What could possibly go wrong? Microsoft may be looking to buy EA, Valve and PUBG

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2018 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, ea, valve, pubg, rumour, xbox

This one needs more than a few grains of salt but it is possible the Microsoft store might be looking at a significant expansion.  Phil Spencer, once head of XBone and now Executive Vice President of Gaming is taking his role seriously and may be looking to grow Microsoft's presence in gaming.  The company certainly has enough money to purchase all three companies, and in the case of EA they may actually improve the usefulness of Origin.  Valve on the other hand has already mastered the art of online game distribution, unless Microsoft is willing to go with something 'not invented here' that Steam library of yours may be in some peril.  This is pure rumour but that doesn't mean you can't fan the flames at The Inquirer, Polygon or below.

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"SOMEONE HAS GIVEN the rumour mill an almighty kick as it's been suggested that Microsoft is considering buying-up game publishing behemoths EA and Steam, along with PUBG Corp."

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Source: The Inquirer

January 30, 2018 | 02:47 PM - Posted by domnatr6

They take take EA, couldn't get any worse over there IMO. Don't touch Valve PLEASE.

January 30, 2018 | 03:04 PM - Posted by remc86007

What exactly is Valve doing right? They siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars and it seems to just go into the private shareholders' pockets. They don't develop, they don't curate, they just suck money out of the industry.

January 30, 2018 | 04:41 PM - Posted by Anonymousss (not verified)

This has got to be a troll. Steam has been immensely beneficial to gaming. It's by far the best digital distribution platform for games, the sales they have are incredible, and the features surrounding the Steam client and platform are great (REFUNDS!).

They also have numerous projects that are great for gaming, whether they pan out or not. Vive, SteamOS/Steam Boxes, their anti-cheat that they are currently developing in CS:GO, etc.

The way they have handled their games has for the most part been incredible, too. Especially compared to other devs and publishers. Dota2, CS:GO, TF2, etc. Look at the growth Dota2 and CS:GO have seen.

January 30, 2018 | 04:49 PM - Posted by remc86007

Not a troll. I think Valve did wonderful things for gaming in the past. Now, not so much.

Refunds were really started in earnest by EA with Origin, not Steam.
The Steam VR part of Vive was a very, very small part of the investment needed to bring HTC's product to market. It's also not clear if VR has any staying power.
Steam OS and Steam Boxes were arguably a net negative for the industry as it killed any chance of PCs making it in the living room due to their awful implementation and strategy.
Anti-cheat? Okay, sure.
There is no doubt Valve knows how to make a lot of money with a minimum amount of effort. However, I don't think that strategy is good for the gaming industry.

January 31, 2018 | 04:17 AM - Posted by John H (not verified)

Still cheaper and more convenient that the equivalent thousands of brick and mortar stores that would be needed to replace steam.

January 30, 2018 | 08:26 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

"Steam has been immensely beneficial to gaming."
Steam has done a lot more harm than good for PC gaming by normalizing always-online DRM, data mining, forced patching, and generally reducing the control that users have over their games. Sure, sales brought down game prices, but we also lost used games, physical items, refunds (for a while), and game sharing (for a while). Digital refunds were started by EA, of all companies, and Valve only added them when they were forced to by EA taking the lead.

"The way they have handled their games has for the most part been incredible, too"
I wouldn't call loot boxes and microtransactions (which Valve was instrumental in normalizing) "incredible". One used to be able to buy a complete game at a straightforward price, but now big game is just a shell designed to sell DLC. Gameplay-wise, Valve has also been terrible for their games - I can't comment on dota or cs, but look at the care and attention they put into the visual style and gameplay of early TF2, while nowadays they just dump more hats in. TF2 is one of the few cases where a game becomes less polished over time, and would have been better off abandoned after launch than Valve slowly destroying it.

Valve has done good in supporting Linux gaming now that Microsoft turned into a malware developer, but to say they've been overall good for gaming is quite a stretch.

January 30, 2018 | 09:26 PM - Posted by SincereAnonymous (not verified)

Like others said, the way Valve run Steam was/is pretty terrible. Steam is just a huge vending machine with no hint of humanity behind it. When there's trouble on Steam you'll wish you had spent the money at places like GOG instead where they actually listen to their customers. Microsoft and Valve kind of deserve each other.

*Except I don't want that to happen!* Like an idiot I spent thousands of dollars on Steam. Microsoft will herd all Steam users to xbox or windows store and eventually shut it down - likely losing access to most (if not all) games on steam. There's already a precedent for it: They decided to unite Games For Windows under XBox brand, and in the transition, access to all previously purchased games were lost. They have no legal obligation to let you keep downloading and playing digitally purchased games.

February 1, 2018 | 09:49 AM - Posted by Just John (not verified)

I refuse to let Microsoft ruin steam!

January 31, 2018 | 12:38 AM - Posted by odizzido2 (not verified)

I agree with you. Valve is crap. So is microsoft though :\

January 30, 2018 | 02:50 PM - Posted by NeverLetThemBurnYourPlatformLordGaben (not verified)

Really, how can this be good for gaming. That M$ evil Ribbon Lady(Evil Evil Evil) and the kinds of other M$ marketing driven folks in charge of Valve. Maybe they could call in Sewerage Valve if M$ gets its hands on that and the effluent will be pushed out if any operation that M$ controls.

EA now that's maybe a match of dirty equals in a M$ and EA matchup from the very depths of Hell's fetid sludge pits.

