The History of Valve
Valve_logo Ah, Valve; Gabe Newell, Doug Lombardi, Robin Walker, Marc Laidlaw, and dozens of other writers, artists and programmers whose names are not as recognizable but who are all equally important. For the past decade Valve has been on the forefront of excellence in game development. Very few studios could point out with pride such a long-running and consistent tradition of critically acclaimed, bestselling titles that are always raising the bar for this industry. Combined; over a hundred Game of the Year awards from around the world, one of the most popular online PC games of all time and two flagship titles that have successively held the unofficial stamp of “greatest game ever made” for ten years strong.

But it hasn’t all been flowers and sunshine. Let’s not forget Valve was once guilty of one of the most convoluted and infuriating game delays outside of Duke Nukem Forever, although thankfully for not nearly as long. Come to think of it, just how much do you know about the history of Valve? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? It all starts a little over nineteen years ago..

August 24, 1996
Valve is founded as an L.L.C. in Kirkland, WA by former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington, instrumental minds behind nearly three generations of the Windows operating system. Their first order of business is to acquire the licensing rights to the original Quake engine from id Software, which they immediately fell in love with. This soon becomes the heavily modified Goldsrc engine with roughly 70% of the original code being rewritten.

1996 – 1997
Two teams work on two separate titles to launch the Valve brand; Quiver, an action-packed first-person shooter, and Prospero, a Myst-style adventure drama. Both get relatively far into development and are set for late ’97 release dates.
1997
Gabe Newell begins a long-standing Valve tradition and decides to regroup his creative teams to start from scratch on a single title, combining the drama of Prospero with the action of Quiver in what would be a groundbreaking achievement for the video game industry – an FPS with a decent, coherent storyline. The new project is dubbed Half-Life, which is first shown to the public at the E3 convention to generally appreciative murmurs.
May, 1998
Valve acquires TF Software PTY Ltd., the makers of the original Team Fortress mod for Quake, with the intention of developing and releasing a new stand-alone title, Team Fortress 2. This would ultimately take the company nine years to do.


November 19, 1998
Half-Life is released through Sierra On-Line after some initial difficulty in finding a publisher largely due to Valve’s reputation of being overly ambitious. It quickly becomes a bestseller and wins high critical acclaim, snagging no less than 51 Game of the Year awards from various publications. To this day it is generally regarded as one of the greatest games ever made. In an extra folder on the installation CD could be found Worldcraft, an intuitive level editor that would spawn an unparalleled mod-making revolution.
1999
The first Team Fortress 2 media is released, showing a sharp contrast from the cartoonish original with the much more realistic look of modern combat military games, as well as a “commander” on each team who could oversee and direct their troops. After a while this media is spirited away and Team Fortress 2 becomes vaporware.

1999-2003
With the great success and flood of cash revenue coming in off of Half-Life, programmers set to work on an even heavier modification of the Goldsrc engine. This is technically why all future expansions and titles up until the release of Half-Life 2 are developed by third-parties. The new engine takes several years to finish and would make use of lighting, physics, particle effects and model animation in unprecedented and revolutionary new ways. It is dubbed simply “Source” and thanks to its modular nature it is still receiving amazing new features and upgrades with every new title that uses it. Meanwhile the writing and art teams work very, very secretly on concepts for a sequel to Half-Life.
February 12, 1999
Half-Life: Uplink, the official Half-Life demo, is released. The demo features parts of the original Half-Life that didn’t make the final cut. (See the original press statement here).



March 25, 1999
A small Half-Life mod in development called Counter-Strike moves its official website hosting to Planet Half-Life (then Contaminated.net), a relationship that would last until the release of Steam and the official website being replaced with a Steam Store page.
April 7, 1999
Team Fortress Classic is released. It is essentially a remake of the original Quake mod on Half-Life’s Goldsrc engine, done as a “proof-of-concept” before continuing on with Team Fortress 2’s development. It is packaged with Half-Life version 1.0.0.9 and would be included on all future retail copies of Half-Life thereafter.
 
 
April 22, 1999
Sierra On-Line announces that Half-Life will be made available for the Mac platform later in the year. The port was being developed by Logicware, a company known for successful Macintosh game ports and development. After exhaustive work and nearly going gold, the port is ultimately abandoned.
June 18, 1999
Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe release the first public beta of their team-based multiplayer mod Counter-Strike. It is an instant hit with hundreds, if not thousands of players in just weeks.
 
