Gabe Newell has said the reason the Valve plans to provide a full Steam client for Linux users is because the lack of games available is holding Linux back.
Speaking during Casual Connect, attended by AllThingsD, Newell said many don’t realize how “critical games are,” when it comes tome for a consumer to choose an operating system.
“The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior,” he said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy.”
Newell also doesn’t seem to keen on Windows 8, which he said will cause many of the top-tier equipment manufacturers to exit the market.
“I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space,” he said. “I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”
He also went on to discuss innovation, stating that in order for it to happen, platforms need to be more open instead of closed.
“In order for innovation to happen, a bunch of things that aren’t happening on closed platforms need to occur,” said Newell. “Valve wouldn’t exist today without the PC, or Epic, or Zynga, or Google. They all wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform.
“There’s a strong tempation to close the platform, because they look at what they can accomplish when they limit the competitors’ access to the platform, and they say ‘That’s really exciting.’
“We are looking at the platform and saying, ‘We’ve been a free rider, and we’ve been able to benefit from everything that went into PCs and the Internet, and we have to continue to figure out how there will be open platforms.’”
Through the link, Newell also discusses the future of digital distribution as well as alternative gaming controls.