Lord Gaben would have to move very far far to the dark side to even consider such. Valve is a privately held company as Wikipedia points out with Owner Gabe Newell having over 50% interest in Valve. I think that Lord Gaben is somewhere getting a kick out of this "News" what with all the OS work that Valve has done in order to hedge its bets against the Beast from Redmond.

Oh Ribbon Lady you are so reviled and you are pure Evil among the other Redmond based demons, so very very Evil!

January 30, 2018 | 02:51 PM - Posted by NeverLetThemBurnYourPlatformLordGaben (not verified)

Edit: call in
To: call it

February 5, 2018 | 05:00 AM - Posted by malurt

Valve is a company that has a history of extreme hostility to consumers, so I don't know why you're putting them on such a high pedestal.

January 30, 2018 | 04:26 PM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

rrod, thankfully haven't seen that in a really long time.

January 30, 2018 | 05:33 PM - Posted by domnatr6

What exactly is Valve doing right? They make it stupid simple for me and millions of other people to purchase and play games on PC's.

What has EA or Microsoft for that matter done to improve and increase sales for PC gaming? Not speculation, but measured success in PC gaming?

February 5, 2018 | 05:03 AM - Posted by malurt

EA is a massively succesful company in general, so I dunno.

So Valve made that easy, they also made always-online DRM a thing that people are just OK with. They didn't want to offer refunds, EA started doing that on Origin and to this day have a better refund policy than Valve.
Valve support is also crap compared to Ea's. Valve also infest their required client with all kinds of predatory minigames and refuse to do any sort of curating making Steam more like a toilet full of crap with a few good things swimming in it, but you really gotta be careful when trying to get to them...

January 30, 2018 | 05:34 PM - Posted by Jann5s

Jeremy, you scared me shitless, please promise me this won’t happen,

January 30, 2018 | 07:14 PM - Posted by hood6558 (not verified)

Another nail in the coffin for PC gaming.

January 31, 2018 | 12:57 AM - Posted by odizzido2 (not verified)

Valve isn't a great company or anything but I hope MS doesn't purchase it. Not only do I want steamOS to be a solid choice for gaming but MS would find a way beyond killing steamOS to make valve even more terrible than it is.

You know back when MS purchased skype I was glad because I've always thought skype sucked, MSN was pretty decent, and MS couldn't make it any worse. Turns out they made it even worse. Since they stopped supporting MSN I just abandoned the microsoft ship.

January 31, 2018 | 04:04 PM - Posted by LongTimePCperReader (not verified)

Ok, I really hope MS doesn't do this. They should not screw up more things than they already have. Whenever MS buys a company, they always make things worse, never better. Granted, EA are a bunch of greedy bastards that only cares about profits, not the games themselves. Valve is great, for the most part. Sure they have made legends (Half Life, Half Life (2, Ep. 1, and Ep. 2)). However, Valve in the game development world has been pretty shitty for the last 10 or so years. Steam is a good PC platform, for the most part, won't go into the specifics, but MS should leave Valve alone. PUBG, I don't care about them really, PUBG is a good game (fun concept), but ultimately meh. Overall, MS needs to not just go around with a shopping cart and screw things up, like they always do...

February 1, 2018 | 01:32 AM - Posted by Photonboy

STEAM IS NOT CRAP. FAR FROM IT.

It's pretty easy to criticize and it's certainly got issues, but I think people are either too young to appreciate or simply forgetting what gaming was like before.

1) you can easily validate games to fix them for corrupted files, or find support for issues like crash, fail to start, etc (game dev and/or Microsoft Windows issue usually)

2) STEAM does a great job of organizing your programs

3) I can reinstall Windows without redownloading my games (just keep the "Steamapps" folder

4) I can make game BACKUPS as well which is especially handy to reinstall if I screw up some MODS

5) I can even stream games to an HDTV via a Steamlink

I'm sure the mass amount of games now (many crap) etc are largely responsible for people calling Valve "crap" but frankly if you do your RESEARCH ON WHAT GAME TO BUY, everything after that is usually pretty easy in terms of downloading, managing, updating etc.

You aren't limited to FINDING games in Steam. Use other sites, "best of 2017" Googling or whatever to find a game, buy at Steam (such as DOOM, Tomb Raider) and generally the experience is awesome.

The MICROSOFT STORE conversely is still crap. Hard to navigate, and the TWO GAMES I have are:

1) GOW1 - kept failing to install, and
2) GOW4 - won't even start for months (known issue still not fixed)

I had to REDOWNLOAD those game too since reinstalling Windows necessitates that. WTF? Seriously? Microsoft still can't sort out something so simple as that?

Valve's Steam has been amazing IMO overall, and reinstalling Windows then my Valve games has been pretty darn painless.

February 1, 2018 | 01:42 AM - Posted by Photonboy

Also, pretty sure Gabe Newell would tell Microsoft to get lost.

He's worth at least $5.5Billion so money isn't an issue. So he must really like the idea of Microsoft taking Steam right?

"He was also critical of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, calling it a "catastrophe" and "a threat" to the open nature of PC gaming.[13]"

(Wikipedia)

Heck, he start STEAMOS to combat the potential threat of a Windows PC gaming monopoly.

(SteamOS "failed" in some people's eyes BTW, but to me the work done is incredible and a great boost to Linux gaming. I think many people expected it to simply take off but that was always impossible. Shifting an ecosystem like this is slow. The work in SteamOS, the advances in VULKAN, and the fact that game consoles are close architecturally to the PC now will eventually make Linux gaming far, far easier to do... I certainly would like to STOP USING WINDOWS!!)

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