's no indication whatsoever that they'll stop doing this for their own games, though. The fact of the matter is, a lot of other companies are cool with the idea of premium DLC and this move by Valve allows them to do it more easily on the PC.
255w ago - In an interesting take on video game pirates, Valve's Jason Holtman sees them as 'tons of undiscovered customers'.
Obviously they think pirates can be turned into legitimate consumers and this was linked to an argument that they have been under-served in some way, hence turning to piracy.
To quote: The final sacred cow that Holtman took a stab at was the issue of piracy. "There's a big business feeling that there's piracy," he says. But the truth is: "Pirates are underserved customers."
"When you think about it that way, you think, 'Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it.'"
"We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia," Holtman says of Valve. "The reason people pirated things in Russia," he explains, "is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television -- they say 'Man, I want to play that game so bad,' but the publishers respond 'you can play that game in six months...maybe.' "
"We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly," Holtman says, explaining that Valve makes sure their games are on the shelves in Moscow and St. Petersberg, in Russian, when they release it to North America and Western Europe.
265w ago - After the secret source code for its then-unreleased shooter Half Life 2 showed up on file sharing services in 2003, game-maker Valve Software cooked up an elaborate ruse with the FBI targeting the German hacker suspected in the leak, even setting up a fake job interview in an effort to lure him to the United States for arrest.
The gambit ultimately failed, and Axel "Ago" Gembe remained safely in Germany. He was indicted last month in Los Angeles on new charges of creating the Agobot malware, and sharing it with a crew of U.S. hackers who used it to stage denial-of-service attacks in 2003.
In September 2003, the source code for the much-anticipated Half Life 2 game turned up online, and Valve's managing director, Gabe Newell, revealed that the company's network had been breached. In a post to the company's Web forum, Newell asked for gamer's assistance in finding the hackers responsible.
"If you have information about ... the infiltration of our network, please send the details," Newell wrote. "There are some pretty obvious places to start with the posts and records in IRC, so if you can point us in the right direction, that would be great."
Two anonymous sources who'd seen the hack discussed in IRC channels came forward and began feeding the FBI chat transcripts pertaining...
272w ago - Valve are among the most respected and successful game developers of recent history. With a string of uber-successful titles franchises such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal and in the future the highly anticipated Left 4 Dead.
Add to that what is arguably the most used and reliable digital distribution system, Steam, and you have a very desirable business partner.
Which is a shame for PS3 owners. If you are a fan of any of these games, combining that with a love of the Sony console means that something has had to give. That comprimise has come in the shape of EA. GamerChip examines the implications of this predicament and why poorer versions of these great games are set to continue for Playstation gamers.
Looking at the history of Valve products, The brilliant Orange Box had to be handed over to EA to even get a version for the PS3. A lack of any development team in Valve gives a fairly clear indication of their priorities and resulted in a pretty dissapointing port. While this was appreciated by the consoles owners, the port suffered from unique issues, such as dropped frame rates and inconvenient load times. The polish and talent that created the original games never had the chance to give the PS3 version the spit and polish that is their trademark.
276w ago - It's no secret that Valve hasn't exactly been staunch supporter of the PlayStation 3, especially given that company bossman Gabe Newell has called out the console on numerous occasions, going as far to label it as a "waste of time."
But, hey, that was nearly a year ago. Now things are different! Sales of the PS3 have gone up worldwide, making the console more viable in Valve's book. According to marketing director Doug Lombardi, there's a 50-50 chance that future titles like Left 4 Dead may come to PS3 in the future. Just don't expect it this year.
To quote: "We're always evaluating what's happening in the marketplace and certainly something that's happening in the last couple of months is that Sony's managed to sell some boxes," said Doug Lombardi.
"So whether or not you like developing for that platform, if they've got millions of people connected to that platform and buying their games you have to take it seriously."
He went on: "They're in the race now, so we've got to re-evaluate that for what it is."
PC is still its primary format, reaffirmed Lombardi, explaining that hardware similarities makes 360 its second choice.
But what are the chances of Valve opening its arms to PS3 and showing it some Left 4 Dead love? "50-50...