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Why Valve has no interest in making console games

"We love the PC right now. A lot."

It sounds like Valve has no interest in making console games.

"We get really frustrated working in walled gardens," Valve founder Gabe Newell said at a media roundtable at Valve's offices attended by Eurogamer.

Valve released a plethora of console games in the last generation, including The Orange Box, Portal 2, both Left 4 Dead games and Counter-Strike: GO. The current generation of consoles is selling even better, relative to how far along in its lifespan it is. So why is Valve yet to get stuck in?

Valve released a number of games on the last generation of consoles, including the wonderful The Orange Box.

"So you try to talk to someone who's doing product planning on a console about free-to-play games and they say 'Oh, we're not sure free-to-play is a good idea' and you're like 'the ship has left'," Newell said of the cultural difference working with console developers after specialising in PC.

A couple of Valve's big games are free-to-play, including massive MOBA Dota 2 and competitive shooter Team Fortress 2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, however, remains £11.99. Left 4 Dead 2 is £14.99.

"There have been cases where we've updated products 5-6 times in a day," he added. "When we did the original iOS of Steam App, right, we shipped it, we got a whole bunch of feedback and like the next day we're ready to do an update. We weren't able to get that update out for six months! And we couldn't find out why they wouldn't release it! They wouldn't tell us. This is the life that you have in these environments. And finally they shipped it! And they wouldn't tell us why they finally shipped it.

"So for us, while we're spending all of our time trying to be as tunnel-vision in this loop with our customers, to all of a sudden have this complete uncertainty about doing updates... Like we don't know how to operate.

"We're just too stupid to know how to be a successful iOS developer," he railed. "'Cause for us, everything that we do, is to make our lives easier and build tools to make other software developer's lives easier.

"We don't know how to do what we do,' he says, with a heaping spoonful of salt.

"I'm sure that other people are wildly successful in those environments, but sort of our DNA tend to not work well when someone is trying to insert a lot of process between us and our customers."

When Eurogamer asked if self-publishing had got any better in the current console environment, Newell replied: "We love the PC right now. A lot."

So there you have it. Don't expect Valve to release new games - or even its current ones - on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One any time soon.

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