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.