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Gabe Newell’s AMA Round-up!

News & Rumors Valve

A while back Gabe Newell stated that if The Heart of Racing charity reached $500,000+ in donations, he’d host an AMA session on Reddit. And a few days ago, they passed said stretch goal, and Gabe went on to announce that an AMA would be held on March 3rd at 1:00 PM PST.

17,000 users visited the IAmA subreddit, waiting for Gabe Newell to start the show. And they waited for a while, but nothing happened. Well, at least not for another 25 hours – then it started. Valve time, ladies and gentlemen.

Nevertheless, it happened. Erik Wolpaw, Erik Johnson, Ido Magal, Greg Coomer and Gabe Newell all sat down to answer the question that the fans might have. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting answers we got.

Gabe Newell’s AMA Round-up!

When is Ricochet 2?

Gabe Newell: When we announced our products years in advance in the past and then were really late delivering them, it was pretty painful for both us and the community. We’d rather not repeat that.

This is pretty much nothing we haven’t heard before. The troubles Valve had with the release of Half-Life 2 are the biggest reason for their complete silence about Half-Life 3. It will be the task of history to determine which was worse when the game finally comes out.

Hi, Gabe! I’ve got a question about Steam Music. Forgive me if this isn’t your area, or whatever.

Is it possible for some sort of integration with services like Pandora and Spotify, in the future? I don’t have a music library, per se, and mostly just use internet radio, so it’d be great if I didn’t have to alt tab to change stations or skip songs. Could this happen?

Gabe Newell: Yes, we’ve got some things in the works that we think you’ll like.

Steam has been Valve’s signature product since the launch of the Orange Box, and significant updates to the platform are released quite regularly – this was just a confirmation that there’s a lot more down the line.

What improvements will we see out of the Source 2 engine?

Gabe Newell: The biggest improvements will be in increasing productivity of content creation. That focus is driven by the importance we see UGC having going forward. A professional developer at Valve will put up with a lot of pain that won’t work if users themselves have to create content.

Hammer, the Source engine’s development kit (and the source of the term “Hammer Legion member”) was designed to be user-friendly, flexible and completely open for anyone. Unfortunately, optimization issues and the need to support decade-old computers meant that the public version of Hammer was notoriously difficult to create content with, and one of the primary motivations for Valve to move on to Source 2 was to create a brand new set of tools for users.


We haven’t heard any more about lower cost Steam Boxes for streaming from existing hardware. Is that something that’s still on the agenda?

Gabe Newell: Yes. We’re making some progress.

The Steam Box has the potential to be revolutionary because of its modular hardware, open-source philosophy and cross-platform lineage. The one problem is that it’s designed for people who enjoy both PC and console gaming, meaning that by necessity they already own both a PC and a console. A lower-cost alternative for those who just want an easy interface between their computer and TV would be a product with much higher demand, which makes it seem strange how few signs of it we’ve seen since its announcement.

Are there any plans to offer a solution so that we can legitimately run WINE instances of Windows games on GNU/Linux through the native GNU/Linux Steam client?

Gabe Newell: WINE is definitely a useful tool for some things, but we’re taking what we think is a more sustainable position by asking game developers to support Linux and SteamOS natively, for current and future titles. We think this is mostly what gamers want, too. It puts more power into the hands of developers and will result in better quality games in the end.

Hi! First of all, thanks for bringing Steam on Linux.
1) Do you use Linux in your everyday life? If so, what is your distro of choice?
2) Do you think that in the long run Linux will not only be the future of gaming, but also the future of desktop?
3) Is Valve planning to release any exclusive for SteamOS?
Thanks in advance for your time!

Gabe Newell: 1) Debian. 2) Probably. 3) No.

How do you feel about the Internet’s obsession with you?

Gabe Newell: It’s entertaining for my friends.

GabeN, what are your specs?

Gabe Newell: Well, I’m a handsome man with a charming personality.

Now, these are just a hand-full of the questions that Gabe and friends decided to answer so head over to the original thread for more. The AMA isn’t officially over, so there’s a chance even more questions will be answered.

Article Sources

Article by Ooiman and Lilgreenman

Gabe Newell AMA on Reddit


  1. “How do you feel about the Internet’s obsession with you?”
    “It’s entertaining for my friends.”

    I’ll bet. It must be strange having half the internet obsess over you.

  2. Thanks a lot!

  3. Such a weak AMA…

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