Xbox Live Needs to Open Up, Says Valve Boss

By Ben Strauss

Valve is setting the first person shooter crowd aflame with the announcement of a newCounter Strike, but changing practices in gaming are causing a standoff between Valve and Microsoft on how to best deliver content.  Valve believes that Xbox Live is simply too restrictive to allow for the full experience of what Counter Strike hopes to deliver on consoles, and Valve boss Gabe Newell is disappointed in this regard. 

“We certainly can deliver a lot of value to customers to the degree to which we have those capabilities,” Newell told Eurogamer.

“The PS3, obviously we made a lot more progress with that. The PS3 customers of Portal 2 are going to start to see the benefits of that with Portal 2 DLC coming out in September. So we’d really like to be able to do that for Xbox customers as well.”

“The main thing is having Microsoft get comfortable with it and let us do it,” said Newell.

“Right now, there’s a huge amount of updates and free content we’ve been able to deliver to people who have The Orange Box that we haven’t been able to deliver to the Xbox because of the restrictions that have been placed on us on Xbox Live.

“We’d love to see those relaxed. Other developers on the PS3 are starting to benefit from Sony’s more open approach. Hopefully that will help Microsoft see that’s a good strategy for making customers happy, that the barbarians won’t tear down the walls of Xbox and turn it into some chaotic wasteland.”

How Microsoft responds to this request is still up in the air, but Valve has not been completely unsuccessful in dealing with consoles before.  Newell’s noted frustrations with Sony pre-E3 2010 were well publicized.  Today though, Valve has a working relationship with Sony that has brought significant content to the PS3 via Steamworks integration.