Report: Steam Cards in GameStop Stores Next Week

May 11, 2012 -

According to a C&VG report games retailer GameStop will begin stocking Steam cards May 15 in a majority of its U.S. stores. The idea of having a retail card is that it gives those who do not have a credit card the ability to put cash towards a card they can use to buy games on Steam.

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Valve's Jason Holtman to Keynote Evolve's Develop in Brighton

May 8, 2012 -

Valve Software's director of business development, Jason Holtman, will deliver the opening keynote for the Evolve conference this summer at Develop in Brighton. His keynote address, "Everyone's Business is Business" will explore how companies and organizations can lay a foundation for making better business decisions and creating better products by nurturing a system where creative content and traditional business functions are not separated.

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Report: Steam Client for Linux Well Under Way

April 25, 2012 -

According to Michael Larabel of Phoronix, Valve is developing a Steam client for the Linux operating system. The story began to take shape last month when Larabel tweeted that Valve's Gabe Newell had reached out to him about a Linux build of the client software. Today Larabel tweeted that he flew to Valve headquarters in Bellevue, Washington for a personal meeting.

"Steam is coming to Linux," he replied in response to a question on Twitter following that announcement.

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Notch: Having Steam Dominate PC Market Would be 'Scary'

March 16, 2012 -

Speaking to GameSpy, Minecraft creator and Mojang front man Markus "Notch" Persson said that having Steam as the only source for digital distribution would be "scary," even though he generally support Valve Software's platform. Steam's platform currently has more than 40 million subscribers.

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Player Protests Against Valve Falls Short

February 6, 2012 -

A protest against Valve for its lack of information on Valve's "lack of information" regarding Half-Life 2: Episode 3 seems to have missed its mark slightly. The protest - which had the support of 30,00 players who pledged that they would play Half-Life 2 on Steam over the weekend - saw only half of those players playing over the weekend. They increased the usual amount of players playing Half-Life 2 by about 10,000.

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Valve: Piracy Not an Issue on Steam

November 28, 2011 -

Valve managing director Gabe Newell said in a recent interview that piracy is a "non-issue" for the company's Steam digital distribution platform. In an interview with the Cambridge Student, Newell said that there is a fundamental misconception that piracy is motivated by high prices. Newell repeated what he has been saying a lot this year: Valve sees the piracy problem as a service problem.

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Valve Confirms Steam Security Breach

November 11, 2011 -

After a day or two of speculation, Valve has officially confirmed to the public that the Steam database suffered a security breach earlier this week. Valve Software co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell issued a statement to members letting them know what happened and if there might some concerns about the security of their Steam accounts. The take-away for Steam account holders is that passwords were "hashed and salted" and credit card information was encrypted. Still Newell cautions Steam users to pay attention to their account activity. The full statement is below:

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Blizzard Reiterates Stance on Valve's DOTA Trademark Plans

October 24, 2011 -

In an interview that took place at BlizzCon over the weekend, Blizzard President Mike Morhaime reiterated to Eurogamer his company's stance on Valve Software’s attempts to trademark the term "DOTA." Valve has made a move to try and trademark the name of the wildly popular Warcraft 3 modification, much to the chagrin of several companies - including Blizzard Entertainment and League Legends maker Riot Games - as well as the DOTA community at large.

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Valve: $2 Million in Team Fortress 2 Micro-Transactions

October 14, 2011 -

Valve Software claims that more than $2 million has been generated from Team Fortress 2 micro-transactions. The popular free-to-play team online shooter allows players to create, buy and sell virtual items to wear during matches. Apparently fans are fond of the system and are willing to spend real-world cash on luxury in-game items. Valve also said that it plans to update the system with a new interface to make it even easier for customers to create and sell virtual goods.

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Portal is Free During Valve Education Push

September 16, 2011 -

Portal, Valve’s ultra popular and internet meme-generating first-person puzzle platformer, is available for free on Steam for PC and Mac until September 20th.

Those of you who insist on questioning a good thing may be interested to know that Valve hopes this short promotion will show educators how valuable video games can be in the classroom.

