Newell: I'm worried about the stress we put on families

Valve's managing director Gabe Newell has spoken out about his concern of the stress placed on his employees' families during the process of developing a game, saying that "you can't ruin people's home lives in order to benefit your business".

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
Aither4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

Yes, Capitalism which has brought you games and other electronic devices such as that computer you so use to surf the web on and make other non thought out comments with.

But let me guess, if America was like China, Russia, Cuba, or even the European nations you think that there would be anything such as "video games" that would have been invented that you could play? That would be an astounding no! So good luck doing your "research" to prove me wrong if you can come up with anything on Communist entertainment besides kicking the can or Russian Roulette.

As for the story, if Gabe thinks that it is to stressful on his developers families to make a game. Then perhaps he should push the development time back giving everyone a guaranteed 40 hour work week.

Darkstorn4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

Why bag on Western Europe? They produce the best games around, in my opinion, and still pay their employees significantly more than American companies do. Not to mention the extensive social safety net in case of job loss and labor laws don't allow for more than a 40 or 50 hour work week. No wonder they make the best games - job security is so much higher there.

Wenis4368d ago

Yeah, the sweatshops in communist china are much better than anything found here in capitalist america

Ocelot5254368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

"if you can come up with anything on Communist entertainment besides kicking the can or Russian Roulette"

this game is developed at a soviet state university and was released in the USSR in 1984

@Aither 1.1.5
are you aware of the tact that the backbones of the internet are using commie software?--> Most servers these day use Linux/unix. It's way more reliable than the commercial windows server

digitalivan4368d ago

@ Aither
"Or European nations."
Glad you are fulfilling your nation's stereotypes.

Aither4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )


Well I am not bashing the games that Western Europe makes as I very much enjoy games such as KZ3, though not so much FABLE. However Western there are a few reasons I can tell you as to why.

1. The OP was talking ignorantly about Capitalism which has done more for his life then he cares to or will ever acknowledge.

2. Currently in the European nations while they believe they have had substantial employment benefits their governments have entered into a financial crisis due to those benefits. In case you haven't noticed Governments in Greece, Spain, France and even England have all took cuts to employee and health care benefits cause they could not be sustained. Due to the cuts there have been major riots in these countries and more to come. Germany has looked at what has happened and isolated themselves through the coming financial crisis however it is bound to hit other European countries as well.

So I hope this answers your question and if you don't believe me you can look it up as it's all over the news out there. You can also look at the financial books of these countries and how Greece was the first to fall and all the European nations tried to prevent it with a trillion dollar stimulus which didn't do squat.


Wonderful, blocks falling from the sky. Well can't deny Tetris wasn't popular. But I guess you missed the fact that the creator Alex Pajitnov did not benefit at all from the invention of his game. All of his profits went to his employer "The Soviet Government". Oh yes, communism works so well.

hobo514368d ago

capatilism isnt the reason for human progress, its the advancement in technology that brought us that. and our economic system has nothing to do with that. think about the wright brothers or newton none of these great inventors that changed the world we live in gave a shit about money!

cozmo1954368d ago

Electronic devices are the result of Human technological advancement not capitalism

Tommykrem4368d ago

Not to respark that conversation, but capitalism is a fantastic system in my opinion.... But to be honest I think several european countries have found a better balance than most states in the USA. Maybe if Obama can see his health care reform all the way through.

Ocelot5254368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )


Do you really think that capitalism can survive another 100 years?

Capitalism will keep increasing our welfare, but this isn't necessarily a good thing. Our welfare will keep growing but the resources of the earth won't. Capitalism will simply destroy the earth if our welfare keeps growing. (cf. ecological footprint )

We have to reform the system, so that companies only can make profit when they also REALLY improve our lives and it's employees lives. This can be done by regulating the market. This seems to destroy jobs, but this isn't bad. Those jobs were of companies who made our lives worse(like banks who invent evil financial products). We already do this for drug dealers, these guys also just want to make a profit, but they only harm society. The same should be done for companies who pollute too much, who make people too fat, ...

