Valve won’t make SteamOS exclusive games, says Coomer

Monday, 4th November 2013 23:08 GMT By Ewan Miller

Valve’s Greg Coomer confirmed to IGN the studio will not making an “exclusive killer app for SteamOS”, going on to say it was against Valve’s philosophy to “artificially drive customers” onto a Steambox. However, he did acknowledge that smaller studios might end up making SteamOS exclusive titles if they don’t have the resources to port the game elsewhere.

Speaking to the company’s vision of where SteamOS will fit into the gaming landscape five years from now, Coomer said he’s hoping that Steam will ultimately be “platform agnostic” and a unifying force.

“We believe that, in maybe five years from now, folks will find it a quite antiquated notion that you should assume that when you change devices or platforms, that you lose all of your other games and friends. We’re hoping to unify, to get Steam to be as platform and context agnostic as possible. You shouldn’t have to shed that every generation, or even slightly shed it.”

“It would be pretty silly” for a third party “to limit their game to a certain platform”, he went on to say.

Anna Sweet, part of Valve’s business development expanded on the role of third parties on SteamOS.

“Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms. Because we think that customers are everywhere, and they want to put their games wherever customers are. That would go against our whole philosophy, to launch something that’s exclusive to SteamOS or Steam machines.”

Thanks, IGN.



  1. Xbone

    Good. Very very good. Thats why we love Valve :D

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Legendaryboss

    Another SteamOS article? This Gon B Gud gif.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Panthro

    I wish more companies were like Valve; open, honest and they know exactly how to not fuck us over, instead of trying to force people onto there console they are just gently asking us, gabe over there putting vaseline over his fingers… huh? yeah sorry I went off on one, my mind wandered away.

    I don’t really want a Steambox or SteamOS yet! so I would die if HL3, P3, L4D3 got announced as an exclusive game.

    Oh; and just in case you guys wondered, this is how a sewing machine works:

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Super Girevik

    “We believe that, in maybe five years from now, folks will find it a quite antiquated notion that you should assume that when you change devices or platforms, that you lose all of your other games and friends.”


    I’m stuck using an iPhone because of this very reason.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Hcw87

    What, changing your phone means you lose your friends?

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Super Girevik

    Now, again they specifically mentioned the SteamOS. So it doesn’t rule out the possibility of them developing games exclusive to Windows, Mac, Linux and SteamOS. I don’t see how making their games on other consoles will help unify anything or contribute to their overall vision.

    The underlying tone to their comments insinuates a rather dislike for closed platforms. So I find it hard to believe they would support them in any way.


    It means losing all my music, apps and games.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DSB

    I do believe Valve are trolling the consoles and EA at the very same time :P

    … While conveniently neglecting to account for why their games aren’t on competing distribution services.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Panthro

    @8 They are on PS3 and 360?

    #8 1 year ago
  9. livewired500

    Oh, they are fucking you over, but Valve just uses a lot of lubricant. Can’t get too complacent when the majority of your product library is tied to a single company.

    Just imagine what happens if Gabe leaves the company. Who knows what direction it could take. Or if Valve simply goes out of business.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Sanwiches

    @9 What happens if Apple goes out of business? What happens if MS goes out of business? Lol.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Panthro

    How is the majority of the product library tied to one company exactly?

    Also, why would Gabe leave the company he co-founded and has massive roots in the PC gaming market?

    And even if he did leave I doubt a lot would change, Gabe isn’t the only person working at Valve who knows what they are doing.

    And if they are ‘fucking me over’ they at least do it gently in comparison to they who shall not be named.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. livewired500

    @10 If Apple goes out of business, your iphone doesn’t disappear. If MSFT goes out of business, Windows doesn’t become unusable. If Valve goes out of business, you don’t get to play the games you just purchased.

    @11 Seriously? People retire. He won’t live forever. Just saying that they have a lot of power over products that you have purchased and I assume you use a lot.

    I have over 200 games on Steam. Not saying I don’t like them as a company currently or anything like that.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. derpachu

    Lol, I love steam and valve, but some people get on their knees for them and treat them like gods.
    Keep it up.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Panthro

    Hahaha well you said ‘left’ usually that means prematurely as in not retire

    #14 1 year ago
  15. TheWulf

    That’s… honestly interesting.

    The problem with humans is that in the average person’s hierarchy of importance, lust and greed often weigh in over ethics. So you’ll have those who’ll defend platform exclusives just because they got it, without actually considering the ethics of platform exclusivity.

    What’s worse is that our ability to perceive manipulation is set aside because that’s also on a lower rung than greed and lust. In other words, the average person will defend their manipulators if there’s anything they want provided by them. Thus, they won’t consider the ramifications of buying another incredibly expensive console just because of its exclusive games, they’ll just shell out the money.