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Borderlands, Modern Warfare 3 Supporting Steamworks

August 29, 2011 -

Valve Software announced today that Activision's next Call of Duty game will use Steamworks. On a related note, over the weekend at PAX in Seattle, Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford revealed that the PC version of its role-playing game shooter, Borderlands, would add Steamworks support with a new update. The PC version of MW3 will be powered with Steamworks for both the digital and retail versions of the game. It will support offline play, auto-updating, achievements, and dedicated servers at launch. Naturally Steamworks adds a DRM layer as well.

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Valve: Everything is an Item of Exchange

August 26, 2011 -

While Valve has hinted at it in the past, a recent interview with Gabe Newell on Eurogamer is keen on letting Steam users trade games and other items, saying that he sees games on this platform moving in a direction "where everything is an item of exchange."

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Newell: Microsoft Should Be More Like Sony

August 25, 2011 -

Valve co-founder Gabe Newell says that Microsoft needs to relax the terms and conditions of Xbox Live to allow other platforms onto Xbox Live. Newell made his comments related to the upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive release, which features Steamworks integration. Newell said that Microsoft would do well to emulate Sony, whose decision to allow Steamworks support in the PlayStation 3 release of Portal 2 resulted in better experience on that platform.

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EA Sees Conflicts Between Steam and Origin

July 7, 2011 -

When EA launched its personal digital distribution service late last month, the company insisted that it was never meant to compete with other digital distribution services like Steam. Now a company representative seems to be singing a different tune.

David DeMartini, head of Origin is talking about a "conflict" between its service and Steam. DeMartini says that recent business decisions by Steam have shown "areas of conflict" between the two services "on a going forward basis." DeMartini is referring to the sudden disappearance of Crysis 2, which, EA says, Valve took down because DLC for the game was being sold exclusively somewhere else.

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Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human Revolution Theft

July 7, 2011 -

Yesterday we reported that Square Enix had filed a lawsuit against unnamed Italian citizens who (they allege) stole a preview build of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (see this story). The latest wrinkle in the story is that the company wants Valve Software to help them because the stolen build was a copy that was hosted on Valve's Steam service.

For its part, Valve says that it has plenty of information on those individuals responsible for stealing and leaking the file onto the internet, but it is unable to give that information to Square Enix without them presenting Valve with a court ordered subpoena.

It may seem like an odd position for Valve to take with a publishing partner, but the company is simply protecting itself and following procedure.

We'll let you know how this situation plays out.

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Source SDK Soon Free For All

July 5, 2011 -

According to this Rock, Paper, Shotgun report the Source SDK will soon become free to use in its entirety, for everyone. The news comes from Team fortress 2 masterminds Robin Walker, who credits the upcoming release to the change in Team Fortress 2 to a free-to-play game.

The Source Software Development Kit contains all the tools you'd need to create a modification for a Source game including the Valve Hammer Editor, Face Posers, Model Viewers and more. The only way to gain access to the SDK right now is to purchase a Source-based game. The news came from a response Walker made to a Reddit thread about Zombie Panic Source and No More Room In Hell. Readers asked Team Fortress 2 developer Robin Walker if buying an item in the Mann Co. Store would give access to the Source SDK, He said:

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Pennsylvania State Senator Pushes Videogame Tax Credits

June 22, 2011 -

Pennsylvania state senator Daylin Leach wants to give the video game industry a substantial tax credit to do business in the state, and he's pushing a bill that will provide the cash. Yesterday he introduced a bill that would give videogame companies in the state a 25 percent tax credit. Pennsylvania Senate Bill 700 calls for $20 million in tax benefits to be dedicated annually to videogame projects where at least 60 percent of the expenses are within the state. While Leach is the sponsor of the bill, the Senator has the support of seven other senators, who are all members of the minority Democratic party.

