1. This is such a good interview. Have we ever heard Newell talk about Valve’s hardware R&D lab before?

    (Unfortunate that he sidestepped the owning vs. licensing questions w/r/t Steam with a sort of nonsense “I’m no lawyer” statement, but I suppose it wouldn’t have been prudent for the interviewer to try a third time to elicit a meaningful response. It’s the one bitter pill at the center of all Steam’s offerings.)

  2. I’m really impressed, but not surprised, with the quality of the Penny Arcade Report stuff so far. Ben Kuchera does really excellent work.

  3. Ben Kuchera was an excellent hire, I agree. It’s nice to see PA use their money on forward-thinking ideas like the PA Report.

    I think Newell knows well enough that no answer short of “yes we guarantee ownership in perpetuity” will placate anyone who cares, so why bother answering at all? I didn’t think much about the ownership thing until recently, assuming it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t do anything outright stupid, but the recent stories about people losing their accounts due to hackers or borderline-questionable gifting have me concerned. It would be easier to swallow if there was a transparent appeals process, but it seems completely opaque and arbitrary.

  4. For what it’s worth, my guess is that the person who lost access due to borderline-questionable gifting was likely doing something shady, but I’m not sure it was ever made clear whether he was accused of something like taking advantage of arbitrage between different markets (against the terms of service, but still bad PR for Valve to subsequently remove access to his entire library of already-installed games) or actual credit card fraud (in which case I guess I wouldn’t care, assuming there’s a viable appeals process).

    The bigger fear would be one day when Steam’s authentication servers go offline, but I suppose Piracy can fill that breach and mend all grievances. Hopefully the internet won’t be a complete surveillance state by that point.

  5. I wish I had professional skills that applied to making games just so I could make working at Valve my Ultimate Career Goal.

  6. nobody said : was likely doing something shady

    Yeah I read about it some more and I think you’re right. Losing all those games though… ouch.

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