Valve calls Xbox Live a ‘train wreck’

September 10, 2010

Valve calls Xbox Live a ‘train wreck’ It’s surprising to see a strong supporter of the Xbox 360 talk disparagingly about the platform. Valve boss Gabe Newell vented recently over Xbox Live and its complicated internal politics.

According to CVG, Gabe Newell admitted hoping that Microsoft would change was his biggest mistake in an interview with PC Gamer. Newell’s biggest complaint is over the fact that Microsoft won’t allow the studio to regularly update its games for free.

When asked if Newell thought that Microsoft would eventually allow Valve to update its games more often he replied:

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

Microsoft has complicated policies within Xbox Live that are dictated and driven by specific financial parameters. In most cases the company allows developers to make only one free update to their games via patch or marketplace. There are also restrictions to the amount of free content that can be given away by the studio.

In most cases, free content is the studios way of marketing and promoting the game even further. EPIC Games faced similar challenges with Xbox Live as Microsoft forced the studio to charge for map packs that were meant to be free.

Rockstar recently also complained about this issue as the studio was forced to bundle DLC meant to be free along with paid content. Of course to maintain a certain degree of parity with the Xbox 360, PS3 owners will receive a similar “treatment” regardless of Sony’s open attitude.

Gabe Newell applauded the PS3 by stating:

That’s why we’re really happy with the current situation with the PS3. We’re solving it now in a way that is going to work for our customers, rather than assuming something is going to emerge later that will allow us to fix this.

Valve’s Erik Johnson also expressed his frustration at Xbox Live. He stated:

The lack of updates on the 360, for TF2, is also a total failure. Those are the ones that sting the worst because… it got all the way through to customers. It’s like a bug. If you fix a bug before it ever ships, it’s pretty cheap. If you ship it and then fix it, it’s really expensive. Those ones are really bad.

Cleary the developers are not complaining about Xbox Live from a technical perspective but from a political stand point. The question remains – If Xbox Live continues to loose favor amongst major studios and even indie devs, how will it ultimately impact the consumer?

35 Responses to “Valve calls Xbox Live a ‘train wreck’”

  1. oldschool1987:

    Does this twat know that he has just angered HH!? He better watch his back!

  2. lock_down:

    A successful train wreck though.

  3. gunstar:

    See, even game developers agree that Present M$ brings nothing but disaster!
    The Master Thief Ballmer will spoil anything just to get his way.

  4. gunstar:

    XBox Live is the Taxman of gaming.

    M$ wants to cut & make money on virtually anything specially free stuff.

    I will never ever step into this kind of hellish community.

    No wonder Bunjie, Epic and Valve went to PS3 territory.

  5. Roca.:

    fix my account….it’s been 2 days already ;)

  6. phranctoast:

    I’m interested to see how Steamworks will work on the PS3.

    I’m also wondering now that Gabe and Valve are cozying up to Sony, what the future holds for the L4D franchise.

  7. ncaissie:

    “A successful train wreck though.”
    I’m not so sure. MS is making a ton of cash and the publishers want a piece. So they plan to charge for online.
    So xbox owners will be taking it from MS and the game publishers.

  8. ncaissie:

    “I’m interested to see how Steamworks will work on the PS3.”
    I wont be buying any steam powered games.

  9. twilight:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a Left For Dead game comes out on the Ps3.

  10. b0xel:

    “PS3 owners will receive a similar “treatment” regardless of Sony’s open attitude.”
    so MS is screwing us too? greedy bastard. I really hope something happens and they don’t make another console…ever. then again, sony might seem like a goodie two shoes now but with no competition? hmmm..

  11. Barnabe Jones:

    The good thing about Steam is that they have some really good sales sometimes. Also it might end up bringing a lot of PC/360 titles to the PS3.

  12. ncaissie:

    “The good thing about Steam is that they have some really good sales sometimes. Also it might end up bringing a lot of PC/360 titles to the PS3.”
    DLC is not sales. It is renting.

  13. twilight:

    Ncaissie and Phranctoast,
    Where is Roca?

  14. phranctoast:

    “Where is Roca?”

    He’s back now.

    He attached the “buttons” link to his name, so now every posts he makes, it says it’s “awaiting moderation” LMAO…

    The price of trolling ;)

  15. Roca.:

    Miss me Twilight?

    Thanks for joke Phranc ;) LOL

    here’s what I was able to do during my vacation away from gamer.blorge –

  16. twilight:

    I most certainly did miss you. You know you’re one of my favorite people around here. I see that you put your time away to good use. Nice read.

