Alternate History

Valve (French Trafalgar, British Waterloo)

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Valve Corporation
Former type Publisher, Developer
Founded 1994
Headquarters Reno, United States
Employment 658

Valve Corporation is a well known and high ranking developer of Video Games, headquartered in Reno, California. Most known for the Half-Life franchise, with spin-offs like Red vs. Blu and Portal, as well as the groundbreaking partnership with Westwood Studios to make games of the other's intellectual property (in this case, a Real-Time Military game based off of Half-Life, and a First Person Shooter based on Westwood's Command and Conquer. This partnership also resulted in the Steam platform, an online game retailer and distributor.


Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve.

Valve was founded by former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington in 1994. Using their personal wealth, they brought together a talented team of programmers and artists, registering the Sierra game engine from IA Games to make their first title, Half-Life. IA Games also agreed to publish this first game, and, if successful, more games int he future. Despite lengthy delays that pushed the games release by almost a full year, Half-Life was released to universal praise, earning over 40 Game of the Year awards from major magazines, newspapers and industry groups.

In 2003, Valve and Westwood Studios (also in Reno, California) established a partnership where the two companies would pool resources on certain projects, as well as allowing the other to develop titles for their properties in different genres. Valve released Command & Conquer: Renegade in 2005, and Westwood produced Half-Life: Opposing Force in 2006. In 2005, both companies announced that they were developing a service to distribute games digitally over the internet, cutting out retailers and producers from the distribution of video games. This sparked a lawsuit by IA Games, which claimed the right to distribute all Valve games both in retail and digitally, but both sides settled out of court in 2006, with IA the first third-party developer/publisher to distribute games via Steam beside Westwood and Valve.

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