This system isn't based on the theories of Marx or A. West, but simply on the ethics of Emmanuel Kant

Perjoss4368d ago

There is a simple answer, especially for a dev that has NO problem making profit on games... don't try to do a 200 person job with 100 people. Hire the right number of staff and everyone gets to go home on time.

If people are not being asked to work late and weekends then there is this other problem. Employees sometimes worry that if they do not work extra hours (even when not asked to) the company might replace them with someone who does.

anasurimbor4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

Who said I was hating on a capitalist society? I wrote three words, so your assumptions of what I meant are quite wild. I expressed literally nothing about my views of capitalism. You unfairly jump to conclusions.

All I meant, pretty simply, is that a capitalist society breeds workplace pressures and stiff competition, which inevitably leads to things as mentioned in the article by Newell. So you ought to relax.

edit: "The OP was talking ignorantly about Capitalism which has done more for his life then he cares to or will ever acknowledge."

Really man? You need to get on your Internet soapbox this hard? Writing "welcome to capitalism" is ignorance? Get off it.

gamingdroid4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

"There is a simple answer, especially for a dev that has NO problem making profit on games... don't try to do a 200 person job with 100 people. Hire the right number of staff and everyone gets to go home on time."

The problem with that is nobody would be willing to pay the asking price required to just break even with the cost of developing and marketing the game.
Too often people bag on capitalism, but we could all be like China before they essentially adopted capitalism.

I'm sure you all would work very hard, if communism is implemented and wouldn't mind having the government going to your home and taking your belongings claiming it belongs to the public.

GavLam884368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

@ Aither
1. I think anasurimbor was just trying to make the point that in capitalist society there can be a high work rate. For example, if you are a manager you have greater responsibility and it is less likely you will work within the regulations of hours per week (may do 50 hours or more). Game developers put a lot of hours creating games, and the trend is that consumers want games faster but still want the quality. So this potentially causes longer working hours to meet consumer demands.

2. The financial crisis is not due to employment benefits. The financial crisis was due to the bank meltdown. Employment and health care benefits, certainly in the UK are being reformed but this is due to the deficit (debt left from labour party). Germany has recovered due to their strong export economy. The UK policy changes have not caused any riots. I am not sure about France or Greece. I do know that Greece have been struggling to recover from the crisis and needing money. Where as Spain just have a very high unemployment rate (20%). But yeah, I went off on a tangent there...your point about Europe not being able to create video games is ignorant. Especially considering that European countries are capitalist as well. Capitalism even originated from Europe!

So please, get your facts straight.

Ocelot5254368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

why does 1/4 of the people disagree that tetris was invented in the USSR?

Wikipedia is much more reliable than conservapedia you know.

EDIT: okay now it's 1/5th, so there is still hope

Zimmerman4368d ago

Capitalism GOT US HERE. Now that we have the technology we do, maybe it's time to think about tweaking the way things work.

It is foolish to assume that capitalism will be the best solution for eternity because it helped us out of the dark ages.

ExPresident4368d ago

@ Ocelot525

Your commment about doing stuff to companies who make people fat is just stupid. People make choices and decide what they eat, how they eat, and if they exercise or not. Its not the companies fault people make poor choices, its their own fault.

The Government, any Government, should have no power to make decisions for me. If I wanna be unhealthy I can be, thats my choice.

BattleAxe4368d ago

The only thing my family is stressing out about is when the heck are we ever going to see Episode 3?

gamingdroid4368d ago

I agree with you although we are digressing from the story.

With that said, I don't want the government telling me what I should do unless I'm hurting others. With that in mind, if people get fat and then sick, then the government (or more accurately the people) have no obligation to give you medical care because you didn't have health insurance and got sick because of your actions.

The problem of welfare, is the fact that it exist. If the program doesn't exist, then I'm pretty darn sure hunger is damn good incentive to start working! I'm for opportunities, not a free handout!