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Parent Angry over Adoption Joke in Portal 2

May 18, 2011 -

A North Carolina father has gotten his 5 - 10 minutes of fame by complaining about adoption jokes in Portal 2. Charlotte news channel WBTV indulges the complaining parent in a story that goes out of its way to malign one of the best games of 2011. According to the report, Neal Stapel was playing Portal 2 with his adopted daughter and enjoying it until jokes started to fly about one of the characters being adopted. Stapel found himself utterly offended. None of the other jokes and occasionally crude humor bothered him, apparently.

"It throws the question, the most ultimate question that that child is ever gonna have for you and it just throws it right in your living room," he said. "It says it's rated "E" for everybody and I'm thinking maybe it's rated "E" for everybody except for orphans."

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Valve: Steam Sales Data Will Remain Private

April 21, 2011 -

Valve says that it will not be cooperating with various sales tracking firms who want access to internal data from its digital distribution service. Speaking to MCV, Steam’s Jason Holtman said that sharing the data would be counterintuitive if released publicly and that retaining it for developers and publishers only is the best option.

"The idea of a chart is old," said Holtman. "It came from people trying to aggregate disaggregated information. What we provide to partners is much more rapid and perfected information."

Valve provides publishers and developers with hourly updates of download figures. This allows those partners to measure the effectiveness of things like in marketing pushes and special offers. Releasing that data on a monthly basis would be a mistake, according to Holtman.

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Portal: Four Million Sold To-Date

April 20, 2011 -

According to Valve, Portal has sold four million copies on various platforms. This excludes sales numbers from Steam too. Portal was sold as part of The Orange Box on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 which includes Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Team Fortress 2. Portal was also released as a stand-alone retail release for PC, and as a digital download for Xbox Live Arcade - Portal: Still Alive.

Portal 2 was released yesterday on various platforms. Most critics adore the game, but some users take issue with the length of the game. That aside, it looks like Portal 2 will be another big seller for Valve and its distribution partners. Portal 2 is the first Valve game to feature PC-style Steam functionality on a home console as well as a nice bonus: those who purchase the game for PlayStation 3 can unlock a Steam Play copy of the game for free simply by linking their PlayStation Network accounts with Steam.

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$430K Raised for Japanese Relief by TF2 Community

April 11, 2011 -

Valve has thanked the Team Fortress 2 community for its hard work and generosity in raising a whopping $430,543.65 for the Japanese disaster relief fund. That massive number represents the sale of three limited-edition hats and two noisemakers that were added to the Mann Co. Team Fortress 2 game store at the end of March. While those hats and noisemakers disappeared the indelible imprint of the community's generosity remains.

Below is the message that Valve left the community via its official Team Fortress 2 blog on April 8:

"Nice work, everyone! We're excited to share that, thanks to the generosity of the TF community, in two short weeks we managed to collect $430,543.65 for the Japanese disaster relief fund. It's been inspiring to watch gamers around the world come together for such a worthy cause.

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Two New Studies Using World of Warcraft from Colorado University

April 6, 2011 -

Two new Colorado State University studies examines the potential positive effects of video games using world of Warcraft as its testing grounds. The studies explore how video game players can become deeply involved in their games to the point where they may block out the "external environment" and temporarily feel that their play environment is as vivid and important as the real world. Researchers at Colorado State University say that such "absorptive experiences" can be positive ones, providing important mental health benefits.

Two studies recently published by Jeffrey Snodgrass, associate professor of anthropology at Colorado State, examine different types of video gaming experiences and the effects they can have on players’ lives, including their levels of stress, satisfaction and happiness. In both studies, Snodgrass and his research team examined the popular online game, World of Warcraft.

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Steam Guard Beta Begins

March 7, 2011 -

Steam Guard, Valve’s new account security system announced last week at the Game Developers Conference, is in beta beginning today. The new account security system is available to anyone who is willing to take it for a test run. To take part in the beta, you will have to verify your email with steam, which allows you to tie your Steam account to your computer. If you want to use your Steam account on another computer, you'll have to get a verification code, which will be sent to your email address on file.

The sign-up for the Steam Guard beta is available via the beta participation section in your Steam account settings.

Any attempts to login for the first time on a computer elsewhere will need a verification code, which will be sent to your email address. To access the beta, select Steam Guard from the beta participation section in your Steam account settings.

