There are thousands of companies in the massive gaming industry, who seem to be in a constant struggle to get on top of the gaming world.
Many gamers argue that it is the company that makes the best console, for example Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony, who controls the industry. Others claim that the strongest company creates the most impressive games, like Ubisoft, Naughty Dog, etc. Another theory is that companies whom projects have had the largest impact on society are the true victors, like Mojang.
There are a multitude of other reasons why a certain company is listed higher than the other, but looking into the extremely competitive industry of gaming it seems there is a single company that towers over the others, with achievement after achievement this company controls many aspects of the gaming world. Clearly the victor is Valve. Valve is the best company in Gaming, and here’s why :
Steam is a free program that allows PC gamers to purchase over 2,000 different games and have them digitally downloaded into a personal gaming library. Meaning that there is no need to go to a store to purchase games anymore. In addition, Steam will record what games have been purchased allowing users to uninstall and re-install games purchased through Steam.
There are many more features that make Steam a very unique program. For example, games can be sent as gifts to friends and the Steam Greenlight section allows gamers to vote on awesome games they want to see Valve help fund. However what truly makes Steam so amazing is that the program basically saved PC gaming. Before Steam, PC gaming was slowly becoming unpopular. It quickly became a hassle to manage which games were installed and which disc needed to be used to start the game, it seemed much easier to just get a console, as it was cheaper than a gaming computer. The release of Steam ended that thinking. Swiftly PC gaming came back and as of today, Steam has 54 million accounts. Also meaning 54 million accounts that have to go through Valve.
There is no doubt that Valve has produced the most compelling and amazing pieces of art through their game development team.
Every gamer can recall the first time they were stumped winding through Aperture Laboratories in Portal, and their first hunter attack in Left 4 Dead. My point is Valve’s games have made the greatest impact on the gaming industry.
Hardly a single day goes by where a T-shirt involving a Valve game reference isn’t seen in public. However, these same games were also extremely innovative to the gaming world, before Portal and Half-Life, industries could never imagine teleporting around the map or altering physics with anti-gravity gun. Moreover, modding was never taken very seriously, until Valve turned their fans’ fun creations into amazing games. Currently I would not be enjoying the charming and witty game that is Team Fortress 2 if Valve hadn’t embraced the original mod for Quake.
Source Gaming Engine
Valve’s revolutionary source engine premiered in 2004 with Counter Strike: Source and was used again for the insanely popular game Half-Life 2. However, instead of building a new engine every couple years like most companies do nowadays, Valve simply continued to upgrade and update the engine to be continuously used. That plan has allowed the source engine to contain great properties and advancements that may not have been included otherwise.
As a result, the engine has been used in a large variety of games for the last few years. It is also refereed to as the engine that does it all because of its multitude of abilities and functions. Below is a list of the technologies and power that the engine holds. (This list is derived from Wikipedia and all credit of this list belongs to sources derived from Wikipedia)
The Source engine implements the following technologies:
- Direct 3D rendering on Microsoft Windows PCs, Xbox and Xbox 360, OpenGL rendering on Mac OS X, Linux and the PlayStation 3.
- High Dynamic Range Rendering, or HDR.
- Lag-compensate client server networking model
- Network-enabled and Bandwidth-efficient physics engine (derived from Havok)
- Scalable multiprocessor support
- Pre-computed radiosity lighting and dynamic shadow maps Deffered lighting is supported on consoles.
- Facial animation system. Lip-sync using the system is auto-generated and localizable
- Blended skeleton animation system, including inverse kinematics
- Water flow effects
- Dynamic 3D wounds
- Alpha to coverage edge smoothing for foliage etc.
- Map-logic scripting with Squirrel(programming language)
- Significant source code access for mod teams
- Distributed map compiler
- Cloth simulation (introduced in Dota 2)
In all aspects of gaming, Valve is involved and flourishes. Not only do they create the games that we hold so close to our hearts, but they help us manage them in a PC saving program. Valve truley does it all in the gaming industry and deserves to be referred to as the best. As long as they can continue the amazing advancement of Steam and the source engine, and hopefully get over their fear of the number 3, Valve could stay at the top of the Gaming Industry for a long time to come.
As always thanks for reading and God bless,