While checking Natales Urriah’s always informative blog today, I read this post about controversies stirred by Microsoft’s future plans to include Windows Store to the coming release of Windows 8 and how this will affect other companies. In her post Natales links to an article published by the technology news sector of the BBC site, where the author reports comments by Valve’s CEO and former Microsoft employee Gabe Newell. For those of you unfamiliar with Valve, this is the company running Steam, the software distribution system that will soon add Second Life to its vast catalog.
What caught my attention is this part of the article:
Mr Newell said Valve was preparing for the future in other ways. In particular, he said, it was trying to make tools and services that players could use to make games and gaming more fun for everyone.
“We think the future is very different [from] successes we’ve had in the past,” he said.
“When you are playing a game, you are trying to think about creating value for other players, so the line between content player and creator is really fuzzy.”
One harbinger of this future was perhaps found, he said, in the success of one Team Fortress player in Kansas who was earning $150,000 (£97,000) a year making virtual hats.
“This isn’t about video games,” he said. “It’s about thinking about goods and services in a digital world.”
This seems to confirm that there is a concerted effort between Valve and Linden Lab and that the direction this is taking is to position SL as a creativity platform with, but not only, gaming elements. And apparently Mr. Newell has a very clear picture of what Valve’s roadmap is. So, allow me to speculate on this but, if plans go as expected, this may even lead to a future acquisition of Linden Lab by Valve.