Valve’s Gabe Newell has discussed with Eurogamer whether or not digital trade-ins will eventually be possible with Steam – something which has been a topic of discussion on the internet since the beta for Steam Trading launched.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview on the site, Newell feels Valve needs to become well-versed in the matter first, but his response seemed to suggest the option was being looked into.
“We need to hire an economist, because we keep bumping up into these issues,” he said. “You’re starting to look at weird issues like currency and inflation and productivity and asset values and liquidity of asset categories. We just wish we were smarter about this stuff. We’re reading frantically. We’re brushing up, and all we’re doing is convincing ourselves that we’re more stupid. Half the time people are saying, oh, well, illiquid assets inherently have a penalty, so this argues for trade-ability, that we’re essentially becoming a Russian currency model in the 1970s. Everybody races off to try to read papers on the implications of that.
“We think we want to move in the direction where everything is an item of exchange. We just aren’t totally sure how to do that right. We’re sure there are economists out there who understand this really well. We feel like we’re this third-world developing country. We’ve discovered rocks! And we’ve discovered sticks! And there’s this other thing out there and we should move our economy in that direction. There must be somebody at the World Bank who can tell us what we ought to be doing. We just don’t know what that is yet.”
Newell went on to say that hiring an economist for the firm would be the “smart thing to do,” because Valve feels “very naive,” on the matter.
You can read the full interview through the link.