Gabe Newell: Valve Would “Disintegrate” Before Selling

Valve are the subject of a huge profile in the New York Times, and as part of the feature the Times spoke at length to Billionaire Gabe Newell. A lot of what the article covers won’t be news to Game Front readers – we already know about Valve’s famous corporate culture and hiring practices, not to mention their general history – but toward the end of the article the discussion touches on the possibility of Valve being acquired by another company.

Apparently, Electronic Arts has in the recent past broached the possibility of buying Valve outright; had the talks advanced past the ‘so, would you be interested in-’ ‘NO!’ stage of discussion, EA would have valued Valve at around 1 billion dollars. Also, EA would have utterly ruined Valve the way they ruin every one of their other acquisitions. Luckily, Valve said no, and while Gabe Newell didn’t comment in any way about the alleged talks for the article, he did offer up his thoughts on a third party acquisition of the company, and they should put our fears that Valve might let someone ruin them to rest.

Mr. Newell said that there was a better chance that Valve would “disintegrate,” its independent-minded workers scattering, than that it would ever be sold.

“It’s way more likely we would head in that direction than say, ‘Let’s find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate,’ ” he says.

Whew.

Via Games Industry

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4 Comments on Gabe Newell: Valve Would “Disintegrate” Before Selling

Axetwin

On September 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Keep fighting the good fight Gabe.

The day EA manages to acquire Valve is the day the world becomes just a little less brighter.

R-man

On September 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hell YES Valve!! You did what BioWare apparently didn’t have the brain or guts to do… And I love you for it. lol Screw EA. Put that in their greedy little pipes and let ‘em smoke it while they try to understand the true value of games…

Kevin

On September 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Probably puts EA’s seeming attempt at a war on Steam in new perspective. Valve were the first ones to say no to those millions of dollars. Of course, Mr. Newell is already a billionaire. There really isn’t much EA can offer him.

Drizzt

On September 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm

@R-Man: Not sure the sad BioWare case is that clear cut. AFAIU the section in the corporate history is, that they joined forces with Pandemic Studios and formed a holding, which was backed by some Private Equity Fund. And that fund seemed to have sold its shares to EA (the official lingu was IIRC, that “the holding was bought by EA”, but I can easily see the PEF wanting a ROI, it is – after all – sort of their business model). So the dumb thing was probably to seek out a PEF for money, as they’ll tend to eat you alive for their own profits and don’t care one bit for art (unless it is expensive and on their walls).

Anyway: I don’t know whether it was maybe financially necessary to obtain more money to continue. So the holding/PEF stuff might have made sense at the time.