    All this means that people are easy to exploit. Get a few good games on a platform with an exclusivity license, and the draw of being a part of ‘something special’ (being with the haves rather than the have-nots) will have people spend money, and defend it. This is why exclusivity works.

    So, here’s the question: Why didn’t Valve bother?

    It’s entirely possible that #3 is right on the money with his opinion and that it could be that Valve, as a privately owned company, don’t have any shareholders to please. Thus it’s down to Gabe Newell to decide what’s right or not for Valve. And maybe Newell’s actually got a sense of personal ethics by which he runs the company. Wishful thinking, maybe? Possibly! Though the evidence does seem to suggest it.

    I’ve always felt that Valve viewed their customers as shrewd and intelligent, rather than walking wallets, and as such they’re not trying to manipulate us. Again, that could be wishful thinking, but the evidence continues to support it.

    So whilst Valve could have taken advantage of human nature by using exclusivity to sell Steam boxes, they didn’t.

    And my respect for them has gone up another notch, today.


    The interesting thing here is cross-play. Valve will likely have that going with Linux soon, too, because of SteamOS. So if you buy something for Windows, you also own it for Linux, and Mac. I can imagine them going a step further and extending out to another open platform — Android.

    That could potentially be amazing.

    The Valve mindset for this kind of thing is definitely the right way to go. No matter what your platform, you still have your games, and the only thing that should limit what games you can play (ever) is hardware. You should never be limited by exclusivity.


    Releasing for something isn’t exactly supporting it, is it? Supporting it would be exclusivity. No, I think that the way they’d win the masses is by showing that patches don’t need to take two months to land, or by opening up platforms to mods. If a person can mod on a Steambox but not on an XBox or a PlayStation, they might very well opt for the PlayStation.

    And here’s the funny thing: The limitation of no modding isn’t imposed by Valve, but rather it’s imposed by the gatekeepers of the platforms themselves. So, for example, the next Bethesda game could be modded on a Steambox, but not a PlayStation or XBox. What this might do is force Microsoft and Sony to re-evaluate their opinions.

    I can’t ever imagine Valve completely dropping support for other platforms because it’s still profitable, and you’ll get people who’re brand loyalists regardless. I’ve heard some console owners claim that all mods are shit (they’ve never played Falskaar or Inigo for Skyrim, clearly), just to satisfy their cognitive dissonance. So there will be customers there. It would be dumb for them to ignore those customers.

    Rather, I’d just see them doing the same thing as TT Games — releasing on all platforms that have the hardware to support them. And hey, if you’re locking out features that the Steambox has? That’s their problem, not Valve’s. Valve will show the shortfalls of closed platforms in the best way possible. They’ll do it by showing they don’t even need to compete.

    They’ve never done anything different.


    Their games are on competing devices. You can buy physical copies of Valve games from Origin, and you can buy physical (and probably digital) copies of Valve games for consoles.

    The reason that digital Valve games aren’t on Origin is for the same reason that EA’s games aren’t on Steam. EA had a hissyfit and withdrew most of their games from Steam, so that Valve couldn’t sell them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Valve’s games not showing up on Origin was more to do with EA than with Valve, because they seem more spiteful like that.

    And what was the reason why EA had a hissyfit? They wanted exclusivity rights over the DLC. They didn’t want anyone else selling it. So they basically used their games as an entry level drug — you can buy the games from anywhere, but you can only buy the DLC directly from EA, forcing you to install EA software. Valve’s reaction to this was, essentially, noap.

    Which is my reaction, too. I don’t want Origin.

    Valve seem to understand the people who use their software better.


    That applies to every form of DRM and every business ever. By that logic, breathing or being alive is fucking you over.

    Essentially, if the outcome you’ve mentioned comes to pass, you’d do the same as you’d do when DRM companies fold — you crack it. There are already some old games whose DRM suppliers have taken a dive, and thus the DRM doesn’t work properly any more.

    The problem with short-sightedness like yours is that you’d prefer everything to be on a disc. But if it was, it would come with myriad forms of DRM. And DRM companies aren’t big business like Valve are, they don’t have the long term sustainability. I’d bet you money that I’ll be playing my Steam games three decades from now, whereas none of my software sold on discs would continue to work.

    Frankly, if companies are going to force DRM on us in the first place, I’d rather it be DRM with long term sustainability.

    Here’s another interesting thing, though: Most indie developers don’t actually use Steam as DRM. A bunch of games can be launched from your Steam folder without even having Steam open. It’s the choice of the publisher to use Steam as a DRM system — and better Steam than SecuROM, Safe Disc, TAGES, or (I fear to say the devil’s name) StarForce.

