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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 06:23pm 28/03/11 | 23 Comments
As you may be aware, we recently had the chance to hit up Valve Software in Seattle to check out the very promising Portal 2, but while there, we also stole some time with Valve's spin-doctor, the guy who's job it is to baulk questions regarding Half-Life 2: Episode 3, Doug Lombardi.

So we chatted to him about his history at the company, the manifestation of Steamworks, its move to the PS3, regional pricing and that oh-so-important question we know you've all wanted to ask them (it's at the very end). As always, we've put together a fully transcribed feature page for you if an 11-minute video is too long, but it's embedded there anyway.

Click here for the full interview.



portal 2regional pricingvalve softwarevalvehalf-life 2interview





Latest Comments
bepatient
Posted 06:42pm 28/3/11
Another great interview :D

I gotta say, apart from the whole regional pricing shamozzle, I love everything Valve is doing. These days every game I wanna buy on PC one of the first things I look at is if it ties in with Steam, if not it tends to stall my purchase.
Enska
Posted 06:46pm 28/3/11
Pretty cool they are denying themselves a big chunk of the pie by releasing it the way they are. Even cooler that it seems they are willing to do it even more in the future.
Jordan
Posted 07:23pm 28/3/11
if you ever get a chance again , ask him why their games are much the same price as the U.S price but 3rd party are often double the price.
Great interview!
HurricaneJim
Posted 08:21pm 28/3/11
S*** interview, didn't ask the hard question and pull him up on the BS.
`ViPER`
Posted 08:24pm 28/3/11
Yeah good interview BUUUTT.

How can he says its to do with currency conversion and changing rates when

YOU PAY IN US DOLLARS ON STEAM !!!!

Currency conversion has nothing to do with it, thats what your credit card company does, they get US dollars, except some places decide they need to get more US dollars for the same thing if your IP is Australian.
Dazhel
Posted 08:48pm 28/3/11
Great Interview Steve,
There was a bit of BS from Lombardi on pricing, when you're pushing the hard questions just remember: WWKOD!?

(What Would Kerry O'Brien Do?)
ara
Posted 09:06pm 28/3/11
valve make their own games the same price for everyone. it is always the third party publishers that have regional pricing so i don't think there is anything valve can really say about it, they are just doing what the third party publishers what done with their product. if they don't do it, they publishers will pull their products.
trog
Posted 10:52pm 28/3/11
S*** interview, didn't ask the hard question and pull him up on the BS.
As others have already pointed out, the prices of games have f*** all to do with Valve and they'd have nothing useful to say about it whatsoever.

It's not up to them. It's up to the publishers. You want to protest it, stop buying their f*****g games and just buy Valve games!@#

By the way, we HAVE asked the publishers why they do this. We get bulls*** answers that basically just cover up the fact that a) they're doing it because they can and b) they're doing it because chumps keep buying the games anyway.

Import, teach others how to import, and stop paying the Australia tax. We're doing what we can about it; educating gamers and making sure they're aware of the price differences, but the rest of it is up to you guys.
rrrocket
Posted 11:01pm 28/3/11
good call trog
ctd
Posted 05:25am 29/3/11
Yeah what he said. Just buy Valve games. All the other companies make s*** games anyway so save your money.

I don't expect to be able to do this but it would be cool if I could login to steam on PC and PS3 at the same time so I can play co-op with my housemates (who aren't hardcore into games so wont buy it). Lucky I have internet friends
TiT
Posted 09:24am 29/3/11
great interview would love to know more info on DOTA 2 though, everyone seems very quiet
Sommescum
Posted 09:36am 29/3/11
Thanks for doing the interviewings - it's good to see the mindset of these guys. Steve & AG, you rock!
deadlyf
Posted 12:44pm 29/3/11
Import, teach others how to import, and stop paying the Australia tax. We're doing what we can about it; educating gamers and making sure they're aware of the price differences, but the rest of it is up to you guys.
Importing is inconvenient, better to just buy a steam key from a 3rd party site.

I'd like to know what justification there is for regionalised release dates as well, he can't make up some bulls*** about different currency values when explaining that.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 12:50pm 29/3/11
The point he was trying to make is that the platform is just that, a platform. A tool for publishers to use. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo don't dictate to publishers specific release dates for their platforms, that decision is made entirely in-house within a publisher. The platform supplier is a middle-man.
trillion
Posted 04:16pm 29/3/11
infographic time?
Crakaveli
Posted 04:17pm 29/3/11
Hey steve, good interview but i think you should have asked an important question. Will Valve ever go the regional pricing on their own games?
ravn0s
Posted 04:21pm 29/3/11
valve likes to keep their customers happy so i doubt they ever will.
`ViPER`
Posted 04:21pm 29/3/11
It's not up to them. It's up to the publishers. You want to protest it, stop buying their f*****g games and just buy Valve games!@#


Yeah good call, and thats pretty much what I do, I refuse to pay more the "Australian" product and just dont buy the game, or as I've done a few times, jump onto a server over the WAN and "import" the product.
Buggi
Posted 11:11pm 30/3/11
Contrary to what people are suggesting here, Valve do have a say in what publishers charge and strongly encourage them to follow Valve's way of pricing.

Even if Valve didn't affect publishers' prices, they charge unfair prices for their own products in different currencies as well, so that argument falls either way.

It's not a difficult balancing act in any way. Give people the option to buy in USD (like it used to be) or adjust the prices automatically on a daily basis based on currency fluctuations.

They overcharge because they want to, and as long as some people will buy at inflated prices they will claim success. Until they try fair pricing they won't know if they could be selling more and actually make more money.

Until that time, make sure you have some friends in the states who can gift you games at american prices.

http://www.steamprices.com/au/topripoffs
Boki
Posted 11:56pm 30/3/11
All arguments aside valve is a great developed and steam is a great gaming platform.

Looking forward to Gordon Freeman's adventures : )
skythra
Posted 12:30am 31/3/11
Steam was a pile of ass.

These days it's brilliant and I'd make out with it for hours if it was a chick. I haven't even come close to finishing anything other than just cause 2 since the december steam sales. (only 44% completion though the story is finished)

So many more games to go.
Run.dll
Posted 08:03pm 31/3/11
Good interview. Perhaps try and get some radio mics for future interviews? They might help in keeping the interview casual and relaxed.

Valve mentioned a "philosophical goal to get to" or essentially a consumer Right to be able to play the same game on different platforms without additional costs, and so I believe it should also be a consumer Right to pay the same price for the same game, irrespective of which country or region the consumer is from.

I’d like to see Valve lead more from the front on this issue, their answers in this interview were weak in my opinion and they can do more if they wished too.
Morbz
Posted 03:56pm 01/4/11
This dude is a cool interveiwer! love your work man.
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