Steam has had a hold over online retailing for PC gamers since its launch in 2003. In a recent interview with Edge magazine with Valve boss Gabe Newell, he thinks having the Epic Games Store be a competitor is a good thing to happen.
“Competition is great,” Newell told Edge. “That’s why we love the PC platform, everybody has to compete on a wide variety of dimensions. Competition in game stores is awesome for everybody. It keeps us honest, it keeps everybody else honest.”
Nonetheless, competition is competition. Things get rough when one company is trying to outdo the other to earn a bigger profit from its customers.
“You’re like, ‘Argh, they’re yelling, they’re making us look bad,’” he said. “But in the long term, everybody benefits from the discipline and the thoughtfulness it means you have to have about your business by having people come in and challenge you.”
More gaming retailers have popped up in the PC landscape. Outside of Epic, EA has jumped on the train and tech giants like Apple and Amazon. Out of those, Newell is more concerned with Apple more than anything.
“We get a lot more freaked out not by competition, but by people trying to preclude competition,” he said. “If you ask us which is scarier, it’s people who are falling in love with Apple’s model of controlling everything and having faceless bureaucrats who get to keep your product from entering the market if they don’t want it to … That’s way scarier to us than competitors.”
Newell founded Valve in Bellevue, Washington, in 1996. Since then, he has remained as the company’s CEO. He used his money from his days at Microsoft to start up his own business. Today, Steam is a juggernaut, and Valve has gone back to its roots to develop games with Half-Life Alyx.
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