 
 
October 31, 1999
Half-Life: Opposing Force is released. This expansion pack, developed by third-party Gearbox Software, takes players out of Gordon Freeman’s H.E.V. suit and puts them into the combat boots of Corporal Adrian Shephard, one of the Marines sent in to clean out Black Mesa. New characters, aliens and weapons set in a lengthy campaign make it a worthy successor to Half-Life.
April 12, 2000
Valve announces it has “teamed up with” (read: hired) the Counter-Strike development team.
November 8, 2000
Counter-Strike 1.0 is released through Valve, launching one of the largest multiplayer trends of all time. To this day CS 1.6 (the last version update prior to its move to the Source engine) is the most played online PC game excluding MMORPGs. As a side effect, Valve also unintentionally creates one of the most annoying Internet subcultures ever.
November 20, 2000
Gunman Chronicles, originally just an ambitious Half-Life mod, is released as a stand-alone retail game. GC is the first and only one of two games to use the Goldsrc engine that isn’t an official Half-Life title (the other being James Bond 007: Nightfire). The game was largely overlooked by the gaming world and retains few players today due to the fact that the multiplayer used the now-defunct WON network and was never supported by Steam.
January 12, 2001
In another mod milestone, the first public beta of Day of Defeat is released. Unlike Counter-Strike, it would take a few years before Valve began official sponsorship.
June 12, 2001
Half-Life: Blue Shift, originally intended to be a Sega Dreamcast exclusive, is released as a PC exclusive. This second, stand-alone expansion pack puts the player in the shoes of Barney Calhoun, the first security guard you see knocking on the door near the tram tracks in the very first scene of the original game. We know he’s not the one who owes Gordon a beer, but continuity wasn’t all that Blue Shift was lacking. To make up for its 3-hour length and other shortcomings, it’s apologetically packaged with Opposing Force and a shiny new “high-definition” model pack upgrade. It receives lukewarm reviews at best.
March 22, 2002
At the Game Developers’ Conference, Valve unveils Steam, which at the time is simply intended to be a digital distribution service. There is no mention made of any of the other features it would ultimately ship with.
2003
Valve, L.L.C. becomes the Valve Corporation and moves headquarters from Kirkland to Bellevue, WA.
May 1, 2003
Valve releases Day of Defeat as an official mod. While it never gains the popularity of Team Fortress Classic or Counter Strike, it nevertheless sets a new standard for all World War 2 games to come.
May, 2003
After countless rumors, Half-Life 2 is officially announced and previewed at E3. Showing off the years of work that went into the Source engine, many a jaw hits the floor as Gabe Newell previews one of the first games ever to use authentic-looking “real world” physics and lighting. If that wasn’t enough, the wait will be mere months with a September, 2003 release date. The entire industry is psyched, let alone fans the world over.
July 14, 2003
The Half-Life 2 Techdemo is released as a streamable video through Steam. Watch it here. [Source]
September, 2003
A German hacker named Axel Gembe breaks into Valve’s secure network undetected and steals pieces of source code as well as small sections of Half-Life 2 which had been shown at E3. The leak is only noticed when copies of it surface on various pirate sites, much to the shock of Valve developers.
September 12, 2003
Steam is released as a non-beta client. Right away users see that it is much more than a simple distribution service, also covering game registration, multiplayer servers and anti-cheat protection. Users also notice that once Steam is installed it acts as an unavoidable launch pad and background program to their Valve games. A general sense of concern begins to rise amongst certain parties…
September 31, 2003
The concern over Steam is nothing compared to the pure rage that unfolds as the last day of September comes and goes without so much as a peep from Valve on the status of Half-Life 2.
October 2, 2003
Gabe Newell posts an apologetic letter on HalfLife2.net explaining publically for the first time that Valve was hacked and small chunks of code as well as levels from Half-Life 2 were stolen, which is why the release has to be pushed to early 2004. He fails to explain why the leaked information shows a very incomplete game, small chunks or not, or how the stellar A.I. shown in E3 video appeared to have been scripted, or even how such a theft could delay a game that was set to be released in mere weeks anyway. He also fails to explain why the password to the secure Valve network was simply “GabeN”. In any event, the break-in is so shocking and unprecedented that the gaming world simply gives Valve a pass.
March 21, 2004
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is released, a stand-alone version of the original mod developed by third-party Turtle Rock Studios, with additional maps and a single-player campaign, which is really just the same multiplayer maps populated with bots.
 
 
April, 2004
Half-Life 2 is delayed once again, this time as far ahead as September 2004, a full year past its initial release date. Kevin “Fragmaster” Bowen, who had inside information he had been withholding due to a non-disclosure agreement, lets loose in a long, infamous rant/resignation letter posted on the PHL forums. He claims that Valve had been deceptive in its marketing and that the first delay had nothing to do with the theft of the source code and everything to do with the fact that Half-Life 2 simply wasn’t finished yet.
May, 2004
In the face of mounting accusations and rumors, Gabe Newell admits that the major delays in the release of Half-Life 2 had little to do with the leak, and that the company was being unrealistic about its progress from the first E3 announcement. He goes on to confirm a 2004 release date is absolutely definite, regardless.
August 11, 2004
To give players an early taste of the Source engine first hand, Valve releases Counter-Strike: Source. In the months leading up to Half-Life 2’s release, thousands of players enjoy the thrills of realistically knocking over barrels and shooting up fruits and vegetables and other small props. For reasons unknown, Counter Strike: Source never takes over Counter Strike 1.6 in terms of popularity. It is also at this time that the full extent of Steam is unveiled, in particular that it will be required to play Half-Life 2 and all other Valve titles from this point on. Some gamers are so incensed that they vow never to buy a Valve product again, no matter how good it is.
September 20, 2004
Instead of a release, fans are let in on the details of a legal battle between Valve and Vivendi Universal Games, who had recently bought out Sierra On-Line and thus had an exclusive distribution contract with Valve. The lawsuit revolves around Steam, which VUG argued would undercut its retail sales, particularly to Asian cyber cafes. The release is delayed once again, this time indefinitely.
November 16, 2004
Much to the shock of many, Half-Life 2 is actually released after many were starting to think it would be the next Duke Nukem Forever. For some, Steam servers crash from so many players trying to authenticate and start up the game at the same time, while others are able to get right into City 17 without a hitch. Despite its sordid release date fiascos and Steam’s technical hiccups, no one can deny the achievements of Valve in creating this game, which goes on to be another bestseller, snags 35 Game of the Year Awards (it had tough competition against Doom 3) and even a Guinness World Record for “Highest Rated Game.” Many publications claim, “It’s fitting that the first game that could knock Half-Life off its pedestal of six years was its own sequel.”
November, 2004
Valve through Prima Games publish “Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar” authored by David Hodgson. Available in both hardback and paperback the book is a collection, comprised of images, notes on game design, game development, cut concepts and employee interviews. The development of Half-Life, Team Fortress, Day of Defeat, Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2 are covered in detail. The book is no longer in print and has become something of a collectable.