You want wellfare? WORK FOR IT! Want that check every month, or that food stamp. Work for it! I'm sure they government can find plenty of jobs....

R0me4368d ago

Wow, how can one person talk so much nonsense about europe? As one guy said before: Stereotype fulfilled.

I live in Germany and I can tell you there is no way we could isolate, because we are member of the European Union. If one country needs help, we help.
We cannot allow that one country is doing bad, it would hurt all members of the EU.

There were only a big riot in Greece, because the government was forced to lower their debts whilst raising taxes etc. that was a measure they had to do, because the EU had to help them with billions.

France does fine and England too.
Future problem countrys are Spain and Portugal, but they try hard, because to get supported by the EU, means that the government is crap and they dont want to look stupid.

Germany has 27 world market leader in comparison the US has 21, China 19. Now look at the worldmap and look how small Germany is in comparison with the US.

You should understand that technical development comes with many technical innovations from many countries, stop thinking US = world and US = perfect nation. Something like this doesnt exist.

clrlite4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

You sound all angry and ridiculous right now aither. Nice KZ3 avatar though.

Capitalism has its ups and downs, but there is no such thing as a perfect capitalist or perfect communist system in the world right now... Also, many systems people ASSUME to be communist are a mix of communism and capitalist principles and vice versa anyway.

Maybe people shouldn't make many assumptions and jump to conclusions. Beliefs do not automatically equal understanding, and accusations and assertions are not always correct.

.. and before people start praising the "healthcare reform" here in the US, they might want to do a little research.

BTW: I like what Gabe is saying, especially if it is sincere. People produce better products when they are not under stress anyway. Healthy employees and quality products are things that are nice to see in any economic system.

elmaton984368d ago

You alert are an idiot. Sometime you have to spend time with your family and build a better relationship with them rather than spending all your time on video games. Money isn't everything and the people in one country can change politics even if death is in front of them.

sobekflakmonkey4368d ago


Europe actually does do a good job of producing games, animation, and things alike.
I have been thinking about getting into Animation and graphic design for a while now, and everyone I talk to tells me that there is no good paying work in those fields in north america, and that the place to be is Europe, and to be honest I would move to Western Europe in a heart beat.

Spydiggity4368d ago

it was the capitalists that exploited the other nations to be able to get the things that we have. we don't produce any of those things here.

also, just because capitalism works slightly better than other attempted ways of life, doesn't make it good. the excessive corruption that stems from this system is unbelievable and it's why all these nations are going bankrupt including the US (which has been more than bankrupt for decades).

stick to talking about gaming guys, cuz you don't know what you're talking about.

"capitalism is great cuz i have an iPhone, blah blah" stfu.

SephireX4368d ago

Many ignorant Americans such as yourself can only see either black or white, capitalism or communism. There is such a thing as a balanced system. America is too far right and China is too far left. Though at the moment, China has the fastest growing economy in the world and it will surpass the USA shortly. It was capitalism that led to the global financial crisis. How could any one vote for Bush? Just shows how stupid many Americans are. The cliche is true unfortunately. You say Euro nations are communist? You've probably never been outside the states lol.

Anyway, Gabe Newell makes a legitimate point. Taking care of the staff leads to a good culture within the company resulting in better productivity in the long term.

gamer20104368d ago

People always confuse the corruption of capitalism with capitalism itself. Corruption exists in any political system. We need to work to get rid of the corruption on Wall Street and so on, but the free market system itself is not the problem.

Corruption will always occur, but the potential for misery under Fascism or Socialism is so much greater than in a free market society.

I can tell you I would much rather live with corruption in a capitalist system than any other system.

Solidus187-SCMilk4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

But anyways, its nice gabe is worried for people. But Im more worried about the stress on his arteries, as should he. Im not being mean, Half-LIFE 1 is my favorite video game. I just hope he survives to make half life 3, because that may be a while.

Staude4368d ago

why do americans always see it in black and white. Look at europe. You can have a functional balance between socialism and capitalism.

