A Forbes Magazine profile of Gabe Newell, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Valve, has revealed some incredibly interesting financial and market statistics for his company and its constantly growing marketplace arm, Steam. Valve, the developing team behind titles like Team Fortress, Half-Life and Portal, released the Steam software in 2003. It’s been nothing but crazy growth since.
According to this Forbes profile, Steam has over 30 million customers. That total is only bested by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Go figure, those are the companies with physical platforms. Steam has become synonymous with PC gaming. And, given the size in relation to console manufacturers, Steam is practically a console or platform entirely in and of itself.
Steam, according to Newell, controls 70% of the downloadable market on the PC platform. Given the fact that the marketplace sells games from just about every publisher, their own catalogue and independent developers, it’s almost a no-brainer that its control of the space is so massive.
Per employee, Valve is said to be more profitable than Google and Apple. The company is valued conservatively between $2 billion and $4 billion. As Forbes points out, Newell owns half of Valve and is either very close to becoming or already a billionaire.
Valve has become a titan in the gaming industry. It and its Co-Founder Newell have earned unending respect from publishers and retail outlets. Forbes has it from EA Chief Riccitiello concerning why Newell succeeds:
“I don’t know what would be the right expression . . . maniacally focused?”
And they managed to secure compliments from the most major physical retail chain in the States. GameStop President Tony Bartel:
“They’ve really ridden a trend and led a trend. There are other people who have tried to get into this space, but they haven’t done it with the elegance that Steam has.”
Steam and Valve have become deservedly massive. The company has orchestrated a fantastic competitor in the publishing and retail market.