Are Microsoft buying Valve? Gabe Newell says 'Not that I'm aware of' | PCGamesN

Are Microsoft buying Valve? Gabe Newell says 'Not that I'm aware of'

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Update, February 4: It appears Gabe Newell isn't entertaining offers at this time.

Some concerned players have emailed Valve owner Gabe Newell to ask about the rumors of a Microsoft buyout of the company. Newell, eloquent as ever, has indicated that it's probably not in the cards right now.

Check out the best games on PC.

Gabe responds

We were able to independently verify the email with the recipient. Newell responded similarly to redditor doubleaa_ron.

Original story, January 29: There are rumors, and then there are capital-R Rumors, so big as to seem like the wildest bits of forum speculation. But a report published by Polygon today cites anonymous sources suggesting that Microsoft are looking at making some major acquisitions for their gaming division in the near future.

Polygon say that “a reliable source close to Microsoft” indicates the company is looking at acquiring Electronic Arts. “Whispers” also suggest that Microsoft’s gaming division is interested in picking up PUBG Corp or even Valve.

As big as those names are, those potential deals aren’t unthinkable. Microsoft bought Minecraft developers Mojang back in 2014 in a $2.5 billion deal that netted them one of the most popular games ever. EA’s value is currently around $35 billion, and though that’s no small sum of money, Microsoft of all companies could certainly afford it.

But with that in mind, major companies are always looking into acquisitions, deals, and mergers, such that it shouldn’t be surprising to see Microsoft making overtures at deals for big-name publishers and developers.

What makes this more interesting is Microsoft’s stated interest in reinforcing their games division, which suffered as a result of the mass entertainment focus in the later days of the Xbox 360 and early Xbox One. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said last year that the company was looking to expand their first-party development, and acquiring big-name studios is a fast track to doing that.

Given Microsoft’s efforts to bolster their Xbox brand after losing the lead to PlayStation this console generation, it would be more surprising if we didn’t see confirmation of a major acquisition by the time of E3 this year. If that acquisition is as big these rumors suggest remains to be seen, but Microsoft are certainly making moves.

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Belimawr avatarQDP2 avatarchronium avatar☠ Jordan ☠ avatarSkankwOn avatarxNuke avatar+4
SkankwOn Avatar
184
3 Months ago

Well, they don't come much bigger than this, luckily I always have some salt to spare. I think EA is a better fit for M$ though, they run their businesses in a similar fashion. If M$ bought Valve and therefore Steam, I can see PC gamers heading over to GoG in their droves!

BTW - Rumours* (Sorry, but I could've sworn this was a UK-based site). :p

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chronium Avatar
23
3 Months ago

The only way I see Microsoft buying Valve is if Gabe decides to retire or when he eventually dies. With the amount of money they make through Steam and being a private company I don't think Microsoft even has the spare cash to buy them in the first place. Maybe if they were offered 100 billion but that really would only take Valve less then 10 years to get by themselves.

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xNuke Avatar
513
3 Months ago

I hate Microsoft. They put PC gamers second to their consoles and it's annoying. Why, WHY do I need to pay a premium so my copy of the PC game can also be played on the xbox ? I don't own an xbox!

While Xbox players can buy the xbox only version for practically half the price.

70e for a game is ridiculous...

If Microsoft buys EA, then all their games will be 70 from that day.

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QDP2 Avatar
991
3 Months ago

I don't know where you're living to get such bad currency conversion but there's no difference or me in price between buying a MS store game and a buying a disk game for RRP. They've not been trying to rake profit over and above for the addition of a console license.

If I were you I'd reach out in a support page and question them as to why the currency conversion is so far off. I've heard success stories before now where companies change prices when they weren't matching geographical demographics.

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Belimawr Avatar
1276
3 Months ago

in Europe their prices are way out, at one point it was actually cheaper in the UK to buy the X1 version of Forza with the PC cross play than it was to actually buy the PC version on it's own.

but most pricing in the EU/UK is messed up as more and more developers and manufactures start to use the 1:1:1 currency conversion that is way off.

