The Inquirer has published a story claiming that Google is about to announce the acquisition of computer games developer Valve, the company behind Half Life.
If you’ve just thought WTF in the same way as I did when I read the report, there’s some semblance of sanity behind the move and Google isn’t interested (well we think) in developing computer games; Valve also offers Steam, a content distribution service described by the Inquirer as “amazing.”
Wikipedia describes the service as follows:
Steam is a successful digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute and manage (sometimes exclusively) a wide range of games entirely over the internet, stretching from one-man independent efforts to some of the world’s most popular. Steam is set apart from its peers in terms of functionality primarily by its residency in the system tray, and the desktop tasks that the client software performs, which will be detailed in the article, to make use of that position.
As of 2008-09-11, over 440 games are available on Steam, and as of 2008-02-07, there are over 15 million active user accounts.
Google Games, or Google content distribution? makes sense when you consider Google’s current strategy of trying to be everything to everyone everywhere. Still, can you imagine how ugly Half-Life 3 will look once the Google engineers get involved :-)