Valve 'Happy' to Talk Buyouts, Praises EA

Independent developer Valve is "happy to have that conversation" should the company be approached with a buyout offer, marketing VP Doug Lombardi has revealed.

That said, he noted that the independent studio behind Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, Portal and the Steam digital distribution platform is "doing pretty well" and is "really happy with what we're doing."

Lombardi also heaped praise on publishing partner EA, describing the relationship between EA and Valve as "really good," with Valve yet to see the fabled EA "boogeyman." id Software president John Carmack had previously said that Valve's positive experience with EA was a key factor in its decision to let EA publish id's Rage (PC, PS3, 360, Mac).

"We set up the deal so that it turned out that if EA was this evil empire, that it wasn't going to last forever," Lombardi explained to Gamasutra. "But it's turned out that all those scary stories--maybe some of them were true, and maybe some of them are history; I don't know--haven't appeared to us. We haven't seen the boogeyman."

"EA was very progressive about saying, 'We understand who you guys are. We understand what Steam is. We don't want Steam to go away,'" he continued. "Well, they might want Steam to go away, but they're not asking us to make Steam go away."