PC News

Newell wanting to make Steam a community-led platform

Vallve plans to end their own "dictatorship" over Steam

Gabe Newell, president of Valve believes that Steam should be a platform led by its community and not the "dictatorship" of Valve.

Newell explained in a talk to the University Of Texas, "Right now we have inside of Steam we have a dictatorship. It's probably bad for the Steam community, in the long run, not to move to a different way of thinking about that. In other words, we should stop being a dictator and move towards much more participatory, peer-based methods of sanctioning player behaviour."

Greenlight was their first attempt to do this but Newell revealed that it has proven to be a bit of a failure as far as trying to democratize Steam.

"Greenlight is a bad example of an election process. We came to the conclusion pretty quickly that we could just do away with Greenlight completely, because it was a bottleneck rather than a way for people to communicate choice," Newell continued.

In fact, he believes that Steam has become a bit of a bottleneck by creating the artifical sense of a scarcity of shelf space. They do have an idea of how to solve the problem though.

He elaborated, "So the right way to do that is to make Steam essentially a network API that anyone can call. Now, this is separate from issues about viruses and malware. But essentially, it's like, anyone can use Steam as a sort of a distribution and replication mechanism."

"It's the consumers who will draw it through," Newell went on. "It's not us making a decision about what should or shouldn't be available. It's just, you want to use this distribution facility? It's there. And customers decide which things actually end up being pulled through. So Steam should stop being a curated process and start becoming a networking API."

This is an interesting view of the future of gaming on the PC and if they can get it right then in the Steam Store of the future gamers will be able to find the kind of content that they want much more easily and will also be able to share content they have created with the same ease.

The future could be a very interesting place indeed.

Thanks Gamasutra.

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