2005
Students at the DigiPen Institute of Technology, a tech school for aspiring video game developers, release Narbacular Drop to little public notice. It does not pass by Gabe Newell, however, who hires the students right out of school to develop a more professional version of their game. Meanwhile the Steam catalog begins to expand wildly beyond Valve games, becoming a true pioneer on the digital distribution front.
October 27, 2005
Showing off the Source engine’s modular upgradeability, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, a single-map mission, is released as a technical demonstration of new high dynamic range rendering.
 
 
 
December 26, 2005
Day of Defeat gets a Source engine remake, making special use of several post-processing visual filters to give it that gritty, 1940s war film look.
November 20, 2006
Turtle Rock Studios announces development of a new zombie survival game called Left 4 Dead, to be made on the Source engine.
June 1, 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode One is released, the first of a trilogy of expansion packs that serve as a sequel to Half-Life 2. It contains improved Source features and a lot more of Alyx Vance fighting by your side. Critics and fans love it, yet lament the long stretches that will apparently be in-between releases.
July, 2006
At the E3, Gabe Newell unveils the latest work on Team Fortress 2 after six years of silence. Hardcore Team Fortress Classic fans are outraged by the total 180 taken on its design, many equating it to a “kiddy” Disney-Pixar cartoon. Also unveiled is Portal, the professional retooling of Narbacular Drop and an interesting departure from previous Valve titles.
September 13, 2007
The Steam Community officially launched and provides users with the ability to check stats, plan events, access this information in and outside of a game as well as a VOIP that is part of the Steam overlay that will work in and out of game.

October 10, 2007
The Orange Box,” featuring Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and the long-awaited Team Fortress 2 is released to great acclaim and several more awards. It receives an unprecedented advertising campaign for a Valve release, and thanks in part to a simultaneous release on the Xbox 360, it expands the Valve brand further into “casual” gamer audiences than ever before.
October 11, 2007
Gabe has a small rant about how hard it is to develop on the Playstation 3
January 29, 2008
Valve Release Steamworks, which is a feature rich publishing platform for developers hoping to release their games on Steam. According to Valve it is,
“A complete suite of publishing and development tools – ranging from copy protection to social networking services to server browsing – now available free of charge to developers and publishers worldwide.”
Read the full article including the original press statement here.
January 10, 2008
Valve acquires Turtle Rock Studios specifically to take over the development and release of Left 4 Dead. Spokesman Doug Lombardi also confirms that Portal 2 is already in the works, and that Half-Life 2: Episode Three will take longer than the previous two episodes to develop because it will be a much longer, much more epic game than any installment prior, and that in no uncertain terms it will be the conclusion to the Half-Life series as we know it, “tying up all of the loose ends.” Many fans are quick to try to read between the lines and go into a deep denial about their beloved series eventually coming to a close sooner rather than later.
November 6, 2008
The official Left 4 Dead demo is released exclusively to those who pre-ordered the game. The large number of pre-order sales, almost double that of The Orange Box, ends up causing a massive spike in the Steam distribution servers as thousands of players download the sneak preview, something not generally seen for a demo in the gaming industry at this time.
November 18, 2008
Left 4 Dead is released following a massive $10 million dollar marketing campaign. Its use of the Source engine marks one of the most visually stunning and tactically dynamic games to date.
 
