In a move that appears to be gaining popularity amongst developers, Valve Studios has taken to the streets, avoiding the filtration that often results from opinions being passed up through layers corporate intelligentsia and peering directly into the hearts and minds of the gaming proletariat. Recognizing the complaints from PlayStation 3 owners regarding the port of The Orange Box being a little “assy” (as PS3 ports are supposedly apt to be lately), Valve has opened a thread on their forums requesting feedback from users on what bugs need fixing and how things can be improved.
Now regardless of whether you think the issues with the with the PS3 port are earth shattering and make the game unplayable or not, you have to recognize the unimpeachable diligence and pride in their work that Valve is displaying with this move. However (and there’s always a however), you have to wonder how much of this could’ve been avoided if Valve hadn’t farmed the development of a PS3 port out to EA in the first place.
With Valve following in the footsteps of Ken Levine where it comes to the care of customers, you have to wonder how many other studios will hop on the “incredibly responsive and obviously caring” train. While I’d rather my games be free of bugs (show stopping or otherwise), if they have to be dealt with, it’s safe to say we prefer them dealt with in the manner of Ken Levine and Valve Studios — directly and with as much transparency as possible.