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Study: Violent Games Do Not Desensitize Players to Violence

February 15, 2011 -

According to researchers at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada), violent video games do not desensitize players to violent imagery. The study was led by Holly Bowen (a PhD candidate in psychology) and co-authored by psychology professor Julia Spaniol. Researchers examined the impact of chronic exposure to violent video games on emotional memory and responses to negative stimuli.

"Emotional long-term memory helps us avoid negative situations," Bowen said. "This has significant implications for public health. For example, if you remember the negative experience of being involved in a bar fight, you will avoid future situations that may lead to an altercation."

The study involved 122 undergraduate students (male and female) who had some experience with video games in the last six months (45 participants) and those who had no prior video game "exposure" (77 students).

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Former Harmonix Shareholders Sue Viacom

December 22, 2010 -

Former Harmonix shareholders filed a lawsuit against Viacom last week, accusing the company of trying to find a slick way to get out of paying performance-based bonuses. According to a lengthy Gamasutra report, the group includes Harmonix founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, as well as other early funders of the Boston-based developer. The group claims that Viacom is manipulating costs after the initial success of Rock Band to avoid a potentially giant earn-out payment.

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Video Games: The Future of Business Training?

December 13, 2010 -

The future of corporate training - at least in Ontario - may very well be game-related. From small business owners to college professors, video game-based training is proving to be popular and effective. Several people involved using special business training software in Ontario are profiled in this Vancouver Sun report.

Merle Ballaigues is trying out a new video game-based training system from Burlington, Ontario-based company, E=mz2. Ballaigues is using the software with her sales team to see if it is effective. She is the North American distributor for Thomas International.

"I wanted something new and different. Online game-based training allows you to offer training anywhere at any time," she says.

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Online Gaming Curfew Coming to Ho Chi Min in January

December 9, 2010 -

A roughly translated news story on vietnamnet reports that young players in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam will be subject to a gaming curfew beginning in January. The crackdown by the city's Department of Information and Communications follows a move earlier this year to curtail primary school students from playing games on weekdays between the hours of 8 am - 5 pm.

 

Under the new rules, gambling companies are also required to shut down from 10pm to 8am daily and not to provide online gaming to internet shops near any educational institutions.

 

The crackdown on online games is the result of a public outcry on the “negative effect of video games” on youth. Local reports have blamed an increase in everything from juvenile crime to school truancy on online gaming.

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Valve Software’s philosophy on becoming a publicly traded company

September 3, 2010 -

In the latest issue of PC Gamer UK, Valve' s Erik Johnson and founder Gabe Newell explain why the company never went public. The key reasoning for not doing it, the duo said, is because it changes your customers. But the logical reason is that the creative process tends to get hijacked - or at the very least, heavily influenced - by the people that hold the most financial interest in a company.

The other reason, which neither talk about, is that Valve as a company decides where all that money goes; besides funding new projects, the company has the luxury of spending that hard earned cash on creative ideas, long-term support for products and investment into the most important aspect of a high profile development studio: the developers. Here's what both had to say about the subject - first Erik Johnson:

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Banned MW2 Account Holders on Steam Get Left 4 Dead 2 and an Apology

July 27, 2010 -

If you were one of the many Modern Warfare 2 players on Steam who received an erroneous message that you were using a cheat and were suddenly banned, then you will be happy to hear that you are now entitled to a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2. The erroneously banned accounts, the result of a glitch related to Valve's Punk Buster anti-cheating software, have been made whole again and company president Gabe Newell has sent an apology letter to all of those affected.

In that apology letter, Newell told the 12,000 some-odd banned account holders that it was Valve's mistake and the he was sorry for the frustration it caused players. He went on to explain what happened on Valve's end to cause this error in the first place:

"The problem was that Steam would fail a signature check between the disk version of a DLL and a latent memory version," he said. "This was caused by a combination of conditions occurring while Steam was updating the disk image of a game."

Newell also clarified that the error wasn't something restricted to Modern Warfare 2, and that Steam is setup in a way that allows Valve to identify and reverse erroneous bans.