  17. twilight:

    Check this out:

  18. Liquid:

    xbox live has got to be the worst network service ever. . .SO MUCH LAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN YOU HEAR ME CAD!!!!!!???????????!!!!!!!!!!!?????????? LMFAO

  19. ncaissie:

    Poor Xbox is getting so many backlashes lately.
    Mostly because XBL sucks and they just want more and more money.
    Also Kinetic is a “train wreck”

  20. Happyhockum:

    Xbox Live works fine for me.

    Devs want share of the large amounts of cash XBL is generating.

    In other news, rain pronounced ‘wet’.

  21. ncaissie:

    “Devs want share of the large amounts of cash XBL is generating.

    LOL and MS say “No because we are greedy bastards.”
    It’s not like they use dedicated servers or anything.
    Why should the DEVs get anything? They charge $80 for a fuckin 5 hour game and cry because people want the online to make up for it?

  22. Roca.:

    “Devs want share of the large amounts of cash XBL is generating”

    how much did you make, I think MS’s greed is hurting gamer’s pocket. That must be why over 70% of the total 360 user based chose not to bend over and paid for gold.

  23. Happyhockum:

    Weep on Pbots.

  24. Liquid:

    roca has got a point happy.

  25. Happyhockum:


    Roca has no other point than throwing whatever sh!t he can rake up at Xbox/Kinect/Microsoft.

    You’ve been around here long enough to know the game.

    Far from being the devastating fanboy barb Roca would love to imagine it to be, the truth is that Microsoft aren’t so bothered that 70% choose not to pay, that’s their perogative & it remains an option open to all.
    The 30% that do (freely choose to) pay are a significant income stream and are helping make sure XBL continues to develop & lead in offering on-line services.

  26. jojo29:

    HH the dumbshit

    Developers want to release things FREE but MS won’t let them….how are you okay with this??

    Id take what Valve says lightly…remember, they were against the ps3…..I’m still wary about them

  27. Liquid:

    yeah valve defo has ulterior motives concerning xbox 360 and PS3. . .remember they only like PC, not consoles. . . .but in the end we still get the best console version of portal 2 and most likely half life episode 3. HA!

  28. Roca.:

    ^ LOL

    Liquid, don’t go too hard on Happy ;)

  29. oldschool1987:

    Actually HH rain is pronounced the way you spelt it: rain lol

  30. Rhino:

    I can’t trust Newell as far I’d like to throw him. I mean he was all fuck PS3, we’ll never put games on it etc…now he’s all fucking love and flowers for the PS3 and bagging the shit out of Live.

    Sure he may have a point, but he’s a self promoting bastard and that is all.

  31. Rimmer:

    i’ve always been a big fan of Steam. Never had a problem with it and it has allowed me to install games on numerous different PCs with a mix of OS without any issues over the years. I have access to all my games on any PC (and now mac) I can log in from. I can run games off my ultraportable laptop without the need for a dvd drive and have purchased some great games for an absolute steal (all the STALKER games for less that $15 for example)

  32. Roca.:

    cant wait for Steam on PS3

  33. phranctoast:

    Not the first developer complaining about how closed XBL is. Epic has stated the same thing.

  34. CAD:

    Gabe is truly a moron. The dude is such a flip flop. Go on Gabe gain those PS3 supporters LOL. Truly a dude who runs a competing service cannot be taken seriously. He probably wanted Steam on the 360 and it most likely was never going to happen and now he’s pissed. What a looser. My brother in law raves about steam. I watch him play Half Life all the time and the appeal just isn’t there for me. Maybe it just that game I don’t know. Some cool features like joining different servers and Mods but those features are not a big deal to me especially being able to type messages. Who really has the time to type in the middle of a game. Anyways went to the site to see what they offer. Besides what I mentioned there is also updates regularly available. I don’t see Cross game chat or Parties. After downloading a few digital titles available on disk I much rather have the physical copy then a digital. Gabe here’s an idal. How about you release a game without glitches then this won’t be an issue. LOL

  35. phranctoast:

    I think Gabes problem is he really has no censor button when it comes to his feelings on certain subjects and it makes him come across as a total douche.

    GABE: Saying that Sony should just scrap plans on the PS3 because it doesn’t follow the DirectX (MS proprietary) method of developing is an asshole thing to say.
    TRUTH: PS3 is harder to develop for and does require and different approach than developers used in the past when creating PC games.

    GABE: Calling XBL a “Train Wreck” because it’s such a closed system with MS practicing draconian like measures to keep it that way is an asshole thing to say.
    TRUTH: XBL is a very closed system, and other developers have mentioned this before.

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