    At least Valve’s approach isn’t a viral rootkit that could likely kill parts of your hardware and open you up to low level attacks.


    If Steam goes out of business, your games don’t disappear.

    Your logic is flawed. You’re putting forth the argument that Steam is this ethereal thing. Installing a game from Steam is no different than installing a game from a disc.

    You’re being ignorant of the facts, sorry.


    If that’s how your world works, sure… but don’t forget that you’re projecting.

    In my reality, it’s this thing called ‘the golden rule.’ If someone treats you with respect, you’ll return that respect in kind. It doesn’t surprise me that there are gamers who’re unfamiliar with that concept, though.

    Most large companies don’t see me as anything more than a walking wallet, and they don’t see their employees as anything more than slaves (human resources). I don’t respect companies like that. But if a company is at least somewhat the polar opposite of that? Then yeah, I can respect them.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. DUST3222

    Holy hell @Ewan Miller do you mind proof reading what you write before hitting publish so many typos.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. DSB

    @15 Except they also aren’t on Green Man Gaming, GamersGate, Impulse, Amazon (carries the boxed version) Good Old Games or any other digital distribution service.

    If Valve want to keep that halo glowing, they’re gonna have to walk the walk.

    I don’t see why Valve should be commended for cockblocking other digital distributors. Even EA allows others to sell codes for their first party games on Origin. It leaves Valve open to accusations that they’re using Steam to build a platform-within-a-platform.

    And that’s not the only place they’re falling behind.

    EA have made strides by offering refunds within 24 hours on digital purchases. Granted, it was after they ripped everybody off with Simcity 5, but at least it’s ready for whenever they decide to fuck up Simcity 6.

    With Valve you either have to beg and hope that the supporter answering your ticket will take pity on you, or hope that the game is so undeniably broken that Valve fears they would be publicly shamed if they didn’t offer refunds.

    People have a right to go backsies when they buy a physical game, and they should have that right for digital ones as well. Even if they can only stretch it to a 24 hour window for fear of exploitation.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. derpachu

    @15 Who said respect? Great, you respect them. Lol hilarious you fanboyed over that post on every reply. Go ahead “respect”
    Keep it up.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Darkfield

    @7 TBH it’s mostly because their own games are coming with Steamworks, and steam is more popular distributor than others. No point getting those from gamersgate for instance.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. livewired500

    Wow, I think you missed my point completely with a lot of assumptions. Like, I’m actually trying to replace all my disc games on Steam so I have a unified single library that I can take anywhere. I actually prefer the digital platform though I admit I was leery at first. But I also realize there is a trade off. Just the benefits outweigh the negatives.

    Yeah, life will screw you over. Every last one of us will kick it eventually. I have sleep apnea, so breathing and sleeping try to fuck me over every night.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. lancevan

    @12 (I think, not numbered on mobile)

    Valve has stated that if it were to ever go out of business all DRM will be removed by games bought from steam. So if they go out of business your games would function perfectly.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. loki

    you don’t have money to make exclusive games

    #22 1 year ago
  23. DSB

    @19 That’s just even more reason to show that you don’t mind a bit of friendly competition though. I mean even EA are doing it. The “Worst Company in America”.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Super Girevik

    In case someone missed this:

    “Valve, along with its hardware and software partners, will reveal Steam Machines for end users at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in January. The company expects those units to start shipping to consumers by the middle of the year.”

    So we should have lots of answers relatively soon.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. TheMedici

    Of course they wouldn’t. Their main plataform is PC. They can’t change it so fast.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Ax0Delta

    Good guy Valve :D + i’m new here

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Super Girevik

    Welcome aboard Ax0Delta! :D

    Just a amicable caveat, if you are not an aficionado of the Steam Machine and the SteamOS, you will be defenestraded by the peacemakers.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. DSB

    Girevik is new too, right?

    I like that guy.


    Welcome to the VG247 cult, popularly known as Garrattology. Someone will be around with your complimentary laced koolaid in just a minute.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. Sadismek

    @28 Let me guess, he gets a DSB stamp of approval because he used “defenestrated”, right? Tsk tsk tsk, you’ve lowered your standards…

    #29 1 year ago
  30. DSB

    I’m not willing to confirm or deny that, but I will say that he is obviously an incredibly well spoken man with a wonderful vocabulary.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. Sadismek

    @30 Hehe, nice, nice.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. noamlol2

    valve may act like white knights

    but their steam sharing is a joke, if you share your library you share ALL of your library and there is a certin amount of time you can share your games

    lies and deceit my friends, it won’t get them move when the time has come

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Super Girevik


    Stamps! :D

    #33 1 year ago

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