Gabe Newell Talks Apple and Steam’s Future

As noted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Polygon, Valve overlord Gabe Newell recently gave a talk at the University of Texas that’s since been YouTubified for non-Texans to watch (below). During the hour-long discussion, the bearded bossman talks about possible plans to completely relinquish control over what gets published on Steam, moving towards a more open marketplace, a “sort of a network API”. Although this will solve the current problem of good games not making it onto the platform, it would likely also mean that it could quickly get filled with dross.

Also covered in the talk was his opinion that Apple is in position to dominate the console market:

“The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform,” Newell said. “I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?”

Spot on really, but Apple have historically steadfastly refused any association with games, even now when it arguably fuels the majority of transactions on the App Stores. Kind of ironic that essentially doing nothing at all to make Macs a great gaming platform has left them in a position to be just that, in spite of themselves. But with Apple shares at low prices right now over investors losing confidence in Apple’s potential for growth, now could be a good time to follow in Microsoft’s footsteps.

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