The current leader of Valve has said that the pace of development in the PC space is quick enough that the current form of digital distribution service Steam will seem to be primitive to gamers who use similar services in the coming years.
Speaking to Kotaku, Gabe Newell, who is the co-founder of Steam
, has said, “They look at Steam as it is today and say, ‘Aha, we can do something like that too. What they are missing is that this is just the beginning. The rate at which stuff is changing is dramatic. Things we’ve done in Steam are going to seem very primitive simply a few years down the road.”
The executive added, “We’re terrified by the future. You need to be looking at what’s happening with Apple, Google Android and thinking that could impact the living room in a big way. You need to be looking at Onlive and how it is integrated with the television.”
Newell believes that the people who are working on Steam at Valve need to make sure that the digital distribution service is at the forefront of changes in the PC gaming space rather than just reacting to the concepts and features that others launch.Steam
is at the moment the dominating force in PC based digital distribution and has been recently made changes like introducing a category for free-to-play video games and allowing limited intra service trading of objects and titles.
The competition currently consists of services like Impulse, which is at the moment operated by GameStop, Direct 2 Drive and GamersGate.
Streaming services like OnLive, which recently received a lot of attention because of the Deus Ex: Human Revolution voucher debacle, and Gaikai might also be a threat in the near future.
Valve is also engaged in a spat with publisher Electronic Arts over the Steam Terms of Service.