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Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

July 19, 2010 -

Although not necessarily fitting for the pages of Game Politics, everyone enjoys getting something for free, and beginning today Valve is offering a brand new game - along with its course code - with no strings attached. The game is a top down cooperative shooter called Alien Swarm. Valve will also be releasing all the source code for the Steamworks-integrated title as part of a SDK update also to be released today.

The game was originally being developed by Black Cat, but after Valve hired the entire team to work on Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead series, development on the Source Engine based shooter game slowed to a crawl, with Black Cat working on it in its spare time.

You can learn more about the game by visiting www.alienswarm.comSteamPowered.com or by firing up your Steam client.

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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.bsimracing.com/fia-sends-out-cease-and-desist-letter-to-modding-teams/ This sounds pretty bad.08/23/2014 - 12:12pm
SeanBI wrote up a post detailing my thoughts on this Mojang/Bukkit stuff, feel free to chime in if you wish. http://goo.gl/OFJJIE08/23/2014 - 12:24am
Matthew Wilsonfirst, that crap is wrong. second, isnt this the 3rd time he has quit?08/22/2014 - 12:11pm
Zenhttp://levelsave.com/phil-fish-polytron-doxxed-phil-fish-quits-gaming-sells-fez-polytron/ , https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bvnhvz5IIAAAVc5.png:large08/22/2014 - 12:03pm
ZenHere are some links to the story and images. http://playeressence.com/polytron-and-phil-fish-hacked-tons-of-personal-info-leaked/ , https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bvnx8sQCIAAwumB.jpg:large , https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bvnj_zmCUAAlYWm.jpg:large08/22/2014 - 12:02pm
ZenSo...Phil Fish was apparently hacked on both his Twitter and the Polytron site along with all of his personal information has been given out in a zip file. He has since closed his Twitter and stated that Polytron and the Fez IP are for sale. He wants out.08/22/2014 - 12:01pm
Papa MidnightThe Verge says the sequel to Flappy Bird is nearly impossible. http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/21/6053297/swing-copters-flappy-bird-sequel08/21/2014 - 12:22pm
SleakerPC-Gamer wrote an article on what's going on with the Minecraft stuff: http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/08/21/minecraft-bukkit-team-lead-tries-to-end-development-but-mojang-steps-in/08/21/2014 - 11:55am
SleakerEVE had a high-profile ban today: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/08/20/eve-online-lottery-site-somer-blink-shutting-down/#continued08/21/2014 - 10:26am
SleakerBut where have all the Ethics gone?08/21/2014 - 9:08am
Sleaker@EZK - one of the bigger things is that since Mojang has owned Bukkit for 2 years now, people contributing to the project have basically been doing work for them pro-bono. On top of never formalizing support. They hid the fact probably to prevent support08/21/2014 - 9:07am
SleakerIf you've played on a server with mods/plugins, you've almost for sure played on a Bukkit-based server.08/21/2014 - 8:56am
SleakerHere's Bukkit's explanation attempt at shutting down due to EULA changes: http://forums.bukkit.org/threads/bukkit-its-time-to-say.305106/08/21/2014 - 8:55am
SleakerEZK - it's the largest server mod for MC, in actuality without it minecraft for sure would not have been as popular (#1 game now).08/21/2014 - 8:54am
SleakerTo the point that it seems they have completely lost what it means to be for-community, and having transparency. Along with dumping restrictive EULA's onto people.08/21/2014 - 8:53am
E. Zachary KnightWhat is Bukkit and why should I care?08/21/2014 - 8:53am
SleakerMinecraft community exploded again today. Apparently Mojang owns all of Bukkit, and never put out a statement saying as such 2 years ago when they acquired them. I have to say, their transition from indie has been rough.08/21/2014 - 8:52am
james_fudgeThere aren't many left in America08/21/2014 - 1:50am
MechaTama31I sure have. Dorky's barcade in Tacoma, WA.08/20/2014 - 5:56pm
Matthew WilsonI have not been to a arcade in years. I know arcades are still big in japan.08/20/2014 - 5:38pm
 

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