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Valve May Bring Steam to Mobile Platforms

By - Source: Develop | B 43 comments

Valve Software is looking into Steam on mobile devices.

Now that Valve Software has infiltrated the PlayStation 3 space with its proprietary Steamworks suite, the Portal 2 developer is now setting its sights on the mobile sector. The company admits that it's rather late in the game, but a mobile Steam client could become more of a possibility if the requests keep rolling in.

"We do feel we're late on mobile across many of Valve's services," said Valve marketing VP Doug Lombardi. "It is something we're starting to look at now. People are starting to ask us for it. The more requests we receive, the more we feel the need to act on them."

Jason Holtman, Valve's director of business development and legal affairs, also chimed in with his take on the situation. "Mobile is really interesting," he said. "If you're making games, you have to be thinking about having a platform in this space. But it's too early to say anything definitive."

There are already several game "networks" established in the mobile sector including OpenFeint, Plus+, Crystal, Scorel∞p, Geocade, and agon. Gameloft has its own social gaming platform called Gameloft Live, and as we saw with the launch of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has brought its coveted Xbox LIVE service into the mobile sector, offering cross-platform gaming between the smartphone, Windows PC and Xbox 360.

Valve bossman Gabe Newell nuked previous rumors that the company was bringing its Source engine to mobile devices, saying that there are no plans whatsoever. In fact, he told game developers to seek out Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and use his Unreal Engine 3. "On mobile we’ve done nothing," Newel admitted, echoing a similar, seemingly critical statement provided by Valve project manager Erik Johnson.

While it appears that Valve has no intentions of developing a version of Source for mobile platforms, at least the company seems to be taking an interest in the mobile sector as a whole. Will a mobile Steam turn into an app store? For the Android platform, it's possible. But if anything, Valve could develop a mobile Steam network similar to the current social mobile platforms, linking iOS, Android and WP7 friends together to share trophies, messages and more.

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  • 0 Hide
    NapoleonDK , May 6, 2011 11:45 PM
    Bring it.
  • 3 Hide
    joex444 , May 7, 2011 12:43 AM
    Can we do Linux first?
  • 4 Hide
    joytech22 , May 7, 2011 1:31 AM
    Good, bring some decent games to Android for once!
    I'm not saying all the games on Android are bad, I'm saying there's a lack of good ones.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2011 1:33 AM
    DRM DRM DRM, how long are the majority of people going to be blind idiots and let this crap continue! STEAM = DRM = BAD
  • 7 Hide
    nukemaster , May 7, 2011 1:36 AM
    Steam = DRM that does NOT interfere with gameplay or seem to have ANY downsides.

    This is not securom and other stuff(shame the steam bioshocks came with securom.).

    Steam has yet to give me an issue with its DRM system.
  • 2 Hide
    bustapr , May 7, 2011 1:50 AM
    Steam DRM is the good DRM, the one that hackers hate and the one that makes your life easy.

    I think this is worse news for PC Gamers who want more good quality valve games.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2011 1:57 AM
    Nope, not for me, Steam is a no-go in my books!
  • 4 Hide
    proxy711 , May 7, 2011 2:05 AM
    moriconNope, not for me, Steam is a no-go in my books!

    May i ask why?

    Really give me one good reason why steam is bad? Then ill tell you your logic is completely off and you're uninformed/inexperienced with steam....wait on second thought just just skip that whole conversation.

    Steam is one of few good guys in PC gaming today.
  • 2 Hide
    zkevwlu , May 7, 2011 2:36 AM
    IddaDRM DRM DRM, how long are the majority of people going to be blind idiots and let this crap continue! STEAM = DRM = BAD


    And Steam's DRM is bad why? Please give me one sensible and practical reason as to why Steam's DRM has caused you any sort of inconvenience.
  • -1 Hide
    schmich , May 7, 2011 2:50 AM
    Proxy711May i ask why?

    I'm a different guy I'm not buying from Steam again either. The first and only time I tried buying on Steam was BF:BC2 Vietnam expansion. I had bought the original version on retail. I lookup on official forums and all to see if I could buy Steam version of BC2 Vietnam when I had a retail BC2, answer: yes. Basically Vietnam is just a CD-Key that you add to the EA account, not even a DVD or a new game. You download the content and start-up the same game.

