Valve 'Happy' to Talk Buyouts, Praises EA

By Chris Faylor, Aug 05, 2008 7:45am PDT 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."

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50 Threads | 223 Comments*

  • We are a group of gamers. I would consider this community to be more involved in games than the average game enthusiast. Otherwise we wouldnt spend almost everyday engaging in conversation that helps build a strong community to support and share our experiences and at the same time create new ones. EA has had a bad track record with some of our favorite past development teams ( Bullfrog, Westwood ect ). Some of us have merit to worry, especially when it comes to a great group of guys/girls (Valve) who are keeping that old PC vibe alive.

  • While I do believe EA's image is changing with each new acquisition and the successful state those companies remain in, I am still afraid of a buy for Valve.

    The reason being, they're independent. It's respectable. They're my favourite game studio in the world and not simply because of the titles they produce but the ideals they portray. If feel that if they were to be bought out, by EA or otherwise, those ideals would slowly diminish to the ideals of their new owners. And looking around, I can't say I respect a lot of companies out there who buyout others. I know Activision has a rather 'hands-off' approach, but with this new merger to Vivendi I can't help but hear about a lot studios being closed down. I doubt this would happen to Valve if bought out by ATVI, but its looking like more of the mighty are falling.

    Anyway, I hope that Valve remains independent. Seemingly, they're about the gamer before about the business and while I am sure it's otherwise, I hope that perception of them never changes.