Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

May 16, 2011 -

In a recent Develop interview, Valve head honcho Gabe Newell said that his company is looking for new ways to charge customers. One of the more novel payment schemes involves a community member’s popularity. Apparently, if you are a social pariah in the Valve community, it may cost you more money if Newell's payment idea takes hold. Newell says that the "same price for everyone" model is a "bug."

"The industry has this broken model, which is one price for everyone. That's actually a bug, and it's something that we want to solve through our philosophy of how we create entertainment products."

Instead of basing the price on what a product is worth, Newell wants to base it on "what the player is worth."

"Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them," Newell continued. "Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave."

"So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get DotA 2 for free, because of past behavior in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice."

Newell went on to say that some users that are an asset to the community are often charged negative costs. In other words, those users pay less because they contribute to the community is some way.

"Their cost for Team Fortress 2 is negative $20,000 per week," he said. "You're never going to see that in a retail store ... It's people who make hats get paid. People who are really popular play for less, or free."

It's an interesting idea but - no doubt - there are plenty of downsides to it too. We'll leave it to you to discuss what those negatives might be.'

Source: The Escapist


Comments

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

I can understand referral systems: Rewarding a customer for referring a new member to the service, but this idea is just absolutely pathetic.

Like all things, referral systems can be abused, but abusing them generally punishes the systems developers, not the users themselves. Newell's proposed idea will punish the users simply by allowing people to get friends to boost their popularity (I can also see business endeavours in being paid to boost somebodies popularity) or downvote somebody they merely share differing opinions with.

There is no possibility of this happening, it will happen simply because people can't be trusted. Especially the Valve community. Hell, I can see communities such as 4chan's /b/ board having a bloody field day with this.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Come on Gabe, I love your company, don't ruin that with something like this.

In Team Fortress 2 once I was called some nasty names and harassed during a CTF match because of my chosen icon of all things. In a system like this I could easily see this guy encouraging everyone on his team to downvote me. The system WILL be exploited by trolls and vindictive players.

Hell, I could see a VERY sharp increase of dummy accounts so people can up vote themselves and do massive downvotes on someone who so much as place a portal wrong.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Wasn't April Fools Day in...like....April?

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

I hate this idea. Not because I'm a bad person, but because I'd be an unpopular person. My views on gaming are controversial (in that 99% of the gaming community think I'm nuts), and I don't want to hear Valve deliver an automated edict saying "you are unpopular, therefore you must pay more".

You really want to hurt these people? Threaten to take their achievements and save data away. Valve's probably already allowed to in the TOS. That'll never happen though because that's not monitizable.

--
Jonathan Williamson
http://JonathanWilliamson.info

--
Jonathan Williamson
http://JonathanWilliamson.info

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Sounds like Mr. Newell snorted a little too much coke after swimming in his money pool.

But seriously that is a horrible idea for more reasons than I could possible list here. Hopefully someone with sense will keep this from happening.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

The PR ramifications of that type of system would be pretty bad. I pretty much only play single player games, does that mean I'll be stuck at full price b/c I'm not out making people like me? I only buy games when they are onsale, I couldn't afford them anyway. I of course have too many games on Steam to abandon the service but if something like this happened and worked in anyway against me then I could surely stop buying game on Steam.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

I think this is a bad idea. It could easily make people afraid of expressing ideas that could be unpopular- it would be enforcing a rigorous fan-dogma-orthodoxy in online game communities and I think that would be a bad thing.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

This is a terrible idea. The one thing I've noticed online is that all the REALLY obnoxious players are popular, because they get all their real life friends to boost their online popularity score.

For example, on Xbox Live, all the real assholes have 5-star ratings. Nice guys tend to have 3-stars. Now if Gabe & Co. can figure out a foolproof way to get team killers etc. banned, I'd be all for that. But I just don't think it would work. I foresee the douchebags of the world getting the rest of us to look like the jerks.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Well, you never know until you try, right? We can theorize all we want, but unless they actually give it a shot, there's no way to know for sure what will happen.

My personal theory is that people will figure out how to scam the system so they get to play all the free games they want, but that's just me.

