End of the Week Wrap-Up: Gabe Newell Interview Edition

Posted By: In: Gaming News, PC, Playstation 3 On: 01 Feb

End of the Week Wrap-Up: Gabe Newell Interview Edition

There are few in the industry as open and forthcoming about their business operations as Valve and their leader Gabe Newell are. So it wasn’t a surprise when he sat down to give a talk at the LBJ School of public affairs this week to reflect on Valve and the game industry in general. It’s a very dense talk, filled with tons of hints about Valve’s future as well as some more specific insight into their most popular titles. It isn’t just all about games either, he spends a lot of time talking about highly technical issues (some even I had trouble wrapping my head around) and also speaks about how Valve operates and why he thinks a traditional corporate model doesn’t work that well in a post-internet society.

Unfortunately there was no big announcement regarding Half Life 3, but that doesn’t mean the interview isn’t worth checking out. It seems that Valve doesn’t just make games; they’ve spent a lot of time figuring how to be a more efficient company that serves their customers better. There’s little to no management at Valve, meaning that everyone is on the same organizational level. This would probably sound counterintuitive to anyone outside of the company, but given their success I think it’s safe to say it works, for them at least.

According to The Verge, Sony will be holding a PlayStation event on February 20th, giving all of us a look at their next-gen console. An important announcement for the industry to be sure, it also gives Microsoft the opportunity to release information about their next console as well. Normally the two companies play chicken as to who will release any information first, but once they do it usually turns into a hype-fest all the way until release. We’ve all been hoping for a look at their new consoles, but by the end of the year I’m sure we’ll all be tired of hearing about it.

Call of Duty is holding a competition with a prize pool of about a million dollars. The first place team will receive almost have of the purse at $400,000, with second and third place receiving $200K and $120K respectively. This is a pretty big purse for the game, which doesn’t have the same level of competitive play that Halo does. But if there’s one thing that gets professional players interested it’s boat loads of money, so it’s probably good for their competitive scene that they are putting their money where their mouth is.

Gamasutra is running a piece on how GTA V’s delay could have industry wide implications. The argument is, and I agree, that the delay puts the game’s release smack dab in the middle of what is already sure to be a pretty chaotic holiday season, causing it to compete with games like CoD and Battlefield, and also with the release of the next-gen consoles. It may not have an impact on the game’s sales, but if it does that could be bad news for Take-Two’s stock. Of course if it does well that’s probably bad news for everyone else.

Heroes of Newerth is getting a serious facelift with their new 3.0 patch release. I haven’t played the game since the release of Dota 2 (ok, ok, since way before that) but I did enjoy the time I spent playing it. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has collected all of the footage of the game’s upgrades. It’s pretty technical, especially for those who aren’t interested in MOBAs, but it does look as if they are hoping to compete with their bigger cousins League of Legends and Dota 2. Some of the changes actually look pretty good, so I’m excited to give it a try… as soon as I reinstall the game.

Taking up the anchor spot this week, PBS has a video on YouTube which dives into the world of competitive gaming. Unlike many other mainstream organizations, PBS’s coverage is spot on. Usually it’s laughable how bad some mainstream coverage of the game industry can be, but I have to say they did their homework with this one. I’ll leave the video here at the bottom for everyone to check out. Have a radical weekend!

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