Valveâ??s Newell: PC 'the centre of innovation'

Valveâ??s Newell: PC 'the centre of innovation'

By Rob Crossley

January 6th 2011 at 11:42AM

Studio 'tremendously excited about the future of PC gaming'

Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has hailed the PC platform as “the centre of innovation” for the rest of the game development industry.

Newell said his company is “tremendously excited about the future of PC gaming” despite the firm’s widened remit of console and Mac game development.

His studio, renowned for its Steam distribution service and award-winning game series such as Half-Life, portrayed the PC platform as the fountainhead to which innovation spills into other games platforms.

“We see [the PC] as the centre of innovation of everything that’s going on, whether it’s microtransactions, MMOs, free-to-play, or something like CityVille which – after its first month – has 84 million people playing,” he said.

“To us, this is just an indication of why open platforms are where innovations are going to occur,” he added.

The importance of modern PC game development remains a matter of debate within the school of top-tier game developers.

Studios such as Crytek and Epic Games have expanded their development work to consoles – though, unlike Valve, have said PC piracy was an influential factor in those decisions.

Yet Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine last year fully echoed Newell’s claim.

Last year he told Kotaku “the PC will always be the place that drives innovation”.

Levine added: “The PC is the place where great game developers are born, even — and maybe especially — where great console game developers are born. Halo, Mass Effect, Call of Duty… PC developers first.”

Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Newell praised Intel’s latest GPU/CPU microprocessor as a “game changer”.

He said the new Sandy Bridge processor “allows for a console-like experience on the PC” – likely a reference to a more universal baseline standard for triple-A game development on PC; a technical consistency which helps developers optimise their games.