Last week, a major South Korean newspaper, JoongAng, reported that the Seoul based developers Nexon – responsible for titles such as Maple Story and Vindictus - and NCSoft – creators of Lineage and Aion, as well as the publisher of ArenaNet‘s Guild Wars and its recent sequel – met with Valve in Hawaii on September 26th to discuss a deal that would see the Half-Life and Left 4 Dead developer sold to the Korean companies for $893 million. If true, this would have not only seen Valve sold for much less than what it’s worth, considering its successes, but also likely would have meant drastic changes to the digital distribution juggernaut Steam.
Speaking to GamesIndustry International last Friday, Valve writer Chet Faliszek assured fans that this alleged talk of sale – much like the rumours regarding Valve’s sale to both Apple and EA – was completely fabricated. He also said that, in addition to the rumour being categorically false, it was entirely bewildering, especially given the timing. Earlier this month, Valve founder and managing director Gabe Newell spoke in an interview to the New York Times, in which he outright stated the unlikelihood of Valve ever being sold:
Mr. Newell said that there was a better chance that Valve would ‘disintegrate,’ its independent-minded workers scattering, than that it would ever be sold. “It’s way more likely we would head in that direction than say, ‘Let’s find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate.” – New York Times
Clearly, though, this has done nothing to alleviate the belief that the wildly successful video game giant will eventually be sold. Perhaps this belief is due to the recent merging of big-name developers with less-than-loved publishers – EA’s acquisition of Bioware, and the 2008 merging of Activision and Vivendi, creating Activision Blizzard, come to mind. Whatever the real reason is, (Faliszek stated that he’s not sure where the rumours of a possible sale of Valve keep coming from), fans should, at least for the time being, not worry too much about them. As of right now, according to Chet Faliszek, there is no chance of Valve going anywhere anytime soon:
“There’s no thoughts about that – everyone likes working there, we like working together we like the culture we have and the way it works because of all the parts of it. We’re not changing any of that, we’re pretty happy. We’re doing OK.”