Then again, some of the world's greatest creations were built on the most horrible of ideas.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Atlanta Video Games Examiner for examiner.com

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

The thing is, there are already buisnesses that follow models like this.. it can work and be very profitable.   I agree people would probably try to game the system, but I doubt it would work very well since it would probably be tied to some kind of pyrimid system requiring actual paying new members (in which case the popular person is simply getting a cut of whoever they referred's cost).  I am guessing the guy is thinking, pie int he sky, something more subtle or integrated, but in the end it is one of the only two models to pull from.

I could also see such a system going the way of clubs/bars/swinger parties/etc and charge differntly based off sex or other inherent characteristic.... or possibly combine the two.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Also, Valve is flexible enough to allow for dynamic evolution of the plan. I would think that they can change it to suit the changing needs of the community. I have personally had the great fortune to not run into many douchebags when I'm playing Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam, so I genuinely hope this plan works out and the trolls are kept to a minimum.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Atlanta Video Games Examiner for examiner.com

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Sadly I'm less inclined to think the system would be played for free games and more inclined to think that the jackasses of the web would ruin the whole system for everybody by "downvoting" (or whatever) everyone they see.

On paper it's an interesting idea but I don't think it's possible for something like that to NOT be exploited.
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Some of the comments Newell makes here causes my head to hurt

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

There are so many potential problems with this idea it could literally fill a book.  Even if there were any real merit to such a model, the logistics involved in determining the "worth" of a given customer could very well negate any fiscal benefit.

If you really want to cut down on trolls, then make it so they can more easily be kicked out of MP games or the forums.  

BTW, the Steam community is chock full of assholes- perhaps Valve could stand to make huge piles of money with this model. 

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

How in the hell do you even enforce something like this? It's basically a popularity contest. And good people aren't always the popular ones.

See: 4chan.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

Sounds good on paper, ya'know? "Charge the trolls more. Maybe then they'll be nice" But this could really screw all the decent players over when the real bullies figure out how to manipulate the system. All the problems we had in high school come right back out, only ten times worse.

Sorry Gabe. Doesn't work that way. Nice try though. Stick to forum moderating and banning bad players.

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

This has to be one of the most horrible ideas I have ever heard....

extroverts and metapeers already get the best of everything and have society built around them....

Re: Valve Considers Putting a Real-World Value on Players

There are problems with this though not the one you mentioned. More along the lines of people giving you bad votes just to be trolls.

 
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WymorenceOh sweet god, Kung Fury is freaking awesome...05/28/2015 - 10:03pm
E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
Andrew EisenHey, remember Kung Fury? That short film that was funded via Kickstarter a few years ago? You can watch it now. I suggest you do. It's fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg05/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Goth_SkunkOriginally, yes. Some content was cut out in order to reduce its ratign from AO down to M, but PC users could work around that an unlock the full content by means of a patch. Which is what I did. :D05/28/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Yes, for strong sexual content. Although the recent remaster contains all that content and was rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenDepends on if you consider Hatred misrated. I haven't played the game or seen the ESRB's rating summary so I'm undecided.05/28/2015 - 3:53pm
WonderkarpDidnt Fahrenheit have an AO?05/28/2015 - 3:52pm
Matthew Wilson@AE that is why I said it seems more moral panic to me.05/28/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - From what I've seen (just the trailers) the game is nowhere near as gory as many, many other games. But again, I'm guessing the AO rating comes from theme and tone rather than outright gore.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenKarp - It didn't show penetration or nudity.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
WonderkarpI'd say Mortal Kombat X has more Gore and Violence than Hatred.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhat I mean by worse in this case its not more gory/violent than others.05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
WonderkarpI forget....did Hot Coffee actually show Penetration?05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
Andrew EisenKarp - The Skyrim mods are external mods. The Hot Coffee mod unlocked content on the disc. Big difference. Still, the content that was unlocked was still perfectly in line with an M rating in my opinion.05/28/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew EisenThemes are factored into ratings, not just mechanics. Still waiting for ESRB's rating summary. Very curious to see what it has to say.05/28/2015 - 3:46pm
Matthew WilsonHatred is a top down shooter though, and isnt any worse than other top down shooters?05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Wonderkarpyeah, San Andreases rerating was ridiculous. Why not rerate Skyrim with all its crazy sex mods out there? But yeah, ESRB is good as policing itself. 05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Andrew EisenManhunt 2 and Hatred though? Eh, there's an argument to be made for the higher rating.05/28/2015 - 3:43pm
 

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