Simple. To all external appearance, they seem to be focusing almost entirely on 1) maintaining Steam, 2) the Steam Box/SteamOS, and 3) fiddling around with other miscellaneous projects, most of which are hardware. They haven't announced the development of any games in recent years.
Thus, to any level of public scrutiny, they have stopped focusing on creating games.
Even if there wasn't already evidence that they've got two to three games in active development, the fact that they are still actively creating new content and events for the games they've already released proves they're still prioritizing games.
Now, you could
argue that some teams within Valve are prioritizing other endeavors besides games, but it's still pretty clear that the vast majority are still working on game-content creation.
See above. They haven't made a peep in any press release or public statement that I've seen over the last two years regarding active development of any games.
There's the possibility that Valve are simply not ready to talk about the games they do
have in development. It's already been confirmed that they're actively working on Left 4 Dead 3 and Half-Life 3, but maybe these games aren't in a state in which the respective teams are willing to talk about them publicly.
Silence doesn't mean inactivity. It doesn't indicate activity either. It just means one must rely on other avenues of evidence on what the teams are doing, or not doing. As such, the other evidence indicates that they are, in fact, developing new games.
To what degree is unknown, so making an assertion one way or the other in that regard is pointless.
You're deliberately misreading what I said. I did not say Valve was doomed to failure. Matter of fact, I said the exact opposite. They make it work phenomenally well.
You said their business structure would lead them to wander and ultimately to lose direction. These things imply failure. That may have not been your intention but that's how it came off.
If that was not the point you wanted to make, so be it. My misunderstanding. I was just trying to clarify that their structure doesn't inherently lead to meandering or failure; at least no more so than the standard structure. It can
lead to such things, as has happened to others, but it's not inherent.
What I said is that their business structure is not one that most companies can follow. Valve makes it work through the perfect combination of talent, passion, luck, and good recruiting practices. Very few other companies are in a position to make it work anywhere near as effectively, and for them, such a setup would be doomed to failure.
For many, yes. I agree. Such a structure would lead to failure.
However, I believe some could
function in such a way. Notably, smaller devs or those already functioning independently.
It would take time to find their footing but given the fluid nature of game design I believe there are plenty of dev teams out there that could make it work.
Valve's structure is not bad, but it's, frankly, a miracle that it's worked as well as it has, and I'd really prefer that other companies do not attempt to follow them.
But Valve isn't the only company to use such a "flat" structure.
Google uses a similar structure and they've been incredibly successful. So the success of companies like Google and Valve isn't so much a "miracle" as it is smart planning, business savvy, and shared communal vision.
That said, I agree in that I too would rather not see all devs adopt such a system. The system can and does work, but wouldn't for all. As such, adopting it would be a death knell for some.
Not at all. What I mean by that statement is that for a company to create and release a game, and then not advertise it in such a way that someone who browses their own store daily, they obviously must not care about it a great deal.
I freely admit, it's possible that I've missed a couple of games that they've made and released, but I spend a great deal of time on Steam, and it boggles my mind that Valve would release a game, then have no mention of it in the "recent releases" pop-up, let alone in the store itself.
Well, these are the games they've released in the past four years:
Left 4 Dead 2
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
If you've missed these I'm not sure what to say. The releases were pretty public; with three of them seeing numerous TV adverts.
And, besides Alien Swarm (which was a community-support experiment that failed to take off), Valve very much cares about those games. The post-launch support verifies this.
See the first response in this post. Their public face is that of a company growing less and less involved in actual game development. That may or may not be the behind the scenes truth, but it is the appearance, and we have nothing to go on but their appearance for the purposes of this discussion.
Approximately six or seven months ago they publicly released Dota 2. Not even a year's gone by since their last game release. Many companies go years
in between new game announcements and releases. Why should Valve be an exception?
Likewise, they've run not one but five
major events in three of their respective games (not counting minor events and other content releases) within the past three months. That's a pretty good indication that they're still very much interested in developing gaming content.
Besides, if we were to infer a companies goals and intentions solely by their public announcements, then EA is the most trust-worthy and reliable publisher in the industry.
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Regardless of all of this, I think you and I agree on some things, but are splitting hairs over semantics. And our discussion is getting ever-so-slightly off topic.
The one thing I think we both agree wholeheartedly on is: if Valve doesn't
get some fresh, new game releases out within the next two years, things could start to get rocky for them, even with Steam revenues.