As for healthcare. Look at Hawaii. They've had it for 50 years.

Also, the bush regimes war mongering and the idiotic bank loans is what sent the WORLD into its financial recession

Digitaldude4368d ago

I'm worried about the stress you put on your chair.

jadenkorri4368d ago

20 years ago, noone would say anything if you lit up a cigarette in a restaurant. Now we walk up to people and say smoking is disgusting and try to encourage them to quit. We even have disgusting pictures on cigarettes to discourage smoking. Smoking currently kills 440,000 people yearly due to illnesses related to smoking. Amazingly obesity is killing 300,000 people yearly due to related health issues. So where's the disgusting clogged arteries on McDonalds food. No where in site cause its still not socially acceptable to walk up to someone and say your fat, you should stop eating too much and exercise. So please stop with the Gabe arteries and eat a salad jokes, its annoying and not relevant to the article or any future articles.

reznik_zerosum4368d ago

Dont forget that USA attacked Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction and not capitalism...

bananlol4368d ago

The difference between obesity and smoking is that when you smoke you burn matter that others in the vicinity inhales which causes them harm. If you stuff your face infront of people no harm will become them. now if you want nicotine a way healthier option snus, but thats illegal in large parts of the world. Kinda ironic.

jeseth4368d ago

I'll take capitalism and the American quality of life over anything else.

Capitalism made America what it is, the hardest working and most successful country in the world with the best military. Nowhere in the world works harder than the East Coast of the US. This country has grinded tooth and nail to go become the greatest nation in the world, its up to America's younger, and lazier, generations to carry on what our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents have built over the last 150 years.

For all of our success, like every country, we have our faults. No country is perfect. Capitalism is survival of the fittest and I'll take that over some bull%hit system that "shares" the wealth, or however you want to phrase it. If you want something, GET OFF YOUR ASS AND TAKE IT. The problem with America today is that there are too many lazy people who expect %hit handed to them.

Capitalism is the best approach to business, period. If you don't work hard you fail. If you work hard you reap the rewards.

extermin8or4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

yes, however americas average quality of life is hardly amazing, and cuba ect has a better healthcare service than the usa... communism may not work for everything but some things it does, if it scares you then fine however i don't think you fully comprhend how it works, also 40 hour week?? they say that us in the UK work long hours... at least we get more than 2 weeks holiday a year eh?
Edit: at the guy above, yh but if something messed up your life I bet you'd like some help hmmm? As far as im aware the USA government has benefits schemes? which in theory is a form of communism...

greatjimbo784368d ago

Soviet Russia gave the world Tetris. How about you do your research next time.

gintoki7774368d ago

Ummm...........Tetris???? Tetris was made in communist russia

jeseth4367d ago (Edited 4367d ago )

@ Exterminator

Average American life is better than average life anywhere else.

In America 90% of the people own a computerized device. What most people don't get is an Average American life is an above average life elsewhere. Homes, multiple cars, HDTVs, computers, cable, internet, HIGH END GAMING devices, smartphones, iPods...hell iPads for that matter, etc. etc. That is average for Americans. To the world it is not.

I'm not afraid of communism or socialism but the US would not be where it is without capitalism.

And Cuba? Really. Go live in Cuba and see how that works out for you. Healthcare, America like most advanced nations have the best people in their field in the US .. . YOU KNOW WHY ??? FOR THE $$$$$$$$ THEY CAN CHARGE OUR HEALTHCARE COMPANIES. You know what that is? CAPITALISM.

Do you know what you are talking about or are you just spitting out generic political slander statements?

And as for government benefits we have tons. But there comes a point where people need to take some initiative and get the ball rolling for themselves. Otherwise they will just remain dependent.