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xNuke Avatar
513
3 Months ago

Ireland. For some reason the game is 69.99 euro while in the UK it's 49.99 pounds. I don't know what kind of conversion Microsoft does, but that's not nearly close.

There is an inconvenient workaround though by using a VPN and fake address to buy from the Singapore store or amazon.com etc. Though I don't like doing this. Always paranoid about potential bans and/or geographical restrictions.

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Belimawr Avatar
1276
3 Months ago

because there is more profit in the console version, they sell the game, the studio pays for a licence to make the game, then you pay monthly to play online.

on PC a the firm makes the game, they release they game you buy the game, the end.

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NihlusGreen Avatar
662
3 Months ago

Also, on console, a portion of the initial sale goes to M$ / PS, which helps subsidize the console cost.

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xNuke Avatar
513
3 Months ago

I wouldn't be surprised if MS introduced some form of "PC live" to play their games online...

I fear it might just be a matter of time...

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Belimawr Avatar
1276
3 Months ago

It has been done, games for Windows live originally needed a gold membership to play online, PC players said no made workarounds that also let pirate copies play online as the bypassed the MS servers so they backed down it was part of the reason the service failed.

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Belimawr Avatar
1276
3 Months ago

Well not like buying either would make games more expensive in the UK they are both already the highest priced outlet.

As for doing it after the loss to the PS4, more games won't sell the console any better, they damaged their standing with their core users by trying to force a fully digital always online system, then alienated the parents buying for kids by constantly being the more expensive choice. It's like the Pro and 1X at launce it was around a £100 difference, yes on paper the 1X is more powerful, but to the average user they will always go with the cheaper option saying they can get 4K and HDR.

MS made a lot of mistakes this generation, it's too late for the X1 now to catch up, the only hope is for MS to try to win back their core and be more competitive next gen, without doing a Sega Dreamcast and racing to market first making an inferior system with noticeable problems.

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QDP2 Avatar
991
3 Months ago

Valve don't own Steams games, and pretty much all of EAs games are already on both consoles. Buying either company would be from a financial standpoint rather than an addition to their platforms. At least for the next generation (XB2 and PS5) there wouldn't be room for the public to accept any change. It would allow them to own more than half the AAA gaming market though (controlling the largest PC front too), giving them a lot of power when it comes to setting the requirements for games to become commercially successful.

It could build a bridge between console and pc which would lead to cross-platform coming faster (forcing Sony to stop holding out and be excluded), but that monopoly would be quite something to fear.

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☠ Jordan ☠ Avatar
4
3 Months ago

Cross platform I want none of as it takes away mods. I also have no desire to play with console kiddies. On PC you have "some adults" which is debatable because you have to know what you are doing. I enjoy custom maps in my games and cross play takes that away for the console peasants. (Yes, I used that term don't make a big deal out of it who gives a fuck) I'm in the midst of freaking out right now because if Micro$oft does somehow pay Valve I'll have to nuke my Steam account because it basically means they are going to destroy the platform along with everything else they touch. Yeah love that unmoddable UWP trash API. I own licenses but at least the licenses that I own allow me to mod the product I paid for.

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QDP2 Avatar
991
3 Months ago

UWP doesn't scream good things for the future of Windows gaming, but I'm glad they did it now with a backlash, rather than later with Steam in ownership (for then the damage would have been irreparable). There's little that can be done over their dictatorship considering they own Windows, but we can hope this outcry hit some sense into them and they don't try to run off like that for the foreseeable future.

Cross-platform "shouldn't" reduce mod support. Developers with interest in mod support will continue to offer it regardless (as they already have been doing). The communication between Valve and MS would open a door for cross-platform rather than create a hurdle for developers. Many who had the option for cross-platform chose against it for balance of Mouse&Keyboard vs Controllers (GTA5, R6S and Fortnite come to mind). Single player games would be untouched completely and personal server multiplayer wouldn't be hit hard either (instead having modded and mod-less servers, restricting console players to not be able to join unless the mod has been ported to the consoles).