    On the BC2 Vietnam Steam page there was no info about having to own a Steam version of the original either so I went ahead and "pre-ordered". When Vietnam went live I couldn't find where to get the CD-key. I spend hours trying to figure it out and in the end DICE wrote an official post about Valve screwing up and not putting any limitation on BC2 Vietnam to only make it available if you have the Steam version of BC2. It also stated that if you're one of the few ones who pre-ordered before the limitation was put up to contact Valve.

    So I did contact Steam support. First reply was the stupid copy paste response on how to start up a game even though I specifically wrote in the message that I don't want to do that, I need the CD-key. I explained to read my first post and so on...posts went back and forth. In short, due to Steam's error I got the option of...get a refund or buy BC2, again, but on Steam (and I guess get a new account going so I have to juggle sign between the two account when I change between original and Vietnam - since i already have a "soldier" that I had ranked up a lot). I had asked if they could just send the CD-key to my verified email address but they just ignored it, didn't even say that it couldn't be done.

    When it's your customer's first purchase and you've made a mistake making the customer not get the proper service they should get, in my opinion, you grant them some type of price reduction, extra service or simply some type of gift. Just giving the absolute minimum that is required by law (i.e. a refund) is not enough. This doesn't make a customer return to your business.

    ------------------------

    I did eye on Portal 2. I checked prices on Steam as well as the gaming stores in my country. Steam with its own game, no middle man to pay with their online service, no packaging to pay (just bandwidth) managed to make the game MORE expensive there than ordering a physical copy at a game store WITH shipping. How can Steam not be cheaper? -.-

    --------------

    Lastly the fact that they can block your WHOLE account for something you did whilst playing ONE game is scary. Then I've heard about developers not liking how Steam is and how they have a monopoly on the digital market. I used to love Valve but it seems they're getting too big and cocky. Oh, I also like how they've messed up CS 1.6. I'm not sure if it's fixed but some eastern Europe country highjacked the server list so you can't play the game. The things like mouse acceleration is impossible to remove without a registry tweak. I don't mind not receiving any updates but not keeping a game playable (that you still sell!!) is frankly not acceptable.
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , May 7, 2011 3:13 AM
    I don't quite see mobile gaming taking off. I've never had an interest in it. It might be a fad for a little while, but that's it.
  • 1 Hide
    zkevwlu , May 7, 2011 3:24 AM
    schmichLastly the fact that they can block your WHOLE account for something you did whilst playing ONE game is scary.


    I'm pretty sure they don't ban ever ban you from accessing your Steam Account. If you use hacks while playing on Valve Secured Servers, then your account will be banned from playing on all Valve Secured Servers only. As far as I know, the only games that use VAC secured servers are Valve games, which means that the worst case scenario is that you won't be able to play on VAC multiplayer servers anymore. You will still have access to all non-valve games you purchased, and you can still play on unsecured valve servers for all valve games.

    I have personally never seen Steam sell a game higher than the retail price in stores. Take Portal 2 for example, the retail price in Canada is 54.99 + tax. Steam only charges 49.99 and no tax. Of course I don't know where you live so I guess it might not hold for all countries.

    They gave you a full refund for your BC2: Vietnam, what more can you ask for? Hell, most physical stores won't even bother giving you a full refund in cash. They'll just tell you to suck it up and hand you a store credit or a voucher so you can go ahead and buy another copy of the same thing from their store.
  • 2 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 7, 2011 4:24 AM
    Quote:
    the Portal 2 developer is now setting its sights on the mobile sector.


    Sure... they are... and I understand that is their newest game but is that really what we should associate Valve with over all of their other work?
    Simply introducing them as the Portal 2 developer seems weak. Maybe I am simply being too picky.

    zkevwluI'm pretty sure they don't ban ever ban you from accessing your Steam Account.


    From what I know there are a few actions that will cause a steam account itself to be banned. Scamming and/or impersonating a Valve employee is one. Piracy is another, in-fact I had a friend years ago get banned for piracy when those hacked versions of steam that oddly enough enabled him to play online with me on secured servers. (this no longer exists to my knowledge) From what he shared with me when he got caught his legit account was also banned. So I guess if piracy is caught all accounts linked to that IP or computer also get banned with it. So basically if you get your account banned you deserved it.

    Quote:
    I have personally never seen Steam sell a game higher than the retail price in stores. Take Portal 2 for example, the retail price in Canada is 54.99 + tax. Steam only charges 49.99 and no tax. Of course I don't know where you live so I guess it might not hold for all countries.


