Valve co-founder Gabe Newell says that the recent launch of in-game advertising plans for Counter-Strike is part of an effort to ease the distribution of smaller games.
"I think that we're going to start to see games that would struggle to get traditional publisher funding find that advertising is a great way of finding and developing an audience," he told GamesIndustry.biz (well, me) the other day.
"That's why we're putting the effort to make it possible for people to use Steam to do advertising-supported games. So we really see this as another option that we and other developers can use to figure out how to fund projects going forward.
"What I would hope to see is that small developers can give away their titles for free and garner ongoing development support by generating advertising revenue, and we've done all the work to make that possible through the work that we're doing in Counter-Strike. That's certainly the hope."
Newell also said that giving people more pricing options had "always been a good idea", and that it was Valve's obligation to get in there and work out any kinks in the system so that it would be fit for other developers to deploy on Steam.
The announcement on Monday that Counter-Strike would host an advertising campaign from IGA and Mediacom that saw certain walls adorned with Smokin' Aces DVD posters drew a fair bit of criticism whatever Valve's intentions.
It even led certain server administrators to write open letters to the developer questioning its stance. When asked whether it would be possible for server admins to get a cut of the income from ads further down the line, Newell said: "We haven't really thought about that. If they want to talk to us about it then they can."
For more from Gabe Newell, including his reflections on Valve's decision to get into episodic gaming, where gaming hardware's going in the future and the possibility of Valve working on games for things like Xbox Live Arcade, check out part one of the GamesIndustry.biz interview. The second half will be published next week.