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Valve Games and the Steam Box

/ Jun 15th, 2013 No Comments

[adsense160itp]Valve games certainly have a reputation for quality in gameplay and storytelling and, of course, for giving gamers the tools to build and publish their own mods. Of the list of games, nearly all are hits that we know and probably love: Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Team Fortress 2, to name a few. Many of the Valve games are several years old but continue to host large, active communities of gamers thanks to ongoing DLC and downloadable mods packed with creativity and a new experience.

Steam, the popular digital marketplace/social hub developed by Valve that sells these games and a huge selection of games published by other companies like EA and Ubisoft, charts a daily list of the number of users playing each game on its network. Of those Valve games on the list, currently Dota 2 (which is in beta and still has yet to be officially released) is leading in the number of players logged on daily. On the date this article was written (6/8/2013), 308, 101 users were tracked playing the game at one time. Team Fortress 2, which was released way back in 2007, came in second place on the same day, with a much smaller number just over 71,000. Third place on the list of Valve games was Counter Strike: Global Offensive, the generally well-received fourth installment in the Counter Strike series that popped up on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade just last year.

So what does Valve have in store for the near future? Well, as mentioned, Dota 2 still hasn’t been officially released, but Valve has yet to announce a date. Besides that, no other games have been announced, which is pretty much the level of secrecy you’d expect from the company. Perhaps the developer-publisher will surprise us with a new franchise or a sequel at E3. It may be too early to expect the announcement for another Portal game, especially with how much time the developer puts into each of its games (i.e. “Valve Time”), but perhaps a Left 4 Dead 3 or maybe a new Counter Strike. We’ll have to wait and see.

Xi3's "Piston"

Valve Games on Xi3’s “Piston”

Hardware, on the other hand, is another story. Valve’s mini-PC designed to compete in the console market, codenamed the Steam Box, was announced back in January at CES. The company pointed at hardware developer Xi3’s modular PC called the “Piston” as a concept for what Valve plans to create and distribute. In recent months, Valve has disclosed that they anticipate making their console Linux equipped but capable of running Microsoft Windows, and that manufacturing will be open to third party companies. (On a semi-related tangent, it’s worth mentioning that after a long delay, all of the Valve games were finally released for Linux this year as well.)

A developer and publisher, Valve is well respected by gamers and critics alike, and has made several impacts on the industry since it was founded in 1996. With Steam, their digital marketplace, they’ve helped revolutionize the way we buy games while attracting casual gamers and opening up avenues for indie developers to get their IP’s published. Their managing director and co-founder Gabe Newell understands the importance of great story and gameplay, and his genuine passion for video games and leading insights into the industry have earned him the respect of gamers and film director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness, Lost), who reflected on his experiences playing Portal 2 in a keynote with Newell at this year’s D.I.C.E. At the keynote, Abrams and Newell discussed plans to develop a Portal or Half-Life movie, and, more interesting, to collaborate on making a video game together.

   

Romtin Erfani

Romtin Erfani

Romtin Erfani is just another kid in college whose been playing video games as long as he can remember. FPS games are his favorite, but he's been known to dabble in a little of everything.
Romtin Erfani

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