Gabe Newell and the gang over at Valve Software want Electronic Arts to return to Steam. This shouldn't be a surprise given that EA holds the rights to a good number of money-making IPs including Battlefield, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, The Sims and Crysis.
In recent months, digital EA titles began disappearing from Steam. There has been speculation that EA wanted to sell DLC directly to gamers which isn't allowed on Valve's platform. Typically DLC is hosted on Steam and Valve receives a revenue cut.
But by EA removing its PC games, DLC, and shifting over to its own competing distribution platform, Origin, Valve will miss out on a whole lot of money. And while a good number of EA games still reside on Valve's Steam distribution platform, hot upcoming digital releases including Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic will be Origin exclusives. Naturally, Gabe Newell wants to do what he can to keep EA's business and steady cash flow.
During an interview with Develop, Newell admitted that Valve's relationship with EA, although complicated, is reconcilable.
"I don’t think Valve can pick just one thing and think the issue would go away if we fixed that," he said in an upcoming issue. "We have to show EA it’s a smart decision to have EA games on Steam, and we’re going to try to show them that."
When asked if customers should expect more games to be removed from Steam, Newell said that companies have to earn the right to install content on their customers' PCs on a regular basis.
"The same thing is true of Steam," he said. "We have to prove we are creating value on an ongoing basis, whether it’s to EA or Ubisoft or whoever. We really want to show there’s a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do."
But if EA is intent on publishing DLC for its PC games outside Steam, then there's a good chance we'll see even fewer new releases on Valve's platform in the coming months. Still, Newell seems optimistic.
"I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam," he said. "It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games."