Newell: “We really want to show [EA] there’s a lot of value titles on Steam”

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 18:08 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Valve’s Gabe Newell has EA pulled its larger-named games from Steam due to “a whole complicated set of issues,” and regardless of the reason, it is not beyond reconcilable.

Speaking in an interview with Develop, Newell said he doesn’t think Valve can “pick just one thing and think the issue would go away,” if the one issue were fixed.

“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,” he said.”Companies have to earn the right to install content on their customers’ PCs on a regular basis. The same thing is true of Steam. 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. 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.

“It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”

EA recently started pulling its larger titles off the service, and started offering newly released DLC on its own Origin digital service.


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  1. Talkar

    But if Valve wants EA’s titles on Steam, maybe they shouldn’t kick their major titles off of Steam. (notice how Gabe didn’t try to say that EA pulled the games off of Steam, rather than Valve kicked ‘em off)

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Xuchilbara

    To be honest, none of us really know whos fault it is, so lets all stop acting like it. Because from the sounds of this, Gabe makes it sound more like EA wasn’t profiting from having their games on Steam. And if they weren’t, then I don’t blame them.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    “”Companies have to earn the right to install content on their customers’ PCs on a regular basis.”

    Shook my head on this comment they never asked to see if it was Ok when they first implemented this “feature” it was automatically assumed its ok to install new updates. Somehow they believe they earned the right, whatever Newell.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DSB

    @1 Most likely because he has no interest in insinuations and mudslinging, unlike some other PR departments.

    The fact that he doesn’t reply with an arrogant and spiteful statement on the matter serves to his credit in my opinion.

    @3 I know dude, how DARE they keep my stuff up to date. I’m fuuuurious.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight


    You can’t go backwards like the last set of Fallout New Vegas Patch made the game completely broken and because of steam it automatically updated. So until the next patch which happened a month later I couldn’t play New Vegas.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 Oh, I wasn’t saying the system doesn’t have its drawbacks, or that it won’t be super inconvenient for some. Modders certainly don’t have it easy, without being able to roll back their games.

    I’d say it’s pretty random that Obsidian manage to fuck up their game like that, they’re obviously very self-destructive people, but ultimately you can never have a system that works for everyone, just one that works for most people.

    I don’t miss the days of handpicking patches and hotfixes for those patches, or patches that allow for even more patches, and having to do it all over again for every clean install. If that leads to a fluke every once in a while or trouble with modding games, then I can pretty much live with that.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Yoshi

    @Pheonixblight, please let me enlighten you. Open Steam, go to Game Library, right click on Fallout New Vegas, click properties, updates, then click the drop down menu and choose ‘Do not automatically update this game’

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    I agree on the Obsidian remark. THey don’t have the best technical people for their games but I did enjoy New Vegas more than Fallout 3.

    On topic I was just saying that Newell is being arrogant saying they they have earned the right when they did the exact same thing as Origin. THey put in the feature and didn’t really mention to the consumers and somehow they have exclusive rights to it?

    EA has said in order to do it the way Steam wants it they have to completely change the architecture of all their games. No company should be pushed because one retailer doesn’t like it when 90% of the retailers don’t care.


    I already know about that. My point still stands if a patch doesn’t work I can’t go backwards. This can happen to any game. I am fine with the updates but I am not fine is when a patch is released and breaks my game I have no way of going back to a patch when the game works.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Yoshi

    @8, ‘EA has said in order to do it the way Steam wants it they have to completely change the architecture of all their games.’ I’m sorry but that’s complete and utter bullshit and anyone who believes that should be slapped.

    (Your edited bit)
    Well do what I said then wait to see if a patch fails or not. Then if it doesn’t, patch then go back to not automatic updates :)

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DSB

    @8 I fail to see where the great outrage at Valve’s auto-updating feature is or was. Obviously it’s a service, and the vast majority of users see it as such.

    The last paragraph is just biased and lacking of nuance. EA are big boys, they’re familiar with Valves requirements, and none of this will have caught them by surprise. At least I hope not, that would make them look like bumbling amateurs. I would strongly hope for the company that they knew exactly who would carry it, and who wouldn’t, and I think they see just as great an advantage in not having their games on Steam, as they do by having them included.

    I strongly doubt that poor little EA would allow themselves to get pushed by big bad Steam. It’s a calculated move, by a billion dollar corporation who sees margins as the next frontier in increasing its revenue.

    The rest of retailers are somewhat of a mystery, obviously GamersGate are having none of it. Referring to a handful of retailers as “90% of retailers” is a cute way of overplaying a hand that isn’t that good.

