Valve's Newell Calls Xbox 360 Patching Process a "Train Wreck"

By Brian Leahy, Sep 10, 2010 4:20pm PDT In an interview with PC Gamer, Valve's Gabe Newell has called Microsoft's process for patching on the Xbox 360, discussing the disparity between the post-launch of support of Team Fortress 2 on the PC versus the Xbox 360 in The Orange Box.

"We thought that there would be something that would emerge, because we figured it was a sort of untenable," explains Gabe. "'Oh yeah, we understand that these are the rules now, but it's such a train wreck that something will have to change.'"

Gabe refers to the fact that issuing updates to Xbox 360 games after release cost the developer money and significant changes, requiring large amounts of new content to be downloaded cannot be offered for free, in most cases. This is why much of the content PC gamers get for free is available as paid DLC on the Xbox 360.

Valve had been hoping that Microsoft's position on patching would change following the launch of TF2, allowing Valve to bring all of the new content developed for the PC version to the console. PC players of TF2 know that the current game is wildly different from the version that shipped originally. This is key to Valve's philosophy of games as a service.

Previously, Valve had handled development of The Orange Box for the Xbox 360, choosing to have another developer handle the PS3 port. At E3, Valve announced support for the PS3 and its intention to bring Steamworks, its online framework, and Portal 2 to Sony's console. An Xbox 360 version of Portal 2 is also planned, but console gamers might want to consider the PS3 version since Valve will be allowed to better support the game there.

The rest of the interview covers other topics, including more on Valve mistakenly banning 12,000 Modern Warfare 2 players on Steam. It's definitely worth a read.

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  • Don't even know how many times we have to have this conversation (in different ways). As it stands ALL pay to play schemes suck ass. That's what it boils down to. Xbox is a wreck not only on how it patches it's games but on how it promotes its games and how it squeezes every red nickle out of your wallet.
    That Xbox on your counter top might as well be an ATM machine linked directly to your M$.
    The kind of shit we allow these guys to get away with is insane, we wouldn't allow it in ANY OTHER INDUSTRY.
    However, we cannot exclude ourselves from this equation, but supporting super costly DLC and allowing them to charge for things that should have been included or that where removed from the game originally. The message we sent was WRONG and now the beast wants more. That's both SONY and M$.
    The only way to get your point across is two fold, in sites like this one, where you can bitch and rant, and with your wallets where you DON'T buy and you DON'T give in to marketing pressure.
    Do this enough and M$ would have already made sure that the Team Fortress 2 for Xbox was exactly the one you can play on the PC instead of trying to come up with a scheme on how to charge you for free content.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 2 replies.

    • Huh? "Cannot exclude ourselves from this equation"? How about don't buy them if you don't like them?

      Every single person who owns these systems must find value in them, or they'd either not buy them in the first place, or simply sell them.

      I honestly get so sick of people constantly putting down the companies that create the very things that give the joy... .it is like a combination of hypocracy and lack-of-gratitude on steroids.

      Vote with your dollars... it works much better than complaining about how people choose to run their businesses.. for very good reasons, by the way, that seem to be beyond the understanding of far too many.