It’s been roughly half a decade since Valve published a game on home consoles, ending with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. With the outpouring of success of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as the explosive growth of other PC-centric games like Overwatch, many gamers are curious why the company behind Steam is so tentative.
Gabe Newell stepped forward to answer that question. Speaking to the media in a press briefing, Newell was asked why they haven’t been developing for outside hardware. Put simply, Valve is sick and tired of jumping through hoops necessary for developing on other consoles..
Using iOS development as an analogy to the process, Newell explained:
There have been cases where we’ve updated products 5-6 times in a day. 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. 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.
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 asked specifically by Eurogamer if self-publishing was easier on the current console environment, Newell responded by saying they are focusing on the PC currently.