    Impulse and Direct2Drive going back on the otherwise huge outrage over Steamworks and similar services could either mean a renewed era of peace and harmony among retailers, or more likely in my opinion, the realization that their services simply aren’t good enough and simply aren’t earning enough, without biting the bullet and carrying those games.

    With the added advantage in this case that Steam is out of the picture, and so they actually have a shot at the market, even if their product is only half as good.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. deathgaze

    @DSB #10: If I recall correctly, EA objects to the way Steam forces you to buy DLC through Steam instead of direct from the publisher. If you want to sell DLC through Steam, the only way to do it is through Steam. Supposedly, to sell direct is a violation of the developer’s ToS.

    I do remember that they [EA] said something about “pushing their updates directly to the customer” or “taking care of the customer themselves instead of relying on other systems”. Or something like that. I suspect all that is, proverbially, blowing smoke up our ass. EA doesn’t want to give Valve a cut of their DLC money. That’s really the only way to explain EA’s posturing in this ridiculous Steam vs. Origin grudge-match.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight


    Doesn’t matter Valve is trying to sell it off like they are the only ones that can do it and that they have “earned the right” when they did the same exact thing as EA. Don’t get mad that EA used the same exact tactic, Valve did. Whats good for the goose is good for gander? Valve needs some competition and with D2D, EA and other retailers threatening them they will have to find a new tactic to play. Obviously people don’t care about BF3 not being on steam because its still being preordered like before if not more so from the investors calls. So we will just have to wait and see if EA ignoring Steam or vice versa has an effect on any of them.

    “I’m sorry but that’s complete and utter bullshit and anyone who believes that should be slapped.”

    EA has came and said it whether its the truth or not thats all I have for info. Valve hasn’t said anything on the subject. Also Valve just changed their TOS for publishers and Developers within the past few months or so so games like DA2 and Crysis 2 wouldn’t be a part of the deal but Valve feels they should have exclusive rights to how DLC is installed.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. DSB

    @11 Yeah, sadly both sides have declined to specify what the exact point of contention is, but it is probably DLC sales.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that there are a few other considerations that might be relevant in making that decision in the first place. Not having to compete with the market leader isn’t the worst way to start your new client off.

    @12 That sounds pretty intense. Is Gabe Newell really saying that Steam is the only company that has the right to do so? I don’t see that anywhere. Actually he’s just saying that they have to prove themselves continuously to earn their keep, as much as anyone else on the market, and I don’t see him saying that EA aren’t capable of doing the very same thing.

    I don’t doubt that removing Steam will only have a limited effect on their business. They obviously have a well engineered client that beats the shit out of Impulse and D2D’s delivery systems, and most consumers don’t look behind the box when they buy.

    Just like your anger at Steams auto-updater, I’m not willing to be forced onto a client I don’t need, simply because a publisher gets grabby with the margins. That sadly puts me in a minority, and EA surely know that they can afford to lose guys like me. You only need the majority.

    The goose and gander aren’t the same species here though. EA isn’t an independent retailer. They’re a publisher looking to boost their profits by grabbing the margins. It’s a bit like the wolf going for the chickenfeed to take a link out of the foodchain.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. GrimRita

    Who cares. Its only EA. Long live Steam!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. freedoms_stain

    Valve/Steam have never forced anyone into the “Buy points to buy DLC” system like EA has done (Bioware points, Battlefunds) and I don’t like these kinds of systems including the Microsoft points system, EA’s systems are ven worse because they’re the sole vendors of the points so there’s no competition or special offers from 3rd parties to pull the cost down a bit.

    Everything I know about EA makes me wish they’d come to an agreement with Steam.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Freek

    You can’t lie in press releases about other companies. If what EA said was not true, Valve would refute it and most likely move on to legal action.
    Non of this has happend because Valve did kick EA out of Steam.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. darksied

    @14 Yeah, and if it happens to more PUBLISHERS, then who cares, long live Steam, right! Who cares if there’s no more games and we’re left with only a delivery service as long as it’s Steam … uh, wait…

    Back on topic, I wish the 2 of them could just figure this out. I’ve thought about this too much to care anymore, I just want EA to put their stuff back on their and Steam to allow EA to do what they want with their DLC. Valve will make a lot of money, and EA will make more money and make their fans happy again. Just reconcile and be done with it.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. DSB

    @17 You’re talking about multi-billion dollar corporations and you’re actually worried about their plight? Are you batshit insane?