 
November 19, 2008
The Half-Life Era officially becomes a full decade old and is still running strong.
April 21, 2009
Valve try their hand at DLC for the first time. The Left 4 Dead Survival Pack contains a new gameplay mode, 16 maps, leaderboards and 7 new achievements as well as other new versus features. Best of all it is free for those who own the game. Read about it here
May 16, 2009
The Left 4 Dead Authoring Tools are released. Learn about it here.
June 1, 2009
Left 4 Dead 2 is announced at E3 2009 and almost immediately is met with hostility from “fans”. A boycott is setup receiving a huge following of around 37,000 people within the first month. The groups premise was based on…
“The announced content of Left 4 Dead 2 does not warrant a stand-alone, full-priced sequel and should instead become updates (free or otherwise) for Left 4 Dead

June 9 2009
Valve respond to the criticism.
“Looking back, was the Orange Box a rip-off?” He said, on initial complaints at having to “buy” Half-Life 2 again in the compilation. “Give us a fair shake on this, read more about it, find out about it, we’ve already let people play it [at E3]… After that, if you want to vent, post to the forums. We do read them, we read all the forums.”
June 16, 2009
Valve release an update to the Source SDK mainly for Team Fortress 2, providing sources for maps as well as many fixes and optimizations to the overall toolkit.
September, 2009
Under mounting pressure from the community and uncertainties growing as to the original Left 4 Dead’s status Valve flew two of the most prominent members for the boycott group to Valve HQ to playtest the game. Valve assured them that Left 4 Dead would continue to receive updates and free DLC. Both boycotters felt that the game was well done. GabeN and Erik Johnson also flew out to Australia to meet with Joe W-A, a Modder who raised enough funds to pay for their flights to come see him and speak about Left 4 Dead 2.
October 5, 2009
Icefrog the developer behind the Popular Warcraft III mod, Defence of the Ancients [Dota] joins Valve to work on a yet unnamed title. It leads to speculation of a Dota styled MOBA game being developed by Valve.
October 14, 2009
The 40,000+ boycott group was shut down as Valve kept their promise to continue developing content for Left 4 Dead.
November 17, 2009
Left 4 Dead 2 is released. The boycott doesn’t seem to have influenced sales at all as the game sells 2 million copies in merely 2 weeks and becomes as successful if not arguably more so than the original.


April 26, 2010
Steam receives a complete overhaul, shedding its old green shell only to take on a slick, shiny new black one which appears to be more modern and community friendly. Read the official statement here.
May 12, 2010
Valve bring Steam and the Source Engine to MAC, which is a huge boost to MAC as a gaming platform as it has struggled against Windows and even Linux when it comes to gaming.

As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients. The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services.
Read about it here
June 15, 2010
GabeN address’s E3 through the Playstation 3 briefing only to announce Portal 2, and to go back on his previous rant about developing for the Playstation 3.
When the PlayStation 3 was introduced, I was the one of the platform’s biggest critics. However, Sony Computer Entertainment has proved that the PlayStation 3 is the most open platform of all the current generation consoles and has worked extremely hard to make the platform the most desirable for consumers and developers. As such, we are delighted to announce Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 and believe the Steamworks support included will make it the best console version of the game.
July 19, 2010
Valve release Alien Swarm, a free to play, third person co-op alien exterminating game created by an internal mod team Valve had hired, This was the same team that worked on the Unreal Tournament 2004 Mod.

August 12, 2010
Valve files for ownership of the trademark Dota sparking interest from the gaming community and conflict from Blizzard who own the game Warcraft III that the original Dota mod was developed on.


September 10, 2010
Valve begin the public beta of Steam Wallet, which allows you to add funds to a Steam account through the accepted methods for use in buying games.
October 18, 2010
Valve announces that Steam has surpassed the 30 million user’s milestone after it grew a huge 178% in merely 12 months.
The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment
October 18, 2010
Steam Guard comes out of beta and is enabled for all users by default.
With Steam Guard enabled, anyone attempting to login as you from an unrecognized computer or browser must first provide additional, one-time authorization. A special access code will be sent to your contact email address, and this code must be entered into Steam before your first login on an unfamiliar computer is complete. You will also be notified if any login attempts from computers other than those you’ve authorized occur. Steam Guard essentially acts as a form of “User Rights Management,” where you as the user have greater control over access to your stuff.
February 23, 2011
In an interview with Steamcast, GabeN confirms that Valve are working on making the Source SDK easier for everyone.
“[Its] just way too hard to develop content right now, both for ourselves and for third-parties, so we’re going to make enormously easier and simplify that process a lot.
February 24, 2011
Valve introduce the screenshot feature to Steam allowing users to take in game screenshots of their achievements to share through the cloud with their friends.
With 1GB of personal Steam Cloud storage, you can upload thousands of screenshots to show off your best moments for all your friends to see. Or you can make them private if you’d rather keep them to yourself.
April 19, 2011
Portal 2 is released to critical acclaim and after a long ARG conspiracy . It includes a co-op mode and an excellent continuation to the Portal Storyline. It manages to bag more than 30 Game of the Year awards.

May 11 2011
Valve release the Portal 2 Authoring tools.
The Portal 2 Authoring Tools include versions of the same tools we used to make Portal 2. They’ll allow you to create your own singleplayer and co-op maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music.
May 16, 2011
Valve announce Daily Deals for Steam where they will present a game to users daily with a generous reduction in price.
June 12, 2011
Valve announce Facebook integration with Steam which will make it easier for users of both social services to find each other and communicate.
June 23, 2011
Valve announce that Team fortress will now be a Free-to-Play as they test their in game trading Marketplace. Read about it here.
August 1, 2011
The Dota 2 International is announced with a massive $1 million prize. It is to be held in Cologne Gamescom 2011. NaVi go on to win the event.
The International is the first public Dota 2 event and will give the tens of millions of gamers playing Dota around the world their first look at the new game, said Gabe Newell, president and founder of Valve. I have had the good fortune to watch the competitors as they prepare for the tournament, and the level of play is extraordinary.
August 12, 2011
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is announced by Valve.