I agree that monopolies are bad, and hope MS don't claim too much power for the community to handle, but I still believe good would come from this rather than bad. It would improve connections and offer more tools/options to developers (albeit all under the same companies ownership/pricing), which would accelerate the growth and development of video games. This isn't a situation to climb up on the high horse of "PC Master Race" over. It's not like MS are going to touch your current library either (there isn't a company in the world with enough funds or processing power to change all of steams games so they run in a UWP format).

WORST case scenario is MS decide to set rules that make future products on Steam restrictive. Should that happen, another company will step up and offer to carry the public. Be it GOG, Humble, Blizzard, Origin or Tencent; companies would start fighting over creating a new strong storefront to become king of the PC marketplace. Microsoft wouldn't want that to happen after spending so much on Valve, so I very much doubt anything notable will happen within the first few years of ownership. As I said before, I wouldn't even expect change to happen with the PS5 and XB2's release.

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☠ Jordan ☠ Avatar
4
☠ Jordan ☠ replied to QDP2
3 Months ago

I still stand by what I said on principle alone on what that trashcan company has done to this hobby I would instantly go to the Steam Discussion forums and post as many piracy links I could find effectively nuking my account. I have no desire to crossplay with the casual Xbone trash that continues to support "games as a service" nor do I desire to have consolized gaming on my PC. You can say it's elitist cause it is. Having put more time and understanding in this hobby to have it constantly dumbed down to the lowest common denominator (Xbone fanbase) gets more irritating every year. I thank god that Japan still has developers who actually treat the hobby as the art form it once was. All I see in most Western Devs like M$ is Less than 2 year developed pay to win trash because they don't have the talent to create something that requires actual effort. I support Steam because they let me mod my games. Moving forward into UWP would absolutely disgust me and M$ would do it given they could get away with it cause it's a fucking MONOPOLY. Anyways that's my rant take it or leave it. I despise that company. What they did to Rare is a perfect example. Don't bring up Sea of Thieves btw lol it's such trash. "WORST case scenario is MS decide to set rules that make future products on Steam restrictive. " This isn't the worst case btw it is the case. This company knows fuck all about gaming with Phil "Don Mattrick 2.0" knowing nothing about actual gaming. Jeez man like disgusting the though.

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☠ Jordan ☠ Avatar
4
☠ Jordan ☠ replied to QDP2
3 Months ago

Quick thing to hammer in my point of actually taking a stand of what company I will support. I was an Xbox 360 fan before I joined PC up until 2013. Hmmm what happened then? Oh they tried to force always online along with lies (Lies that they are going to exploit soon to force more people onto their cloud for data mining again trash can company) so my response because I absolutely wanted no part of that company was I created a bot using my own Xbox 360 gold account that fetched the most recent images from the NSFW section of 4chan and mass spammed the Xbox forums with it. Took them 9 hours to fix it with people calling in customer complaints because that's how little they gave a fuck about their community. Still banned until 9999 :/

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Belimawr Avatar
1276
3 Months ago

MS is the main one holding cross play back, PSN doesn't need to rely on Sony servers Live has to be on MS servers.

This is why games like FF11 came out on PC and PS2 with shared servers, but it took till the 360 to even get MS to allow the use of Square servers, it's why the game launched so much later for Xbox.

Truth is the gaming industry only has 2 walled gardens and they are Steam to a lesser extent and to live taking it to the extreme with every server and node being in house in MS owned data centres.

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QDP2 Avatar
991
3 Months ago

Reading into the examples, I realise you're right. MS did hold problems with Square Enix before now, refusing FF11 back in 2002 and messing about with FF14 in 2010. Wording seems to be centered around the idea that MS weren't happy with giving S.Enix access to the XBLive servers at the time. Either way, MS do seem to have changed with the latest itteration of console, allowing Psyonix to run Rocket League (2015) and Ripstone to run Chess Ultra (2017) on their own servers separate from XBLive.

Maybe the servers weren't built to share information with other companies at the time and the infrastructure has improved since then. Maybe S.Enix demanded too much private information about XBLive users and MS weren't willing to offer it. Maybe XB just had a vendetta against S.Enix and the Final Fantasy series for holding it as a console exclusive against them so long. I can only guess why they didn't offer cross-platform before, but it's clear that XBLive is no longer a problem.

