Windows 8 a 'Catastrophe': Valve Co-Founder

Dennis Faas's picture

One of the gaming industry's biggest names has offered a disparaging view of the upcoming Microsoft operating system (OS).

Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director at Valve, the video game development company responsible for massive hits like Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead, suggests that Windows 8 is, in his opinion, a threat to open platforms.

Newell and Valve are also responsible for the Steam platform, an online distribution service for video games.

Windows 8 a "Catastrophe" for PC Gaming

Newell recently sat down for an interview with Casual Connect at a video game conference in Seattle, where he offered his take on several major trends in gaming. Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview was his rant on Windows 8.

Newell's main problem with Windows 8: the threat it poses to so-called 'open' computing platforms, which until now have allowed computer game manufacturers to flourish without any help from Microsoft.

Along with the debut of Windows 8 this fall, consumers will have to deal with a newly built-in Windows Store app distribution service, featuring integration with the Microsoft Xbox 360's Xbox Live service.

Newell appears to believe this new distribution system will allow Microsoft to gain something of a stranglehold on the PC video game market.

Specifically, Newell told his Seattle audience: "I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space."

In fact, Newell indicated that it's time PC gaming fans took a stand against this kind of market control. "It's going to be a good idea to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality," Newell added. (Source:

Conflict of Interest Possible

Of course, Valve's Steam distribution system will compete directly with the new Windows 8 app store. For this reason, it might be prudent to take any opinion from Valve's boss with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless, as the head of a gaming empire worth an estimated $3 billion, Newell's opinion will no doubt have a significant impact on precisely how a great many gamers respond to Microsoft's upcoming OS.

"I think that a lot of people -- in their thinking about platforms -- don't realize how critical games are as a consumer driver of purchases and usage," Newell noted. (Source:

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