The History of Valve

Learn the history of the most Revolutionary Video Game company in the 2000s.

Guy R

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Valve is one of the biggest gaming-based Companies in the history of electronics as a whole- being the creator of revolutionary games such as the storytelling in Half-Life, or the puzzles in Portal, and the frenetic team-based shooter Team Fortress 2. Almost every game produced by the developers at Valve becomes an instant classic to many fans across the world, all from the beginning of two ex-Microsoft Employees, Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington in 1996.

After working 13 Years on Windows, Newell and his friend struck it out to develop more interesting and exciting ideas rather than the same program. At the time, games going into the 3D World were simple- run, shoot, collect- an idea seeming a bit too simple. On the same Engine as Quake, the Valve team focused on introducing narrative into this simple genre of games with dynamic choices, scripted sequences, and an interactive environment while escaping from a alien-ridden research facility.

And the risk was a massive success, with global acclaim following as critics praised it’s game-play, environment and story finely tuned. Sooner even after that, a modder had created Counter-Strike for players to download off of the Multiplayer in Half-Life, Valve acquired the license and remade the game into a prosperous shooter spawning many sequels.


With all this success, Valve picked up other indie games such as a puzzle game developed by a student-team, hired instantly and given the name Portal. With the new Source Engine they had made and introduced with the legendary Half-Life 2, it had shown a first-person demonstration of the physics and game-play possible with the revolutionary engine. With this new Engine in mind, new game franchises were revisited from mods such as Team-Fortress 2, the kick-starter for the class-based shooter craze and in-game economy of hats, still going to this day.

Valve however, had intentions to cool down their development frenzy in the 2000s with the release of Steam, the biggest and arguably best gaming place of the PC Market, with selling and buying player items, trading, a fully-functional friends tab, and much, much more. And, to no surprise, it became the most popular platform all gaming needs. Valve was generating sales from their new creations left and right, allowing them to dip their toes into focusing on VR , or Virtual Reality Technology.

And for most of the 2010s, Steam has been in a long development state for unknown titles, but recently announced other spin-off as a VR Title to their Half-Life fans, much welcomed by the veterans. Only time will tell if Valve has another market full of new classics, but fans and the employees both will hope for that. In the meantime, try out Steam and visit some of the best of the 2010s, find communities, a large selection of notable titles- some being Free-2-Play, so have fun!