Recently, Reddit user elpollodiablo187 emailed Gabe Newell asking about if Valve ever thought to aquire any exclusivity for the HTC Vive, and got the following response:
“We don’t think exclusives are a good idea for customers or developers. There’s a separate issue which is risk. On any given project, you need to think about how much risk to take on. There are a lot of different forms of risk- financial risk, design risk, schedule risk, organizational risk, IP risk, etc… A lot of the interesting VR work is being done by new developers. That is a triple-risk whammy – a new developer creating new game mechanics on a new platform. We’re in a much better position to absorb financial risk than a new VR developer, so we are happy to offset that giving developers development funds (essentially pre-paid Steam revenue). However there are no strings attached to those funds – they can develop for the Rift or the PlayStation VR or whatever the developer thinks are the right target VR systems. Our hope is that by providing funding that developers will be less likely to take on deals that require them to be exclusive. Make sense?”
This is definitely a very unique view on the market, as both Oculus and Sony have many exclusives, including Lucky’s Tale and Batman Arkham VR respectively.
Valve’s VR system, the HTC Vive, is currently available, and now ships in two-to-three business days.