September 6, 2011
Steam Trading emerges from beta a month after it entered it. It allows players to trade items within games with each other. You can also trade spare games you may have with others.
October 22, 2011
Valve introduce Steam Workshop, a tool that allows the community to submit custom content for games that support the feature set. Team Fortress 2 is one of the first games to support this venture.
November 10, 2011
Steam is hacked and users sensitive data is stolen including credit card information. The forums were also hacked and defaced during the intrusion. You can read more about it here
November 16, 2011
Valve through Dark horse publish The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories a book which is composed of comics from the Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress and Portal universes. Much like Half-Life 2 : Raising the Bar it has become something of a collectors item to Valve fans.



November 30, 2011
Counter Strike: Global Offensive Closed beta starts with roughly 10,000 invited to play.
January 26, 2012
Valve announce Steam for mobile. You can now have Steam on your Android and iOS device.
With the Steam app, gamers around the world may chat with Steam friends, browse community groups and user profiles, view screenshots and user-generated content for their favorite games, read the latest gaming news, stay up to date on unbeatable Steam sales, and more.
March 31, 2012
Valve through Dark horse were set to publish the Portal 2 Artbook but seems to have since been either canceled or pushed into the future. You can see the cancellation here. Check out the images released in a special Kotaku preview here.



May 11, 2012
Valve and Blizzard hash things out over the Dota 2 trademark battle.
“[Valve is] pleased that we could come to an agreement with Blizzard without drawing things out in a way that would benefit no one. We both want to focus on the things our fans care about, creating and shipping great games for our communities.”
Read more here.
June 20, 2012
Valve are to help with the education of students through Portal 2’s Puzzle maker as part of the “Digital Promise” initiative from the US Department of Education. Head over to the website and check it out.
June 27, 2012
The Source Film Maker is released to the public and makes machinima creators lives easier by providing a set of tools similar to that of a video editor but retaining the power and modularity of the Source engine. It was used in the creation of many Team Fortress 2 shorts from Valve. Half-Life 2: Episode 3 artwork is leaked. As to its credibility well you can make your own mind up on that. The artwork can be found here.



August 6, 2012
Evidence of a next-Gen engine under development by Valve enters the limelight. Read more here
August 21, 2012
Counter Strike: Global Offsensive exits beta and is officially released to the public. Check out Valve Times review. It receives for the most part good reviews and is followed by the release of the Authoring tools continuing the legacy of easily the most modded franchise in gaming history.
August 30, 2012
Valve announce Steam Greenlight, a service that gives the community the ability to vote for their favorite mods, indie games, and projects to be ‘Greenlit’ on Steam, giving the greenlit games exposure, a Steampowered store page and Steamworks integration.
Steam Greenlight will allow developers and publishers to post information and media about their game in an effort to convince the Community that their game should be released on Steam. Greenlight piggybacks on Steam Workshop’s flexible system that organizes content and lets customers rate and leave feedback.
August 31, 2012
The second Dota 2 International is held, this year in Seattle during PAX Prime. Again Valves $1 million bounty is up for grabs. Invictus Gaming go on to win this year beating NaVi (last years winners) in the finals.
October 2, 2012
Valve begin selling software through Steam, taking another step towards making Steam a multipurpose platform. 3D Mark11, ArtRage Studio Pro and CameraBag 2 are among the first programs to go on sale.
October 31, 2012
Valve begin closed beta testing of Steam for Linux with some Source Engine games such as Left 2 Dead 2. This marks another step in the direction of supporting multiple platforms and engaging a greater audience.


November 11, 2012
Gabe confirms that Valve are working on the next instance of the Source engine and that they are waiting on a game to role it out with.
December 3, 2012
Big Picture mode is live for the public to use. The bigger UI redesign of Steam allows users to use this mode on large television displays for livingroom gameplay. It has controller support for numerous titles and provides a more streamlined and comfortable environment to use Steam.
December 8, 2012
Gabe speaks about how living room PC’s will be able to compete against consoles in the next few years. Steams Big Picture mode is the first step towards making this a reality.
December 10, 2012
Dota 2 is being tested on tablets according to Gabe.
“We were working on getting Dota 2 running on some tablets,” he said. “That ended up being kind of a disappointment. But the good news is that tablets are getting faster very quickly, so I think we’ll get the kind of performance we want and other game developers want in the near future.”
December 12, 2012
The Steam Market place is launched in open beta. Users can now sell items such as hats in Team Fortress 2 for Steam wallet funds. Learn more about it here.
December 20, 2012
Valve release the Steam for Linux Beta to the public.



January 8, 2013
The Half-Life 1 Alpha Preview disc from 1997 is leaked on the web.


