Company:  Valve

Advertising as Art: Free To Play isn't a documentary, but it is a fascinating experience

Apr 7, 2014

If a documentary is meant to provide an objective view of real-life stories, Free to Play is an utter failure. It's a puff piece -- a bit of advertising meant to show the positive influence of a product.

Free to Play is a "documentary" about Dota 2 made by Valve, the proprietors of Dota 2. As a result you shouldn't really expect it to provide a negative or even balanced depiction of their own product and, more specifically, esports.

Snippets of match announcers and interviews with team managers constantly drive home just how big, how swift, how valid professional gaming has become. It may be true; I quite enjoy it myself, so I can’t entirely deny that it’s something worth exploring. However, it’s a story that’s perhaps best not taken at face value from the people who stand to profit most.


Of course, that doesn't mean the stories on display are bad, or the film itself uninteresting. In fact, it's a quite well-put-together little piece that provides a fascinating, if not particularly fair, view of three young people exploring a new form of entertainment.

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BlackSoul backpedals its way into Steam Early Access (and that’s worrisome)

Mar 5, 2014


BlackSoul: Extended Edition is available on Steam. At first it was labeled as a complete game, but now it’s made the jump – retroactively – to Early Access. What happened?

 According to the developer, as well as the Steam community, the game was released in a rather dire state.

The developer stated in an email that “we are receiving a lot of feedback and we found the game still need some more work to make it more enjoyable, so our decision is to keep supporting it with further updates...”

The email was apparently sent to multiple publications that received review codes for the game. It goes on to say the game “might also switch to Early Access,” although it seems they chose to do so rather quickly, as the game is now listed as such on Steam.


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Valve announces over a dozen first-generation Steam Machines

Jan 7, 2014

It’s a brand new year, so that means brand new information on Valve’s innovative Steam Machines! We’ve known that the “Steam boxes” have been coming for a little while now, specifically designed to bring the popular computer-based gaming service directly to your living room. But until this very moment, all we had to go on was a few pieces of ominous concept art that showcased different-shaped boxes at the heart of various entertainment centers.

Well today Valve has announced over a dozen different Steam Machines that gamers will be able to pick up at some point in 2014. The upcoming “first generation” of Steam Machines is being produced by 14 of today’s biggest hardware manufacturers, including Alienware, Origin PC, and Falcon NW. What’s great about this is that gamers will have a wide range of choices when determining which Steam Machine is the best fit for their own playing style, and taking into consideration things like hardware specifications and pricing points.


For instance, certain models of the Steam Machine will be starting out as low as $499, like those from iBuyPower or CyberPower PC. But if you’re really into building powerful gaming machines and have the money to spend, then a Falcon NW model can cost you anywhere from $1,799 to $6,000. The interesting thing is that each different Steam Machine looks vastly different in appearance, depending on the manufacturer, and each one will come packaged with Valve’s groundbreaking SteamOS controller.

You can find out more information on the upcoming first generation of Steam Machines by visiting the official Steam website, and you can download a full product sheet complete with images and specifications of the first line of hardware by clicking right over here.

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Multiple Steam machines coming in 2014

Sep 25, 2013

On Monday we told you that Valve would be dishing out its very own operating system called SteamOS, with the promise of being able to run on any “living room machine.” Well now we finally have some sort of idea as to what those mysterious living room machines will be, as Valve shed some light today on the proverbial “Steam Box.” And as it turns out, it looks like we’ll have multiple Steam boxes to look forward to in the New Year.

There will reportedly be several different models of Steam gaming machines to choose from, and if the artwork on the official announcement page is anything to go by, then it looks like you’ll have your choice from a variety of different colored and rectangular-shaped hardware. There’s no word yet on what kinds of specific factors will differentiate the various models of the Steam machine, other than being made by different manufacturers, but Valve promises more information on this very soon (as well as a screenshot of what the actual prototype will look like in person!).


All of the upcoming Steam machine models will be running on the new SteamOS operating system once they’re released to the masses sometime in 2014. However, there’s also a chance that you could be one of the very lucky few who will be chosen to test out a new Steam box as early as this year! Valve will be shipping out a limited run of 300 free Steam boxes before 2013 is over, so players have a chance to test it out and provide Valve with valuable feedback about the new system, as well as SteamOS.

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Valve unveils SteamOS; a new Linux-based operating system for your living room

Sep 23, 2013

The first of three mysterious announcements from Valve has been unveiled today, and it looks like Steam will be getting a brand new free operating system designed to take advantage of your TV and your living room. It’s certainly the next logical step for the innovative gaming company after the recent success of their Steam Big Picture Mode.

The newly coined “SteamOS” will use a Linux-based architecture combined with a Steam gaming experience that is fine-tuned for the big screen. But the best part about the new operating system so far? The fact that Steam OS will be available as a “free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.”


The official announcement page for SteamOS tells us that the operating system is capable of running on “any living room machine,” and that it will come with a significant performance upgrade that not only increases the breadth of graphics processing, but also audio performance as well.

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DOTA 2 Walkthrough

Jul 30, 2013

DOTA 2 is a free-to-play action strategy game developed by Valve. Fight together with the team to destroy the opposing team’s ancient, while defending your own. Gamezebo’s quick start strategy guide will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to play your best game.

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Valve introduces Steam Trading Cards

Jun 27, 2013

Just when we thought Valve has managed to add every feature imaginable on their popular online gaming service, Steam, they go and surprise us once again by introducing Steam Trading Cards: a new customizable and interactive system that rewards players for the amount of time they spend playing their favorite Steam games. 

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Calm your inner arsonist with this Balloonicorn plushie

May 8, 2013

Pity the poor Pyro from Team Fortress 2. He (or she—or it) simply wants his rivals to join him in the splendor of “Pyroland,” but his delirious kindness actually leads him to burn up everyone and everything he encounters. But now you can take home one piece of Pyroland without winding up in a burn ward afterwards: The bouncy, fluffy Balloonicorn.

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Valve unveils the sixth set of Greenlight-approved games

Apr 17, 2013

Valve has announced the sixth batch of Greenlight games to make the transition to Steam. With 18 games in total – as well as two pieces of software – it’s one of the biggest groups yet.

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Steam announces Early Access program

Mar 21, 2013

Have you ever wanted to be a video game tester? I mean, playing all those new games before anyone else just seems like the best job in the world (except for writing about games, that is!). Well if you’re a Steam user, then today is your lucky day. 

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