Steam Summer Sale Sullied by Ubisoft's DRM Scheme

July 16, 2012 -

If you bought an Ubisoft game available as part of Steam's massive Summer Sale, you may experience what users are feeling right about now: angst and rage. Apparently some players who bought Ubisoft games have found that they cannot play them because of uPlay, the online service in charge of validating DRM in many of Ubisoft's titles.

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GameStop Offers 30 Percent Bonus to Trade-In Cash Used to Purchase Steam Gift Cards

July 13, 2012 -

If you would prefer to spend your hard-earned cash on digital goods but also want to trade-in some of your used games too, then GameStop is offering a deal worth mentioning. For the remainder of Steam's massive summer sale trade-ins at GameStop will net you an additional 30 percent in value if you put that credit towards the purchase of a Steam gift card. The deal runs until July 23.

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Report: Clint Hocking Joining Valve Software

July 12, 2012 -

When it was revealed earlier this year that Clint Hocking had left LucasArts, people speculated where he would be going to next. Yesterday it was revealed that the former creative director at both Ubisoft and LucasArts, has joined Valve Software, though what his role will be there was not determined. Hocking is best known for his work on such titles as Far Cry 2 and the Splinter Cell series.

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Valve Reveals Portal 2 Educational Program

June 20, 2012 -

Valve has revealed Steam for Schools, a cool initiative that brings the joys of learning with Portal 2 to America's classrooms, at the Games For Change Festival. Steam For Schools, launching in a limited beta, will provide a limited Steam Client and a tailored version of Portal 2, along with the level editor and a workshop for hosting and organizing user-created levels. It will be free to teachers, who will have administrator access so that they can control what levels get shared.

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Valve Enlists Famed Economist Yanis Varoufakis

June 15, 2012 -

Valve Software has enlisted the expertise of famed economist Yanis Varoufakis, who will work in a variety of roles for Valve related to the virtual economies of its line-up of games that feature micro-transactions. Varoufakis will mostly serve as a consultant to Valve as it shores up its virtual economies. He will also use the various economies in Valve's games as test beds for various economic analysis that he claims are not possible in real world economies.

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Report: Linux Steam Client in 2012

June 5, 2012 -

It's a one-word email but it's enough for those who have been asking Valve for years to bring Steam to the Linux operating system. A Phoronix reader named Joe Davison recently e-mailed Valve's Gabe Newel to ask him if the Linux version of the Steam client would be made public before the end of 2012. In a simple one-word response, Newell replied with "Yes."

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Valve Reveals that Dota 2 Will be a Free-to-Play Game

June 1, 2012 -

Valve announced that Dota 2 will be free free-to-play and revealed details on the Dota Store today. The game will feature an in-game store that will offer mostly cosmetic items, just like the offerings provided to Team Fortress 2 players. Valve says that it has no plans to sell hero characters in the Dota Store because "restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid."

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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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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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