Valves latest venture “Steam Box” is unveiled at CES through the prototype Piston, a small form factor PC that packs a mighty punch.



January 24, 2013
Steam Chat is made available in your browser, a convenient addition to the Steam arsenal of features. Access it here.
February 22, 2013
Steam Pipe, Valves new content distribution system is rolled out. If you already have download your Steam games it will not re-download them but rather convert them to the new format .gcf -> .vpk. Read more here.
March 5, 2013
Steam community gets and update to add user artwork as well as an update to Steam workshop features. Read more here.
May 10, 2013
Valve add linux support to the Half-Life 2 Series of games, This comes shortly after Portal and Left 4 Dead 2 Received the same treatment. Another interesting point of this announcement is that Half-Life 2 now has support for the Oculous rift Virtual Reality headset. Read more here.
May 15, 2013
Steam Trading Cards is revealed and allows players to collect and trade cards that they are rewarded with through their community profile or supported games. Read up on it here.
June 27, 2013
Valve release an update to the Source SDK to include new sources for compiling Linux and OSX versions of the engine. Existing mods can update to Steam pipe through the SDK. This version of the SDK includes support for Virtual reality. Hammer and the other SDK tools will ship with their respective games as the SDK is slowly phased out in favor of each game having their own toolset.
July 5, 2013
Twitch.tv and Steam come together to make it easier for gamers to stream their gaming online. Read about it here.
July 9, 2013
Dota 2 is finally released after 2 years of beta development. The game remains free to play with in game purchases through the Steam workshop.
August 2, 2013
The Third Dota 2 International is held in Seattle. $2.7+ million is up for grabs this year. Alliance of Sweden go on to win the tournament this year.
September 23, 2013
SteamOS, Valves own linux based distribution optimized for gaming performance is announced. The Operating system is set to bring advancements in Steam notably, In-Home streaming, Music, Tv, Movies and Family Sharing options. Read about it here


September 25, 2013
Steam Machines (Called Steam box previously by the community), This is Valves answer to hardware for the living room to compete with consoles. It is a variety of compact PC’s all running SteamOS. 300 go up for grabs through the beta. Learn about it here.
September 27, 2013
Steam Controller, is Valves pitch at a comfortable living room controller for the masses set to rival the comfort and elegance of the Xbox and Playstation controllers. The controller will feature dual haptic feedback trackpads for use in movement and viewing in games. The trackpads can be used to control the mouse cursor for RTS styled games. They can also give sound feedback. Read more here.
November 25, 2013
Steam introduce Steam Reviews which is set to replace the older recommendation function. You can now review any item on Steam for others to read and rate. See here.
December 10, 2013
The Foundry release a Steam version of their popular modeling software “Modo” which can be used in the creation of assets for Dota 2.
January 15, 2014
Steam surpass 75,000,000 active users. Read more here.
January 16-17, 2014
Steam Dev Days is held by Valve as a developer only no press allowed self held conference where they showcase much from the Steam controller, marketing, early access, Greenlight, Virtual reality and more. Read about day one and day two.

January 27, 2014
Left 4 Dead 2’s Plantation re-visualized on Source 2 is leaked to the public. It consists of screenshots showcasing improvements in the Source engine and a possible Left 4 Dead 3. Read more here.
February 8, 2014
A German court rules in favor of Valve and doesn’t force them to change their EULA which would have required Valve to change it in the interest of allowing users of Steam to resell their games onto others.
February 11, 2014
Media from the Steam Devs Days is released on Youtube and presentations are released as PDF’S for the publics viewing pleasure. Head over to the official website now.
February 12, 2014
Tags have been added to the Steam store making it easier to find games that interest you and others. You can even add your own custom tags to games.
March 3, 2014
GabeN stays true to his name and holds an AMA on reddit where he answers questions the public put forward to him. He was only going to hold this conference if the public raise $500,000 for the “Heart of Racing” charity effort. You can read a nicely formatted (thanks to Valvetime) version of the answered questions in PDF.
March 12, 2014
Valve release VOGL a set of crossplatform compatible tools developed by themselves and Rad Game Tools to be used in the debugging of OpenGL based games for Linux, Mac and Windows. It was released on github as a free opensource technology.
March 19, 2014
Valve release the Free to Play documentary on Youtube for the viewing pleasure of the masses. Its based on the lives of professional Dota 2 players and mostly circulates around the events of the first International. Watch it here.



May 12, 2014
Nvidia bring Half-life 2 and Portal to their shield handheld console. The games can be bought on the Google Play store. Read about it here.
May 21, 2014
Valve bring in home streaming to all users after taking it out of beta. The technology allows users to play games on a smaller device such as a netbook that normally wouldn’t be capable of running it while their main PC does all the heavy computation and rendering and simply sends the data over your wired or wireless network. Read about it here.
May 28, 2014
Valve push back the release of the Steam controller to 2015.
July 18 – 21, 2014
The fourth Dota 2 International is held, this time in KeyArena in Seattle. The prize pool grows to the tune of $10,000,000 showing its exponential growth and interest in the last 4 years. The tournament is won this year by Newbee.
July 23, 2014
A new Steam controller is unveiled by Valve and now includes an analog joystick. Read about it here.
August 7, 2014

Valve update the Steam UI to include a blue tint design and a new taskbar icon.

