you ever played highly-acclaimed games such as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal,
or Counter-Strike, you likely know about Valve. This company started when two
passionate workers left their Microsoft job to start building their game
studio; skip some years forward, and we have one of the biggest game
corporations in the world.
of Valve’s most popular products (if not the most popular product) was Steam,
the best PC gaming platform there is right now. Like any other company, Valve
started small, and it slowly gained its reputation as a huge game developer and
How Did Valve Start?
started when ex-Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Michael Harrington started
to build their game studio in 1996. Their first ever product was Half-Life,
which was a huge success worldwide since it innovated upon the first-person
shooter world with a fascinating story and game mechanics.
Half Life’s success, Valve started the development of several games and mods.
These games/expansions/mods involved:
Fortress Classic (1999)
Opposing Force (1999)
Blue Shift (2001)
all of these games did amazingly in ratings, it wasn’t until 2003 where Valve
started to get recognized as a big game corporation.
The Origin of Steam
2003, Valve launched its PC game marketplace, “Steam.” Back then, downloading
games to your PC was getting even more common and popular, so Steam was already
looking at a high success rate. One of the most significant features of Steam
was that third-party developers could sell their games through Steam by giving
a 30% cut of the sales to Valve (This wasn’t added until 2005).
Half-Life 2 was released in 2004, Steam skyrocketed in sales and new users
since you had to sign up for Steam if you wanted to play the game. When 2005
came along, people started to see third-party games on Valve’s platform, making
it more popular.
years later, Valve added community forums and a better search engine for users,
which shaped Steam to be a platform to buy games and also discover new players.
From there on, Steam has been adding many new features that improve the user
2007 to this day, Valve has developed some of the world’s best videogame
franchises. Some of these games include Team Fortress 2, Portal, Left 4 Dead,
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and the recent Half-Life: Alyx.
from game development, Valve has tweaked its business model by adding in-game
microtransactions for some of its games. This includes character outfits, rare
loot boxes, and other additions that keep Valve’s earnings to millions of
dollars each year.
essence, Valve’s immense popularity is because it has developed some of the
best videogames in history. An example would be Counter-Strike, which has been
continuously evolving since its debut in 2000, and it’s still thriving almost
20 years later. Combining this with the microtransaction business model, the
company has earned its place as one of the most popular game corporations in
the world right now.
Valve has slowed down the production rate of its own games to focus on
microtransactions, it's still delivering action-packed games that people are
going to remember for many years to come. Valve is, without a doubt, an
essential piece of gaming history, and many players’ best gaming moments have
come thanks to the company’s efforts.