Author Topic: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?  (Read 2905 times)

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Offline Unknown Target

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What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Just been wondering about this lately. So far Valve's been pretty awesome, but what happens when management changes? We might end up with a board of trustees who take the company public and are more concerned with the bottom line than actually satisfying customers.

It'd be cool if companies and services like Steam had like some sort of constitution or something.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Robin Walker will save us!  With hats!

 

Offline The E

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Speculations about very, very unlikely hypotheticals is stupid. We won't know what will happen until it does, and there's no sign of it doing so.
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Offline Qent

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
How is that unlikely? At the very least he's going to retire before I do.

 

Offline The E

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Several things. One, Valve is a privately held company, and I believe gaben holds a majority of it. Two, In UT's scenario, he leaves the company without retaining a voice in it (see point one why this is unlikely). Three, in UT's scenario, he leaves the company in the hands of trustees that are not accountable to him in one way or another. Four, those trustees lack common sense (given that holding a piece of a private company that enjoys high regard in its field, and has a steady source of revenue is certainly preferable to holding a piece of a public company, for the simple reason that being a shareholder in a public company means having to deal with the other shareholders and their lawyers all the time). Five, it assumes that there is a scenario where doing an IPO makes sense for Valve as a business (Hint: Unless you're really short on cash, doing an IPO is a bad idea for the reasons discussed above re: loss of control).
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Let there be monsters and let there be pain
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Offline Unknown Target

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
I was more thinking that he died sometime in the hopefully very far future. Our games are all still held by Steam and Valve, so, 50-100 years from now (let's just assume medical technology is really good 50 years from now), we're still dependent on this service. It's a gamble that we'd be still depending on this system for conceivably as long as we live, to access our games, some games which cannot be played except on Steam.

I'm also thinking how this same sort of thinking can be applied to all these sorts of services, for now and into the future.

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
I was more thinking that he died sometime in the hopefully very far future. Our games are all still held by Steam and Valve, so, 50-100 years from now (let's just assume medical technology is really good 50 years from now), we're still dependent on this service. It's a gamble that we'd be still depending on this system for conceivably as long as we live, to access our games, some games which cannot be played except on Steam.

I'm also thinking how this same sort of thinking can be applied to all these sorts of services, for now and into the future.

50-100 years from now if you're still looking to play Half Life 2 then I doubt there will even be the hardware to support it outside of a museum
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
You presumably won't even need the hardware at that point...whatever crazy-ass future hyperquantum computers we have would be able to emulate a top-of-the-line system today without blinking. :p

 

Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
50-100 years from now if you're still looking to play Half Life 2 then I doubt there will even be the hardware to support it outside of a museum
You'd be surprised about what emulators can achieve.
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Offline Aardwolf

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Re: What happens when a content distribution service dies:

If they actually let you get the stuff onto your disk (in some form or another), it can be cracked.
If you had to use their service (like how Blizzard's set up StarCraft II), and they forbade reverse-engineering the server... sucks. Not that I expect SC2 to die anytime soon.

 

Offline LordMelvin

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Re: What happens when a content distribution service dies:

If they actually let you get the stuff onto your disk (in some form or another), it can be cracked.
If you had to use their service (like how Blizzard's set up StarCraft II), and they forbade reverse-engineering the server... sucks. Not that I expect SC2 to die anytime soon.

As long as you can speak Korean, you will always be able to find and play any starcraft.
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Offline The E

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
I was more thinking that he died sometime in the hopefully very far future. Our games are all still held by Steam and Valve, so, 50-100 years from now (let's just assume medical technology is really good 50 years from now), we're still dependent on this service. It's a gamble that we'd be still depending on this system for conceivably as long as we live, to access our games, some games which cannot be played except on Steam.

I'm also thinking how this same sort of thinking can be applied to all these sorts of services, for now and into the future.

Gods. One. Look closely at the games you bought recently. Read their EULAs (which, given that you are an american, are actually relevant for you). You have not bought a game. You bought a license to use a game. There is no inherent level-of-service agreement between you and the publisher.

Second, assuming you americans don't stop being so goddamn stupid about consumer protection law, the best you can hope for is that people won't prosecute you for distributing abandonware.

Third, you are assuming that the way we consume games stays roughly the same over a timeperiod that is so large that we humans cannot adequately plan for it. In general, we suck at true long-term planning and foresight, there is no way to predict what might happen in 10, 20 or 50 to a hundred years, as you are trying to do. IMHO, speculation about things that far ahead is futile for this reason.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
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Offline Dragon

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
50 years is an eternity in computer business. Also, Steam downloads and installs a copy of a game on your HD. And there'd be nothing preventing you from using it offline, because the Steam client is also on your HD.
I guess that in less than a year of Steam going down, hackers would crack it (it won't be getting security updates anymore) and re-enable Steam games to run, or an emulator would have this option legally built-in.

Besides, in 50 years, we'd be looking at Skyrim the same way we look at Arena now. Funny thing without simulated smells, outdated graphics and sound, uses an ancient version of DX and VirtualReality software has limited use with it. Ah, and it uses only a quarter of your CPU cores, not to mention you can run ArmA VI or Crysis 4 with it in the background and not even notice. Takes a second to download and doesn't even take half of a percent of your disk space. And of course, laughably simplistic.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Gods. One. Look closely at the games you bought recently. Read their EULAs (which, given that you are an american, are actually relevant for you). You have not bought a game. You bought a license to use a game. There is no inherent level-of-service agreement between you and the publisher.

EULAs and the licensing arguments have both failed in court before. They're not as relevant as you think.
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Offline The E

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
I think the point still stands. When you buy a game through a download service, the availability of said is tied to the availability of the service, and the continuation of the respective deals between the publisher and the service provider. Since you haven't made a contract that states "You are granted exclusive, non-transferable rights to use  our product for eternity, and we will make sure that you can access our product whenever you wish", I think the publishers are within their rights to pull the plug.

Granted, there's little to no reason to do so, seeing how bandwidth gets cheaper, and storage space even more so, but I am not quite sure that the people that run game companies are always listening to reason.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
50 years is an eternity in computer business.
50 years is essentially the extent of the computer business.

 
Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Certainly no longer than video games have been around so far.  Not many people play Tennis for Two anymore...

 

Offline Davros

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
I still play descent , its 17 years old

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
Descent is a special case, it's addictive, has unique gameplay and is, overall, an excellent game. Of course, some games could survive 50 years, but after such time, they'd be distributed free or for a very small price. They could even be adopted to run on a mobile phone (or rather a microcomputer, because that's what even the modern phones are). In 50 years, Skyrim and ArmA III could most likely be ran on something that you could fit in your pocket (maybe with a holographic screen and perhaps even a thought-based interface).
GoG would most likely be selling them at this point, or their creators would release them for free (I'd say it's likely with Skyrim, as they did that with two first Elder Scrolls games).

 

Offline watsisname

Re: What happens when Gabe leaves Steam/Valve?
I still play descent , its 17 years old


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