August 8, 2014
Valve Software release the Source 2 engine through Dota 2 by replacing the whole game to a Source 2 engine version. This includes updated Dota 2 authoring tools which now contains a 2014 version of the Hammer editor for map editing. Read more here.
August 15, 2014
Team Fortress 2’s Steam workshop now supports user made merchandise. Users content will need to be approved by Valve before it goes to the next stage which is production of the merchandise where the user who created the merchandise will get a cut of the profits. Read about it here.
August 19, 2014
Valve named as the most desirable studio for game developers to work at after a survey conducted by IGDA who questioned more than 2,200 developers. Read about it here.
August 29, 2014
Valve are sued by the ACCC over their non refund policy claiming it breaches its nations consumer rights according to Australian local law.
September 2, 2014
Valve add 12 new currencies to Steam extending its reach to audiences around the globe. Read more on it here.
September 11, 2014
Valve extend their support to students through iD Tech by providing Steam accounts, Valve games and the Source SDK to help students learn through project based training how to develop games and teamwork skills.
September 22, 2014
Steam now has more than 100,000,000 active accounts and over 3,700 games and growing. Read about it here.
September 23, 2014
Valve update the Steam store with “Steam Discovery” a feature set that will make it easier for users to find games that may interest them.
In the past nine months, over 1,300 new titles have been added to Steam. We know you can’t play them all, so we’ve updated Steam with new features and functionality to help you discover the best new releases, the classics, and the unique indie gems you might be interested in.
Read up on it here.
September 24, 2014
Valve officially release Steam Music and take it out of beta. The service allows users to listen to music while they game. Soundtracks for games are released alongside it and are available as downloadable .mp3 DLC in the selected games folder. Users can also scan for their own music collection and add it to the library.

November 1, 2014
The 10 year anniversary of Counter-Strike: Source and the Source Engine passes without much mention.
November 16, 2014
Today is the 10 year anniversary of Half-Life 2 and to celebrate the community gather online to play through the game.
December 02, 2014
Valve Launch the Beta of Steam Broadcasting a service that allows you and your friends to watch one another as they game much like that of Twitch.tv.



December 05, 2014
Valve announce through a blog post that Dota 2 will be getting a major engine update. This leads to speculation that this update will infact be Source 2 and we can look forward to hearing more in early 2015.
January 19, 2015
Valve take Steam Broadcasting out of beta and release to the public, allowing everyone to stream their gaming skills worldwide to those interested.
January 28, 2015
The Steam Workshop developers earn $57 million selling 3rd party content such as models, hats, map packs.
March 01, 2015
HTC announce a partnership with Valve to combine its Vive Virtual Headset with Valve’s games and new “VR base stations” to provide an encapsulating and almost unrestricted gaming experience.


March 03, 2015
Valve make an official announcement about the Source 2 Engine which much like its competitors Unreal and Unity will be free to use for content developers, A cross platform Vulcan [glNext] compatitble version will be made available as well.


Yet another interesting and note worthy addition to this press release is the addition of the “lighthouse” to Valves VR arsenal which is a room tracking device that works part and parcel with the HTC Vive VR Device.

It was also announced that Steam machines along with a new device known as steam link will be ready for sale in November 2015. Steam link is a low latency high FPS @ 1080p streaming device that works with a steam controller enabling you to stream your gaming experience from a TV anywhere in your home without having to be at your PC.
March 18, 2015
Valve updated the Steam Subscriber Agreement to now include a refund with each game purchased that is valid for 14 days. This is currently only availble in the EU. Note here that this period of 14 days concerns only the purchase of the digital goods, once you have downloaded them you will waive this right to refund. This protects Valve and games developers from abuse to the refund system. Read more here.
April 18, 2015
Valve decide to Limit new user accounts access to steam features in an attempt to curb phishing and the abuse of steam Accounts. In order to unlock these features one must purchase an item worth at least $5 from the store.
April 22, 2015
Valve open up registration for teams to apply for a free HTC Vive VR Headset, Developers must be active and will be subject to review and selection by Valve.
April 23, 2015
Valve announce that Mod developers can now sell their content through Steam Workshops. The first game to recieve support for the feature is Skyrim.
April 27, 2015
The newly announced paid mods for Steam was removed today after a barrage of negative feedback from the community who wanted the modding scene to remain free, Gabe Newell attended an AMA on Reddit to answer the comunities questions.
May 1, 2015
Valve Pass the Ban Hammer onto developers making it easier for developers to remove disruptive players from their games.
May 5, 2015
Valve and ZEN Studios reveal the fruits of their labour with a new Portal themed Pinball game.
June 02, 2015
Valve Update their stance on refunds given for items purchased on Steam. The buyer can request a refund within 14 days of purchase if they have not clocked up more than 2 hours gameplay. Read more here
June 02, 2015
Valve announce that custom maps have been added to the Steam Workshop for Team Fortress 2.




