Free To Play is the film made by Valve to promote eSports and particularly Dota. The documentary follows three pro-gamers from different ends of the world as they compete in the first Dota 2 International Tournament - the tournament had a $1 million top prize and cemented Dota 2 as a top eSports game.
I’ve been intrigued by Valve’s Steam controller since they first showed the thing off. With its odd haptic controls and embedded screen, it’s meant to give PC gamers that precision aiming control they’re used to from their old-fashioned, outdated, better-suited-to-spreadsheets mouse-and-keyboard combos. Since inception, it’s been changed, losing its screen; looking more and more like a traditional controller with every iteration. Above is one of the older prototypes. Here’s what it looks like now.
I thoroughly enjoyed The International 3 last year. The compendium was really cool, offering spectators all kinds of interesting benefits and boosting the prize pool at the same time. All the top teams went head to head, making for some excellent Dota to watch. Valve has yet to announce the date for this year's tournament, but it may be sooner than you think.
We know that Valve has more than just a middling interest in Virtual Reality. They introduced an entire Virtual Reality SDK in to Steam, and they’ve had a meeting or two with Rift VR, the people behind the Oculus Rift. They’ve got their own VR tech – and according to those who’ve used it, it’s life-changing stuff.
I love fantasy sports. Okay, that sounds strange, but it's true! Pick your dream team of players and then see how they perform throughout the season. It's always been big in baseball and football (the American style), and Gavin claims it has even come to Rugby in the latest and greatest SuperBru. But now it's becoming standard fare in eSports.
Every generation, there comes a sperts person who can spert better than the other sperts people who want to sperts more sperts points than anyone else. Many of those athletes have become the basis for an inspirational sperts movie or two. Now, DOTA 2 is getting a chance to show the world just how good at sperting, it really is.
I love internet conspiracies - they are fun and silly and outlandish. My favorite are all the Half Life 3 fake mathematics to prove that the game is actually coming. But Gearbox isn't going to let you do that to Borderlands 3. It just isn't in development.
You know that old, pathetic laptop that you love dearly but really can't run any games anymore? Well, it's about to get a breath of new life - Steam In-Home Streaming lets you use your over-powered gaming rig to do the heavy lifting.
Steam dev days are, um, steaming along in Seattle at the moment. It's a strictly "no press allowed" event, but the power of twitter is strong. Gotta love developers keeping us informed - we even got a pretty picture of the updated Steam controller.
No longer in the realm of vapourware, the Steam Machines have been revealed. Some of them are really rather pretty, although the price tag also reveals quite an asking price. As cool as these look, I might just buy the controller separately and build my own Steam Machine.
The Valve business approach is a unique one. Essentially, they recruit a bunch of the best minds, give them a desk with wheels and plenty of freedom to work with anyone they want on any project that they find interesting. Valve CEO and co-founder, Gabe Newell explains that the company works well because of this ethos - but it also means we probably won't be seeing another Half Life.
Well, at least on Steam.
According to the official Steam & Game Stats page for Valve’s game distribution service, the number of concurrent Steam users hit an all-time high on 12/29/13 with a peak of 7,679,815.
Valve has recently released a new feature to their Steam service that was requested by publishers - and it’s not one we as gamers are going to enjoy.