Valve’s Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson believe the studio could have done a better job catering to the console crowd, and have admitted “total failure” on the studio’s part to support its offerings on PS3 and Xbox 360.
Lack of updates on 360 for TF2
Speaking in the latest issue of PC Gamer, Johnson said the biggest mistake so far on the company’s part was the way it dealt with PS3 customers, and laments how expensive it is to fix problems with a console game after it’s already been released.
“The way we’ve dealt with [PS3] customers so far, and the product that they have, ” said Johnson when asked about the studio’s biggest regret so far. “And the lack of updates on the 360, for TF2, is also a total failure.
“Those are the ones that sting the worst because it got all the way through to customers. It’s like a bug. If you fix a bug before it ever ships, it’s pretty cheap. If you ship it and then fix it, it’s really expensive.
“Those ones are really bad.”
However, Valve is pleased it has the opportunity to make amends with PS3 users, and is pleased with how “open” the console is for developers.
“That’s why we’re really happy with the current situation with the PS3,” said Newell. “We’re solving it now in a way that is going to work for our customers, rather than assuming something is going to emerge later that will allow us to fix this.”
“Sony views the PS3 as a very open platform for developers”
As far as Xbox 360 is concerned, Newell’s disappointed Microsoft isn’t very accomodatng when it comes to developers wanting to update released products on a regular basis.
According to Newell, Valve was hoping Microsoft would eventually remedy this, but the firm is still waiting, apparently, and this means it will be hard to bring Steamworks to 360 customers, unlike PS3.
“We thought that there would be something that would emerge, because we figured it was a sort of untenable [on MS's part], said Newell. ” Oh yeah, we understand that these are the rules now, but it’s such a train wreck that something will have to change.”
“Part of the reason the PS3 project is so exciting to us is because fundamentally Sony views the PS3 as a very open platform for developers and that’s kind of what we feel like,” added Johnson.
“It is better for developers but more importantly it’s better for customers to have as many choices of software to run on whatever device they have.
“Having Steam on that platform is incredibly valuable to us. In a lot of ways that is the way we define a customer having a good experience because it’s the way that we keep talking to that customer over time.
“We think customers would like [Steam on Xbox 360]. We’d love to try that,” adding that the decision for such a release was “not up to” Valve.
During the same interview, Newell told PC Gamer Valve was not opposed to the idea of releasing another “quick” sequel to one of it’s titles like it did with Left 4 Dead 2.
Valve will release Portal 2 on PC, PS3 with Steamworks and on Xbox 360 February 9. Check out our impression of it through here.