June 04, 2015
Steam Machines, Steam Controller and Steam Link are made available through pre-order from Steam.




June 04, 2015
The first batch of Steam VR devkits are shipped to selected developers who signed up for the Beta. Read more.
June 13, 2015
Dota 2 is getting a facelift through the Source 2 Engine as revealed in the first of three expected announcements on the game. The UI is covered in depth.
June 15, 2015
Microsoft partners with Valve for VR support in Windows 10
June 17, 2015
Part 2 of the Dota 2 Reborn updates are announced and it covers the toolset for the creation of custom game modes.
June 18, 2015
Source 2 is covered in part 3 of the Dota 2 Reborn series of articles, Valve detail the features of its new engine, the power it is giving to its users and integration with Source Film Maker.
June 27, 2015
Valve Change their stance on their support of victims to ingame trade scams claiming that scams are easily identifiable.
“We provide enough information on our website and within our trading system to help users make good trading decisions.”, “All trade scams can be avoided.”
June 29, 2015
Valve udpate their mobile app for android. The app now at version 2 adopts googles material UI design. You can learn more here.
June 29, 2015
Steam is compromised and as a result accounts are placed in a five-day lockdown. Hackers could gain access to anyone’s Steam account simply by knowing the account’s username and exploiting the password recovery system. Read up on it here.
August 08, 2015
The Fifth Dota 2 International is held, for another year at KeyArena in Seattle. The competition ran from the 3rd to the 8th of August. The prize pool reached a huge $18,416,970 this year. The tournament was won by Evil Geniuses who overcame CDEC Gaming. More info at ValveTime

September 16, 2015
CS:GO gets a major update to animations & rigging but most importantly the ever infamous hitboxes whose inaccuracies have plagued the game since its initial release. Read the announcement.



September 23, 2015
With the huge popularity of Dota II’s International it makes quite a bit of sense for Valve to create another event set for this fall, and located in Frankfurt Germany. Read about it on their blog.


November 5, 2015
Valve Introduce an in steam system as part of the Steam Community that allows game developers to sell in-game content rather than having to create their own store system. The first game to avail of this new feature is Rust. Source




November 10, 2015
Valve officially launches its Steam Hardware for the masses to purchase and use with their steam account on their living room TV or PC. The launch inlcudes the Steam Controller, Steam Link and an array of thirdparty Steam Machines (formerly rumoured as Steam Box). Read more at LambdaGeneration

December 25, 2015
Issues with the Valve Store and Users personal account information are noticed by the Steam subreddit. It was soon fixed by Valve and users could once again only see their own data and not that of others. Read SteamDB’s take on the events.

January 6, 2016
Mark Laidlaw the writer behind the Half-Life series retires from Valve and will have no further part to play in the games story or future. The email exchange can be read here.

February 22, 2016
The ever curious Valve community uncover further information on Valves rumoured development of HL3 and L4D3, which was found hidden in an “accidentally” released version of the Steam VR Hardware Test. Read more here.

March 15, 2016
Custom Game Passes for Dota 2 reintroduce in a small way the previously failed Mod Purchase system Valve attempted to introduce last year. This system allows players of Dota 2 to purchase the cream of the crop in terms of custom game modes/Passes. You can learn more here.

March 17, 2016
Valve to release a companion game for the upcoming release of the HTC Vive called the Lab.



March 24, 2016
Valve releases the 3D Design documents for their Steam Controller giving fans the ability to mod and create custom versions of the controller for resale. Read more here. The files can be downloaded here or mirror.

March 26, 2016
Valve Found Guilty of Breaking Australian Law with Steam Refund Policy.
April 5, 2016
Valve alongside HTC Release the highly anticipated Vive Virtual Reality Headset.



April 25, 2016
Valve in partnership with Lionsgate will now provide video streaming content through Steam. Read more here.

June 2, 2016
Valve sued for $3m over alleged discrimination of transgender employee. Read more here.

June 9th, 2016
Valve Release “Destinations” VR Workshop. Developers can now create interactive 3d environments built for VR from everyday photos of objects even using a camera phone. Read more here.

July 13, 2016
Valve make a statement regarding the onslaught of Video game gamblings sites mainly centered around their game CS:GO. Read more here.

August 14, 2016
The Sixth Dota 2 International is held, for another year at KeyArena in Seattle. The competition ran from the 8th to the 13th of August. The prize pool reached a huge $20,770,460 this year. The tournament was won by Wings Gaming who overcame Digital Chaos. More info at ValveTime

October 12-13, 2016
The Second Steam Dev Days is held by Valve in Seattle Washington, covering a range of topics from VR, to the Steam Controller and the Vulkan API. Read about day one and day two.
Check out the official site for Lectures and Slides covering the event.

January 17, 2017
Gabe holds his second Reddit AMA, Where he answers questions posed by the community. A summary can be found over at Valvetime
This is an up to date continuation of an article written by Alex “ACPaco” Capriole and John Phillips that can be found on Planet Half-Life.

I have continued the timeline from where they left off in 2008 as well as adding in a few milestones that i felt important.
If you find anything here that is incorrect or if you think I can add something else please send an e-mail.

See Also: