Three names usually come to mind when discussing the greats of PC gaming—Riot Games, Epic Games, and Valve. Valve is especially known for being Steam's owner, the biggest digital distributor in the PC gaming industry.
In addition to being the developers of Steam, they’re also behind extremely successful gaming franchises such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Dota.
Valve was founded in 1996 by former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell (also known as Gaben because of his work email) and Mike Harrin. The release of Half-Life instantly boosted its popularity for its realism and seamless narrative. Even today, many gamers consider it to be one of the greats.
By 2012, Valve employed around 250 people and was, according to several reports, worth over US$3 billion. Most of Valve's revenue comes from Steam, which controlled 50 to 70% of the market for downloaded PC games in 2011 and generated an estimated $3.4 billion in 2017.
In addition, games like CS:GO, Dota 2, and Team Fortress 2 still have dedicated communities despite them being released years back and there being several newer substitutes for them now, like Riot Games’ Valorant and LoL.
More recently, Valve has come out with the Steam Deck, a portable gaming computer that is able to run most of the Steam library. The real appeal of it, however, is its open software which allows players to install compatible software and games to it easily.
Over the years, Valve has developed and published many successful titles that have gone on to become massive franchises. The most popular of them, however, are:
As for what Valve is best known for, it’s easily Steam. Of course, having over 100 million monthly active users is no easy feat, but they’ve managed to pull it off.
If you’re planning on starting any Valve developed game, then we’d recommend you start with CS:GO. Not only is it free to play and beginner friendly, but we have a CS:GO guide for beginners that will help you get a head start.
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