Saturday, March 7, 2009

Apple Should Buy Valve

Apple should buy Valve, the makers of Half Life, Portal and Team Fortress 2.

I can already hear a lot of you saying "You're crazy! Valve doesn't even make software for the Mac. Why should Apple waste money on that?"

The answer is simple: Steam

Think of it this way: What are the major entertainment sources for Americans? Movies, Television, Music, Sports and ..... Games.

Apple already dominates Movies, Television and Music sales through iTunes. Dominates. Games are the next frontier.

Steam is the iTunes of Games. A simple way to buy games online, instantly. Imagine if Apple could incorporate this into iTunes. They would be the entertainment company. A market leader in four of the five major diversions for the US (let's forget about sports -- for now).

Apple has the influence to push game publishers to release their games on iSteam. From Half Life to Diablo III, Call of Duty and Left 4 Dead -- all available for download on your PC or Mac at a moment's notice. And Apple get a cut of every sale. It's a gold mine.

This alone would be reason enough to buy Valve. But it gets better. As the owner of Valve, Apple could also push them to release their games for the Mac as well. Apple has long claimed that they were serious about gaming on the Mac, but reality has shown otherwise. This could change everything.

Imagine Team Fortress 3 being released on the Mac a month before the Windows version? Imagine a Mac version of Half Life 3 released day and date with the Windows version? Imagine Portal 2 on the 50" plasma in your local Apple store?

Yes, it may sound crazy at first, but the more I think about it, the more it makes a ton of sense.


Zachary said...

I was thinking this as well. Except I feel that after the theoretical purchase, Apple should build a compatibility layer similar to crossover. This would allow games deployed through steam to have access to both pc and mac users with little to no extra effort from the developers. This makes steam more attractive to content providers. Apple could then quietly upgrade the graphic capabilities of apple tv, and they have themselves a console.

Bryan said...

Anything Apple can do to make it easier for developers to create games for the Mac would be a good thing.

Traditionally developers don't like middleware though. They prefer to write close to the metal so the games run faster. They tolerate things like DirectX and the Unreal Engine because it cuts out so much time they'd otherwise need to develop graphics, but I'm not sure a compatibility layer would fly.

With the latest rumors that Apple is interested in purchasing Electronic Arts (EA), they could make themselves into a game contender. I hope this is a trend they pursue.