I know Sony fans don't like people focusing on this example, but to go back to Rocket League both sides are connected to the same 3rd party server, both running the same way and able to play cross-platform along with PC. Xbox have dropped their restrictions giving Psyonix permission to connect the platforms (so you can currently play PC vs XB) but Sony have held up a wall saying no. Nothing to do with servers or private information (they're all connected already). This is just Sony deciding they don't want cross-platform to happen.

From Sony's perspective, I understand why they want to reject cross platform too. Currently they hold the largest share of the console gaming platform. There are far more PS owners than there are XB owners. When it comes to buying a gaming platform, many choose the console not by exclusives or performance, but by where their friends play. With most owning a PS4, more people will decide to buy a PS4 rather than an XB simply so they can play together, whether or not its the console they prefer. To make cross-platform a common occurrence is to remove that decision and cut profits for them. More people will choose XB on the basis they can still play with their PS friends. From the companies perspective, there's no benefit to themselves for opening cross-platform with their competition.

This is the main reason why I'd look forward to a MS/Valve combination. Because if cross-platform between XB and PC became commonplace, Sony would be shooting themselves in the foot to stay excluded. There'd finally be a gateway for consumers to use and play with people who chose differently, and platform competitiveness could start to reduce from its current toxic state.

1
Belimawr Avatar
1276
Belimawr replied to QDP2
3 Months ago

but Rocket League could random match make PS4 and PC users in multiplayer, the problem was on PC it used Steam, on PS4 it used the PS4 user system, Steam didn't want to allow Sony access to Steam users, so they couldn't come to a compromise where both sides could see and choose who they play.

had the game had a third party user system secondary to Steam/PSN it could of had true cross play, rather than random chance cross play. but most developers unless they are running an MMO (or are EA/Ubi) wont add a second layer of authentication that could get round the cross system matchmaking.

so in a way Rocket League is on the developer, they put cross play in the game but didn't make a way for players of different systems to interact, unlike Square who built their own user system outside of PSN to allow true interaction despite the system.

this is the main problem with cross play, without a unified user system a secondary user layer is needed, either that or some miracle where Sony, MS and Valve sit down in a room and find a way to share functionality across their user bases. at the moment the 3 systems physically can't recognise each others users.

PC to Xbox only has a hope because of the legacy left by games for windows live, they left the MS shop in that is directly linked into the Live servers, so you are using the same account in the MS shop and on an Xbox, basically you get cross play by being in the same walled garden.

it was tried when Steam launched for the PS3 (yes valve actually made it so you could use a steam account on PS3 with the orange box) but again developers didn't embrace the system so ultimately it got no support outside of the handful of Valve games that it just became a secondary layer hinderance.

as for the toxic state of the platform wars, it has been going since the 80's the internet just made it easier and it's good publicity and a good source of revenue for sites like this so those flame will be fanned long after we are all gone.

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Lupus Avatar
1
3 Months ago

You forget about CSGO and Dota my friend. One of the two biggest Esport games.

1
Zoner Roamer Avatar
1
3 Months ago

Well buying EA would mean that MS can make FIFA and all the other sports games Xbox Exclusive.... *shudders*

1
Belimawr Avatar
1276
3 Months ago

they could, but you really think FIFa and other bodies would take the hit? EA gets the licence because they sell loads of copies across all platforms, take that away and the licensing will likely also go away.

it's only really games like need for speed they could move as exclusive, but then it would compete with Forza so they would likely drop the franchise if it went exclusive, anything that requires a licence like FIFA there is likely a reason there has never been an exclusive deal before, as these licensing deals are big money, it's already a fight with racing games getting certain manufacturers to play ball in exclusives without it being a massive franchise such as GT or Forza.

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Sandwich Avatar
2
3 Months ago

Considering what the general opinion of EA is these years, I'd love to see Microsoft buy them and, err... "drain the swamp". :p

Valve, OTOH, no thank you.

...unless MS promised HL3... >.>

1