"Innovation is threatened." "People's access is controlled." "The world seems to be moving away from open platforms." Strong words from Valve Boss, Gabe Newell at Seattle TechNW conference.
These were directed at Apple's choice of app curation over open-source values. The argument here is that as we lose our open-ness in the face of the App Store phenomenon the opportunity of innovation and our sense of choice goes with it. However, everything everywhere is curated so really, is this a bad thing?
Let's just point out the fact that Gabe Newell is head of Steam, one of the chief online destinations for game digital distribution (a competitor within the same space of providing an online interactive content platform as Apple), so in a PR-sense, knocking the App Store for their closed eco-system is a metaphorical gold-mine.
Has the world actually existed within 'open platforms' before? To refer to the video game industry: publishers partake in curation to make sure their games sell, journalists partake in curation to show only games they like, online stores partake in cutation to limit games to the elite few that are featured on the home page (Steam is just as guilty of this), we limit games based upon all these and our own tastes. The final one could be defined as choice; but to get to that point, the choice has been strangled to the point that any game has endured heavy curation. So I ask you, dear reader, have we ever had a choice at all to complain about losing?
If you want to restore innovation, go to the source. As developers are increasingly empowered to engage the whole process themself: create, publish, market all under one roof, the Publisher has become the single pointless entity in the chain. It is the single biggest curator that threatens the innovation of developers in favour of annual increments to keep up with the iterative curve.
Now stop wasting time Gabe and release Half-life 2: Episode Three already.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.