    The only thing that threatens publishers today is the publishers themselves, encroaching on consumers, making games less fun for everyone, and selling less as a result. Some of them spend most of the good times buying out everyone under the sun, and as a result, when the bad times come around, they’re left with a fuckload of expenses with no one to buy their crap. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    And even if they did manage to run themselves into the ground, then smarter people will take their place, since videogames aren’t going anywhere.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Phoenixblight


    You know what killed Dreamcast? EA did thats how powerful they are. They pulled support from the Dreamcast and it was game over for it. EA publishes a large portion of the game released today and if Steam can’t have them well its hurting more than helping. Gamers generally don’t care where there favorite Triple A goes to they will go to it. BF3 still has lots of preorders for it and the lack of Steam isn’t hurting it none.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. DSB

    @19 To quote the above:

    “I think it’s pretty obvious that there are a few other considerations that might be relevant in making that decision in the first place. Not having to compete with the market leader isn’t the worst way to start your new client off.”

    As usual you’re missing every distinction that goes with EAs impact on the Dreamcast. It was illfated to start with, and most publishers didn’t think it was worthy of investment, but what really struck the killing blow was the lack of EAs sportsgames, which were then some of the heaviest hitters in the business. These days people buy consoles for more than Madden NFL.

    And in this case Steam holds not one, but four of the consistently most popular shooters on the PC. Great for EA that they’re able to sell some copies of BF3, but it’s essentially a jack up their sleeve, to Steams ace in this case.

    Not to mention the fact that EA were reluctant to work with Steam to begin with, leaving out some of their biggest sellers until very recently. EA obviously didn’t make Steam, so how are they going to break it?

    I don’t doubt that they’re leveraging their role as a major corporation to damage the independent retail market, I think that’s certainly the plan, and I think they have the money to do it. I dont’ see why I should drop to my knees and kiss their ass just for being a bunch of faceless dicks, though.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. DarkElfa

    Don’t try to argue logic with Phoenix DSB, he’s had Ea’s big Origin cock in his mouth for some time now, playing the white knight and slamming Valve when he knows jack shit about the truth.

    Yeah, I said it.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see that Valve changed it’s TOS to ensure it get’s a cut from what it’s distributing and EA then purposefully violated those changes to force Valve to pull the effected titles to making Valve look petty and allowing EA to buff their Origin launch with more exclusive titles while playing the victim.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Phoenixblight

    ANd DarkElfa being a troll as always with nothing but insults to contribute. Keep trolling trolling trolling.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. DarkElfa

    There’s no trolling here PB, I’m just calling it as it is. All one has to do to see your position is look back at every single Origin discussion.

    It’s like you’re on payroll man.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Phoenixblight

    Yeah because everyone is defending Valve like they have never ever done anything wrong.

    I have no issue with EA tactics they are a publisher and should not have to be restrained by one retailer because they don’t like how EA handle’s THEIR games. EA knew what the hell they were doing and decided its worth the risk and so far there has been no damage done to EA from this. Not like it matter EA gets most of their cash flow from COnsole versus the PC. But people worry about their precious steam as if its their girlfriend. Its a retailer out to get its dollar for little to no work. EA is a business and it’s also out to get its dollar there is no wrong or right with business, its just that business.

    Btw my first post on this was nothing about Origin it was me making a comment about Valve having the exclusive rights on how they have done their business and Newell feels he is entitled to it.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. DSB

    So business isn’t good nor bad? Last time I checked, business could be good for us, and bad for us. In fact I’d say it rarely straddles the fence between the two, and that is exactly the critical distinction of the issue.

    “We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”

    Sounds to me like the exact opposite of what you’re fairly deliberately choosing to read from the above.

    No one minds people making money, or making a lot of money. It’s just a question of how it affects us.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Phoenixblight

    THis has no effect on the consumers Valve is one retailer on the internet when there is a multitude of Digital retailers on the net. I as a consumer go to who offers the most for my dollar I am not loyal to a retailer. They don’t mow my lawn, they don’t do my work, they don’t kiss me or tuck me in when I go to bed. Make them work for my dollar.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. DarkElfa

    The only reason people are defending Valve is because we all happen to be smart enough to see what’s actually happening while you seem to be wearing EA colored blinders.

    you’re accusing us of acting like’s Valve’s pets while you are behaving like EA’s.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Phoenixblight

    No I am not EA’s pet. If this was D2d or any other distributor I would be doing the same thing, it just so happens to be going into Origin. Like I said I go for who offers the most for my buck. There was a survey on why people go to Steam and they simply answered “Price” Now if a Impulse or D2d offer a game at a much cheaper price they will go for that which is the way it should be not because Valve is the bestest thing in the entire world. No, Majority go for what is offered for their money and Steam has that which it will only be so long when Publishers are not restrained by brick and mortar stores and can start setting their own price.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. DarkElfa

    Fine, I’ve lost interest in this whole debacle anyways. I have both services and I don’t care as long as I get my games.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. DSB

    It has plenty effect on plenty of consumers, in the sense that it shifts them over to Origin, whether they choose to buy their games at an independent retailer or not, at least potentially changing the entire dynamics of the market. It’s a shameless grab for a few registrants, and for me as a person who has most of his games collecton on a client called Steam, that’s a big deal.

