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Valve Corporation

Total Average Score: 8.79/10

Valve took the PC gaming world by storm in 1998 with the release of Half-Life. With their cult fan following, they continued development, allowing players to make their own mods. One popular mod became Team Fortress, which is now created by Valve.

Valve greatly impacted the industry in 2003 by releasing their Steam program, which allowed Valve to update their games without forcing players to be impacted for much longer than a few hours or so. The Steam program impacted the industry, even more, when it started allowing game developers to release their games through their portal in. removing the issue of forcing developers to create contracts with brick and mortar shops and allowing smaller developers and independent developers to more easily release their games to a visible public.

Between 2006 and 2009, Steam helped the video game industry break into a whole new type of development, now called independent game development. Their platform allowed single or small group developers to release their games to a large audience with a low-cost overhead. Now, there are more independent game developers than AAA, which allows more room for experimentation and development of new technologies for software and hardware in the game industry.

Valve Corporation’s Game Quality 2019

N/A

Valve did not release any games in 2019. They publish very few games, and it’s typically every couple of years when they do release a game or expansion.

They do however have an online game portal called Steam in which they help other small developers release their own games, where 100’s, if not 1000’s of games are released every year. AAA companies also release digital download copies of their games through Steam. There are currently over 30,000 games available for download on the Steam platform.

Valve Corporation’s Innovations 2019

3

A lot of these innovations are new for Valve, or updates to old systems, but nothing that truly impacts the world or changes the industry as a whole. Basically, a pretty average year.

  • Steam Labs
  • Friends and Chat System Update
  • Remote Play Feature
Steam Labs

In July 2019, the Steam Labs feature was introduced as a means of Valve to showcase experimental discovery features they have considered for including into Steam but seek public feedback to see if it is something that users want before fully integrating that into the storefront. For example, an initial experiment released at launch was the Interactive Recommender, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms pulling data from the user’s past gameplay history, comparing it to all other users, as to suggest new games that may be of interest to them.

Friends and Chat System Update

An update to the friends and chat system was released in July 2018, allowing for non-peer-to-peer chats integrated with voice chat and other features that were compared to Discord. A standalone mobile app based on this for Android and iOS was released in May 2019.

Remote Play Feature

Streaming was introduced in May 2014; it allowed users to stream games installed on one computer to another—regardless of platform—on the same home network with low latency. By June 2019, Valve renamed this feature to Remote Play, allowing users to stream games across devices that may be outside of their home network. Steam’s “Remote Play Together”, added in November 2019 after a month of beta testing, gives the ability for local multiplayer games to be played by people in disparate locations, though it will not necessarily resolve latency issues typical of these types of games.

Valve Corporation’s Marketing Techniques 2019

9/10

Valve uses their YouTube channel to show off some of their new and upcoming technology, feature new or coming soon games and to get to know some of the Valve employees.

They don’t have much for TV commercial marketing, but every once in a while some of their Steam ads will appear on social media, press releases, or as featured articles.

While their marketing isn’t unique in the sense of something only they do, it is friendly and makes people feel like they are a part of the team. We feel they have excellent moral marketing that doesn’t feel invasive or overpowering, and they only use it when and where it is needed and effective. As for marketing in 2019, there hasn’t been a whole lot, most likely due to them focusing on the new Half-Life game.

Valve Corporation’s Historical Impact 2019

5/10

The historical impact Valve has had as a whole is huge, however, nothing too big for the year 2019. Just a few legal issues in Europe over software ownership, and some updates to their software.

  • According to sources on Wikipedia, in September 2019, the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris found that Valve’s practice of preventing resales violated the European Union’s Information Society Directive of 2001 and the Computer Programs Directive of 2009, and required them to allow it in the future. The decision is primarily based on the court’s findings that Steam sells licenses to software titles, despite Valve’s claim that they were selling subscriptions, which are not covered by the Directives. The company stated that it would appeal the decision.
  • Valve announced in March 2019 that it mark reviews they believe are “off-topic” as a result of a review bomb, and eliminate their contribution to summary review scores; the first such games they took action on with this was the Borderlands games after it was announced Borderlands 3 would be a timed-exclusive to the Epic Games Store.
  • August 2019, a security researcher exposed a zero-day vulnerability in the Windows client of Steam, which allowed for any user to run arbitrary code with LocalSystem privileges using just a few simple commands. The vulnerability was then reported to Valve via the Hacker One program, but it was initially rejected for being “out-of-scope”. Following a second vulnerability found by the same user, Valve apologized and patched them both, and expanded the program’s rules to accept any other similar issues in the future.

Valve Corporation’s Work-life Balance 2019

9.16/10

According to indeed.com, Valve employees gave the following ratings for working there:

  • Work-life balance – 5.0
  • Pay and Benefits – 4.3
  • Job Security and Advancement – 4.3
  • Management – 4.3
  • Culture – 5.0