There has been a lot of ambiguity floating around with the recent clash between Electronic Arts and Valve’s Steam distribution platform. While some vague answers have been released on EA’s side, Valve has been suspiciously mum. That all changed with an interview Valve head Gabe Newell gave to Develop in which he openly discussed EA’s seeming abandonment of Steam.
Unfortunately, those looking for more solid answers than what EA was giving for the removal of their games are out of luck, as Newell was similarly vague. Talking about the ordeal, he attributed the current situation to “a whole complicated set of issues.”
With regards to a potential solution, Newell stated, “I don’t think Valve can pick just one thing and think the issue would go away if we fixed that… We have to show EA it’s a smart decision to have EA games on Steam, and we’re going to try to show them that.”
When asked if he thought the trend of games being removed from Steam would continue, Gabe responded that it was important that companies such as EA see the value of releasing games on Steam. “I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam.”
EA has recently launched their own digital distribution platform, Origin, and many believe competition between the two services is at the heart of the ongoing conflict. The removal of EA games from Steam seems to have corresponded with the release of DLC for those games, suggesting that EA’s methods of content distribution may also be a deciding factor.