Cuba. That was hilarious. Do they even sterilize their instruments?

writersblock4367d ago

[email protected] the people saying that america is better compared to sweatshops in asia

Try to educate yourself before you comment. Why do you THINK the sweatshops exist? Because of capitalist western countries keeping the 3rd world in the dirt so they can have a slightly larger profit margin

idiots will be idiots though

gamingdroid4367d ago (Edited 4367d ago )

"Why do you THINK the sweatshops exist? Because of capitalist western countries keeping the 3rd world in the dirt so they can have a slightly larger profit margin "

Ask China if they mind that the US keep buying their stuff? Ask China if the US opened the trade with them hurt them in any way?

Then ask yourself if you would like to do something for free? Invest money into something that isn't getting you a profit i.e. basically an interest free loan?

If anything, the US people is demanding their manufacturing jobs back!

There is nothing wrong with profits and it is up to China to negotiate their own sales contract and wages.

This is like one of those stories where people complain about child labor and want to abolish it only to cause more strife because now these people have no means of getting an income and food on the table!

MagicAccent4367d ago (Edited 4367d ago )

Yes well whoppi do for Capitalism.

And while we're at it let's have a cheer for the slavey of the industrial revolution too! And maybe for the serf workers throughout the centuries aswell.
After all, we wouldn't be here without them :)

CommonSense4367d ago

capitalism is hardly "survival of the fittest" when our retarded government is shelling out trillions of dollars to keep a hyper-corrupt banking system afloat.

so delusional

+ Show (38) more repliesLast reply 4367d ago
Darkstorn4368d ago

There's nothing wrong with 'capitalism,' we just need to realize that workers aren't property-they need to have high morale in order to produce good products, and that requires investment by employers in health and wellness activities, vacations, etc.

If you work your employees too hard, you get a lackluster product. I agree 100% with Gabe on this one.

jeseth4368d ago

Workers also need to produce, not waste company time and look for ways not to work...and when they underperform, they should expect to be fired.

There's nothing wrong with working people hard as long as they are rewarded verbally as well as monetarily.

I find that how hard people work is really something taught to them by a parent or role model anyways. A lot of people will use stress and other things as excuses for their own pure laziness, which will get them out of working at a high level by using loopholes.

To be the best in any profession requires long hours, dedication to a common goal, and extreme attention to detail. You can't just get by resting on what got you there, you always have to improve. It takes sacrfice to be a great leader and a great worker.

clrlite4367d ago (Edited 4367d ago )

Well said and there is no "perfect" system in the world right now. If other people weren't so opinionated and defensive they would start to perceive the truth too.
I like what Gabe said. Health to me is more important than immediate gain and leads to better quality anyway.

jeseth4367d ago

I agree.

But hard work is also rewarding when you come together to make something great. I'm sure to many people on that project look back on the Portal 2 assignment with great pride.

It can be a double edged sword. No matter how hard you work, you have to leave it at work. Separating work and personal life is very important.

If you can't do that, then it becomes unhealthy.

lastdual4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

It's not so much capitalism, as it is the corporate culture in the games industry, and simple supply and demand in the labor force.

There are plenty of leading, competitive companies that are good places to work. Unfortunately, long hours, low pay and nonexistant job security are par for the course in the games biz.

This is thanks largely to a surplus of people that want to "make games for a living".

Whenever you have a bazillion people that will work for peanuts just to get into the industry, you can bet most of those jobs are not going to be very cushiony.

Kazu0 Hirai4368d ago

He should have said: "I'm worried about the stress i'm putting on my heart."

Have a salad Gabe

Jim Hawking4368d ago

The video game industry is not exactly typical of corporate America or capitalism in general. Here's a tip, if you don't know what you are talking about, shut the hell up.

How bout that?

Tommykrem4368d ago

True, several game developers have received best work places awards. But the competetive culture in America is tougher than what we in Norway are used to, for instance.

gamingdroid4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

LOL... competitive nature in Norway?

Norway lacks any competitive nature at all!

The indoctrination starts young in school by introducing a grading system setup for mediocrity. The scale goes from 0-6, where a 2 is a passing grade. You almost essentially just have to write something at a test to get that score. If it looks like you attempted and you got something right you got it!

