Publishers and developers of Steam, Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Dota 2

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Von: Peer Schmidt

Valve Logo © valve

Valve is one of the most well-known publishers and developers in the gaming industry. All about history and the most famous titles.

Bellevue, Washington – The gaming industry has experienced tremendous development over the last few decades and Valve is one of the most prominent names in this industry alongside companies like EA, Nintendo or Activision. The company was founded in 1996 by Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington. Newell, who has spent most of his life in the software industry, previously worked at Microsoft, where he was a lead developer involved in the development of Windows 95. Gabe Newell’s net worth is estimated at $3.9 billion (as of 2023).

Company name and headquarters Valve, Bellevue, Washington, United States
Founder: Gabe Newell, Mike Harrington
Founding: August 24, 1996, Kirkland, Washington, United States
President: Gabe Newell
Subsidiaries: Star Filled Studios Inc., Campo Santo, Impulsonic, Inc.

Valve: Foundation and well-known games of the publisher and developer

Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Valve has developed and published many popular games over the years. One of Valve’s most famous games is Half-Life, which was first released in 1998. The game was a huge success, winning several awards including PC Gamer’s Game of the Year. The Half-Life franchise has since grown into an important part of the gaming world.

One of the early Valve images - The familiar red hand-ratchet valve on the back of the head was a trademark for a long time
One of the early Valve images – The familiar red hand-ratchet valve on the back of the head has long been a © Valve trademark

Another well-known game from Valve is Counter-Strike. Originally developed as a modification of Half-Life, Counter-Strike became a standalone game and has become one of the most popular first-person shooter games. Counter-Strike has also been an important part of the emerging eSports scene as it is typically played at many professional gaming events. Valve recently announced Counter-Strike 2.

Valve lands a MOBA hit with Dota 2 and launches “The International”

Dota 2 is another well-known game from Valve and is considered by many to be one of the best MOBA games. Dota 2 has a huge and dedicated community that regularly participates in tournaments and competitions. Valve has also organized the annual Dota 2 Championships (The International), which has millions of dollars in prize money up for grabs.

Over the years, the company has developed and published a variety of games:

  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force (expansion for Half-Life)
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift (expansion for Half-Life)
  • Counter-Strike
  • Team Fortress Classic
  • Ricochet
  • Day of Defeat
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One (expansion for Half-Life 2)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two (expansion for Half-Life 2)
  • Portal
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Alien Swarm
  • Portal 2
  • Dota 2
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Counter-Strike 2

Valve has also contributed to the development of other games, including some games not published by Valve, such as Deathmatch Classic and Condition Zero.

A key part of Valve’s success is the development and management of the Steam platform. Steam is a digital distribution platform for computer games published by Valve in 2003. Since then, Steam has become one of the most important distribution platforms for computer games and offers a variety of games ranging from independent developers to large studios.

Steam as a digital sales platform for video games by Valve

One of Steam’s most important features is the ability to download and install games digitally. This eliminates the need for physical media such as CDs or DVDs. Steam also offers a variety of social features such as groups, friends lists, and chat, allowing players to connect and collaborate.

Steam Logo
Steam Logo © Valve

Valve has also tried to make the Steam platform a place where developers and players can work together to improve games. Steam offers developers the opportunity to publish their games through Early Access programs, where players can provide feedback and participate in the development of the game.

Gabe Newell and Steam controversies

In recent years, Valve and Gabe Newell have faced several controversies, mostly related to the moderation of content on the Steam platform and the delay in the release of Half-Life 3.

Critics said the relaxation of moderation rules resulted in inappropriate content being available on the platform. Half-Life 3’s delay caused disappointment and frustration among fans as the game was never officially announced or released. Some have criticized Valve’s working conditions and support for indie developers, but the company has since taken steps to improve these.

Overall, Valve has gained tremendous prominence in the gaming industry over the years. The company has developed some of the most popular games and built one of the most important distribution platforms for computer games. Valve remains an important name in the gaming industry and is expected to continue to play an important role in the future. With the announcement of Counter-Strike 2, which is played on the Source 2 engine, the company has taken an important step into the future.

This article was created with the help of machines and carefully checked by editor Peer Schmidt before publication.