    I’m not saying they aren’t going to get away with it, I’m just saying the ends don’t justify the means, since the means are just a question of trying to make a big pile of money even bigger. It’s just petty greed, using a subversive business model, which by the way, Valve has uses too, and it is just as despicable.

    With the main difference being that Valve aren’t throwing copious ammounts of capital into the fight, or leveraging a catalogue that can block out the sun.

    You’re mindlessly equating EA to a bunch of independent retailers, which has nothing to do with reality. No matter how much you kid yourself that it’s true, they aren’t on a level playing field, it’s not even close, and that’s not good for us. A market where one guy holds all the cards isn’t in anybodys interest, except for that one guy.

    It’s not neccesarily the case of Valve being a relatively friendly player, as opposed to the faceless corporation that’ll do anything for profits. If EA were deliberately undermirning the other services in order to take them out, that would be just as bad. It just happens that Steam has a lot of our accounts, because it’s the best service.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Phoenixblight

    “It has plenty effect on plenty of consumers, in the sense that it shifts them over to Origin, whether they choose to buy their games at an independent retailer or not, at least potentially changing the entire dynamics of the market. It’s a shameless grab for a few registrants, and for me as a person who has most of his games collecton on a client called Steam, that’s a big deal.”

    Sorry you couldn’t expect Valve to sit on the throne of PC gaming the entire time and not expect a publisher to say no we won’t sell our Games and DLC directly. Publishers have always done this they go to a retailer and see where they can go to get more for their games, look at Gamestop and their exclusive deals.

    ” No matter how much you kid yourself that it’s true, they aren’t on a level playing field, it’s not even close, and that’s not good for us. A market where one guy holds all the cards isn’t in anybodys interest, except for that one guy.”

    No crap. THis is how capitalism works the one with all the money set the rules and btw Valve is worth the same amount of EA if not more so they are a big boy too. 250 employees and are worth 2-4 billion dollars. EA is worth 5 billion and they own a shit load of employees so Valve is not a little dog being pushed around by a bull.

    ” It’s just petty greed, using a subversive business model, which by the way, Valve has uses too, and it is just as despicable.”

    Capitalism at its finest. They are business trying to sell their products by creating a product everyone wants to be involved with.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Shadowhaxor

    @19 I think you’re mistaken. While EA didn’t support the Dreamcast, Sega had 2K sports, which I believe to this day has been wiping the floor with EA’s sports titles. In fact it’s one of the reason’s EA ended up signing the exclusive agreement that only allows EA to use the NFL license. If that’s not running scared I don’t know what is. And to go a little further, EA also tried to get the NBA license but the NBA said no freaking way…. and good thing seeing that NBA Live has been on a decline for years. Oh and didn’t have a release last year and that series future is uncertain.

    Point being EA is only hurting themselves. No matter how you slice it, the majority of PC gaming sales is done on Steam. Love it or hate it, facts are facts. And don’t say that Valve / Steam are the only player in the field, cause they aren’t, however they are the majority and if you expect EA to walk the same path with Origin as Valve and Steam, they’re in for a long walk ahead.

    But in the end does it matter where you get your games from?

    #32 4 years ago
  33. DSB

    @31 Well, if capitalism leaves every other distinction or point of view null and void, and there isn’t room for any kind of concern for the market or its consumers, then essentially what you’re left with is a sick dysfunctional system. Just look at what deregulation in the US has done to the world economy. Suddenly people start selling things to eachother that aren’t even there, and the whole thing caves in on itself as soon as someone realizes as much.

    It’s a deeply flawed system that’s fully dependent on holding these unfeeling entities that only care about value and profits in check, and the way to do it isn’t to cheer every time someone takes it upon themselves to subvert the competition, which does serve to secure a balance.

    It’s perfectly legal. EA will get the extra dollars that they so crave, and the market will be poorer for it. I can tell that sort of thing makes you clap your hands with glee for that corporation, but personally, as a consumer, and someone who actually cares about, and is aware of other things than the size of EAs revenue stream, I fail to see anything gained.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. jacobvandy

    RE: Headline

    There are a lot of value titles on Steam, but that’s not what Gabe was getting at. ;)

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Phoenixblight

    Well blame the public because they put EA where it is today same goes for Ubisoft or any other corp. The corps only do what they can within the restraints of the system and will continue to do so until profits dip. Look at Nintendo practically bending over backwards to keep their shareholders and entice consumer to buy and keep their system.

    Thats the way it should be you vote with your money and the public will decide what is/isn’t ok.

    #35 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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