Gabe Newell is "all for" cross-platform multiplayer | PCGamesN

Gabe Newell is "all for" cross-platform multiplayer

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Valve’s management structure might be flatter than Gordon Freeman voiceover as viewed in Audacity, but it’s a private company directed by Gabe Newell. And if the “most not your boss” member of Valve is all for knocking down the barriers of platform and embracing a cross-play future, well - that’s probably a good sign for the leading digital distribution platform he happens to control.

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One Timothy Rogers of the PC Master Race subreddit emailed Gabe, as Valve fans are wont to do, in an upfront attempt to convince Valve’s co-founder to “open the gates” for cross-play gaming.

The benefits Mr Rogers points to are self-evident: communities undivided by arbitrary console choice; easier matchmaking in multiplayer; an end to platform exclusives. “Opening up multi-platform multiplayer gaming IS the next step to a better gaming community,” he argues.

Gabe unequivocally agrees.

Gabe Newell

Platform unification is not an idea Valve are new to. Their Steam Play initiative allows users to buy included games just once but play versions on Windows, Mac and Linux. Meanwhile, Sony have begun sharing purchases and saves between PS4 and Vita on a growing catalogue of games. If we could only smash through the corporate walls that separate us from the consoles, we could do more.

Would you make use of industry standardised cross-play, do you think?

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Chaz avatarsubedii avatar
Chaz Avatar
2 Years ago

I think Gabe's opinion over this means fuck all unless it involves Valve games.

What really gets my goat about all this is that cross platform play is not a new thing. Sony have successfully implemented it since the era of the PS2. Suddenly Microsoft, a company who's also tried cross-play with horrendous results, start talking about it for the first time since the early 360 era and people are treating this like it's the hot new thing.

subedii Avatar
2 Years ago

Why do you say that? Steam's arguably the biggest and most commonly used multiplayer back-end on the PC (fairly sure it's bigger than Gamespy ever was anyway). Steamworks has also been pretty instrumental in getting cross-platform to play nice between PC, Mac and Linux in general.

That said, previous attempts at cross-platform play between PC and XBox via GFWL were quickly sidelined when MS decided it would reflect badly on their console if KBAM players could consistently outperform gamepad players. Goodness knows if THAT particular attitude's going to change. As it stands they still haven't said anything about Gold subscriptions and how exactly they intend to implement that without alienating anyone.

(Also, not to nitpick but I believe Sega Dreamcast beat Sony to that particular achievement IIRC)

Chaz Avatar
2 Years ago

I'll admit, the thought of Steam servers didn't cross my mind, however I still stand by that Gabe's opinion isn't worth much in this issue. Unlike Xbox and Playstation, the PC isn't ruled over by a single company, if you really want cross platform play your discussions will be with Microsoft or Sony.

As for GFWL and MS's plan for cross play, Christ was that a balls-up. Back then their big flagship game for this was an FPS, possibly the worst kind of game for this. A particularly bad FPS at that. On top of that, any third party developers wanting to cross platform with the 360 had to adhere to Microsoft's bloody stupid patch limit.

I'll also maintain that Sony was still the first to "successfully" implement cross platform, at least on the console front. The Dreamcast had it with Quake 3, again an FPS, and it went as expected. Sony however have had success with both Final Fantasy MMOs and more recently Rocket League.