There’s a bit, right at the start of Gabe Newell’s BAFTA appearance, when British TV mainstay Jonathan Ross attempts to say “Gabe and Valve”, but actually says, “Gaben Valve”. But that’s not even the best of it. The best of it is hearing that Valve’s business is booming, and that the last Dota 2 update was single-handedly responsible for two percent of all mobile and land-based internet activity upon its release.
“There’s this sort of insatiable desire for gaming right now,” Newell said in an interview at last week’s awards.
“I think in the last year our business has grown about 50 per cent on the back of the opportunities that have been created by having these open platforms. And just so people sort of understand the scale of how big it’s getting… so like the last Dota 2 update we were generating 3 and a half terabytes per second, so that’s about 2 per cent of of all of the mobile and land based internet activity was just for a single game update.”
Absurd. Newell went on to talk, as he often does, about the increased role of player communities in game development.
“I think we’ve seen a bunch of very interesting stuff happening so if you think of a multiplayer game or a social game really as being a collaboration between a game designer and their community, we continue to see that when we have stuff like the workshop where we’re actually drawing users in and they’re making €300,000 a year generating content for each other, it’s really an acknowledgement of the reality of those democratic principles at work.
“It will be challenging for award shows like this to deal with the fact that more and more of the experience is going to be created by the people participating in those experiences. How do you give an award for best game design when it’s a community of 10 million people building the experience?”
How indeed. A bigger stage, perhaps? Even then, we certainly wouldn’t get sweet, comprehensible acceptance speeches like this one.