    I've seen many cases of retail versions of the game selling cheaper than steam. Right now on Amazon as I type this is selling the game for $30 with free shipping while Steam is selling it for $50. Though I think people made a logic error when such services first started and continue to do so today. People think that a digital download will cost less as it costs less to bring the product to the consumer. But instead the opposite is true when it comes to costs to the consumer while the retail version is more costly it takes up physical space and therefor must eventually be sold prices will be slashed as much as possible to ensure that the product gets sold. While a digital download doesn't have this pressure so in the end will often cost more than a retail version.
  • 0 Hide
    Trialsking , May 7, 2011 4:46 AM
    While a digital download doesn't have this pressure so in the end will often cost more than a retail version.


    Gee that's funny, because Crysis is on sale for $4.99 on steam and I dare you to find a retailer selling for that low. Granted its a 4 yrs old game, but I always get my games on Steam sales and they are 25-75% less then retail when I get them. Yes it is a few months after launch, but I would NEVER pay $60 console price for ANY PC game. I have more than a few AAA titles that I have gotten for $5,(Batman AA, Just Cause2, Crysis, AvP, Mass Effects 1+2, GTA4) I would like to see ANY retailer much that price at anytime after a game is released. So what if they were limited sales. Everyones know Steam Summer and Xmas sales are 2x a year and they kick ass.
  • 0 Hide
    fir_ser , May 7, 2011 4:51 AM
    This will have great potential.
  • 0 Hide
    icebug , May 7, 2011 5:51 AM
    Quote:
    And Steam's DRM is bad why? Please give me one sensible and practical reason as to why Steam's DRM has caused you any sort of inconvenience.

    Only reason that I can think of is because they like to get games without paying for them.

    I Own 200+ games on steam and have not found an issue yet other than when publishers try to put other garbage DRM on top of Steam
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2011 6:06 AM
    WE WANT EPISODE3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 7, 2011 8:20 AM
    Trialsking
    Gee that's funny, because Crysis is on sale for $4.99 on steam and I dare you to find a retailer selling for that low. Granted its a 4 yrs old game, but I always get my games on Steam sales and they are 25-75% less then retail when I get them. Yes it is a few months after launch, but I would NEVER pay $60 console price for ANY PC game. I have more than a few AAA titles that I have gotten for $5,(Batman AA, Just Cause2, Crysis, AvP, Mass Effects 1+2, GTA4) I would like to see ANY retailer much that price at anytime after a game is released. So what if they were limited sales. Everyones know Steam Summer and Xmas sales are 2x a year and they kick ass.


    You are comparing very different scenarios. Steam's sales are short down to even daily. While they are certainly great sales we aren't talking about sale prices. With retail versions of a game even if they require steam the prices get slashed much sooner its not a sale its a price slash. Right now its possible to buy Portal 2 at 3/5ths of the cost not going through steam and I highly doubt we will see this price go back up to matching steam. Remember Portal 2 is a just released game.

    So I'm not really seeing what your argument is here as it certainly
    doesn't pertain to the normal pricing methods which I was discussing.
    But since you brought Crysis up I guess that would be a great example to show that I am correct.

    Retail prices I have found without actually hunting vs steam's normal prices.

    Crysis retial price: $10
    Crysis Steam price (normally) $30
    Crysis WH retail $10
    Crysis WH Steam (normally) $20

    As you mentioned yourself this is for a four year old game. That is quite the price increase that Steam has averagely over retailers. The prices I am basing off of for retailers was just a few seconds if I actually took time I may even find it for cheaper. Since these are NORMAL retail prices and since Steam's normal prices are much higher it simply isn't logical for the consumer. While Steam's sales are great they are unpredictable who knows how long you could wait for a game you desire to go on sale. In your case four years with Crysis.

    In conclusion if you see a great unbeatable sale on Steam of a game you desire go ahead and snatch it. In any other case check retail prices you are much more likely to save money.
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 7, 2011 8:43 AM
    Only natural given the growing gaming capabilities of mobile handsets.
  • 2 Hide
    enforcer22 , May 7, 2011 10:16 AM
    joex444Can we do Linux first?


    No because people actually use cell phones.

    @SCHMICH

    Ok so your against steam because you lack a little common sense check.

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