John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Steam Punk’d: Google to (Not) Buy Valve

“Well-placed sources” tell The Inquirer that Google is in talks to acquire video game developer Valve Software. Which seems a bit unorthodox, even for a company as capricious as Google. What would Google (GOOG) want with a game company? Surely it doesn’t plan to plaster the Half-Life universe with mesothelioma AdWords.

Well, perhaps it does. But more likely it’s after Valve for its Steam distribution platform. With its robust digital rights management scheme and a Distributed File System that allows games to launch before they’ve been fully downloaded, Steam is likely the the premier digital distribution network for computer games. Were Google to acquire it, the company could expand it to encompass all manner of digital goods.

UPDATE: Reached for comment, Valve described The Inquirer’s report as a “rumor” and then dismissed it as a “complete fabrication.” Guess those sources weren’t so well-placed, after all.