On the top end, there is +/- for all levels except 6! Essentially, they only have a A+ score, and the next one down is B+ and so on.

Sorry if I'm b!tchin about your home country if it is, but I'm a Norwegian citizen as well... and had to get that off my chest.

anasurimbor4368d ago

@Jim Hawking

Right, except it is, and I wasn't "talking about" anything. I wrote three words. How so 'bout you shut the hell up, Jimmy?

ChrisW4368d ago

Wow! Less than half of the people here actually came close to what Capitalism is... and that's including those who needed to go to Wikipedia for a refresher course. In other words you guys don't know what you're talking about.

DelbertGrady4368d ago

And they're even further off when it comes to any other ideology.

bozebo4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

fairly sure the usa has a national debt of over 8 trillion USD.... the largest in the world by several times over. "their governments have entered into a financial crisis"

the financial crysis in the whole world today was caused by the usa

also lol, how the hell is linux commie software? im quite sure it was programmed in the usa by a finnish guy

also: "a surplus of people that want to "make games for a living"" only applies to designers, there is a shortage of everybody else

Projekt7tuning4368d ago

Is it just me or has he gotten even bigger? I mean look at the size of that noggin. Imaging getting sat behind him at a show or movie, and I'm 6"4. I know I wouldn't be able to clear that. It's like Pumpkin head knocked-up a human woman and Gabe is that beautiful love child. lol. Seriously look at how stretched out his glasses are, they look like one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's movies where he's forced to do a split for the first time. Bloodsport, Kick-boxer, thake you pick. Poor Glasses, he should be worried about the tensilary strength of those glasses and his Aortic valve.
But he does make a hell of a game. LOL. I guess having so much creativeness in him is the reason for that noggin and physique.

MNicholas4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

at winning back the public with some false concern from someone who's made millions for many many years doing exactly what he's "concerned" about.

@above conversation,

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this kind of "stress." Anyone wanting a stress-free job has plenty of lower-paying options and one or two higher paying ones as well (for those who are smart enough to figure it out).

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 4367d ago
Chupa-Chupa4368d ago (Edited 4368d ago )

If you watch any making-of video, you will see how much these devs mention not seeing their families and how they are happy that it's now over. It's probably not even worth it after it's all over. These devs may be better off creating $1 mobile games and make just as much, while spending enough time with their families.

REALgamer4368d ago

And yet, we're the ones demanding they spend more and more time on each game.

We whine and cry about the length of games, we tell them how much they suck when a game isn't perfectly equal in performance across 360 and PS3, and we damn them if bugs or exploits in multiplayer are not found until release.

We hold a large part of the blame by demanding they spend longer and longer on GENERIC SHOOTER 76 to make sure it uses 3 face polygons more than GENERIC SHOOTER 75 on COMPETING CONSOLE A or else they're branded as crap developers.

N4G does not help the situation. We can't keep blaming developers all the time. At some point they have to stop, ship the game and catch up on sleep else it turns into 10-year development hell like Duke Nukem.

Desz4368d ago

It's like being a fukin Cop. All the young kids trying to be video game developers remember one thing. Don't get married until you have successfully made enough money being a dev. Just fool around and enjoy life to the fullest until the money is good and you become a boss.

lastdual4368d ago

But time is valuable, and you can't get it back.

Putting off your life - including starting a family if that's what you want to do - until you've "made it" (which is never for most people in the games industry) can lead to you just watching a lot of years go by.

Even if you find a job where the money is good, there's no guarantee it will stay that way. Investments can tank, people get laid off, sudden unforseen expenses can hit, etc. Life is full risks, sometimes you just have to take them.

solsub4368d ago

^ This.

Time is so limited and most people, quite frankly, don't make it big. The vast majority never become a "boss".

If you don't take any risks, you will only end up witnessing years of your life pass by.

There are no second chances.

nilamo4368d ago

Everytime I see someone accusing a developer of being lazy, I have to contain myself from going into rage mode. It's been a known fact that people in the gaming industry tend to overwork A LOT.