Gabe Newell’s hit on a fantastic idea, the man’s a genius

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Who ate all the brains?

Gabe Newell is no stranger to plaudits, he’s the man behind the ridiculously successful Half Life and Team Fortress series and the powerhouse that is Steam.

All this success now has him personally valued at $1.5 billion and that figure is expected to sky rocket as more and more people move to digital distribution and he finally decides to release Half Life 3.

But that’s not why he’s in the news again, no he’s in the news now because he’s managed to hit on what could be a crucial game changer for Steam and all online games moving forward.

The idea is simple, Gabe thinks that players should be rewarded or punished financially for how they act online.

So for instance if you’re a player that generally brings a group with you to a server and keeps them playing then you should be getting your next game, or monthly subs for free. However if you’re an online douche who empties gaming lobbies by singing into the mic or cheating then your next game or monthly subs should be higher.

It’s brilliantly simple and will hit the annoying online trolls where it really hurts, their parents wallet.

In Gabe’s words

An example is – and this is something as an industry we should be doing better – is charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with. Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them. Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave. We should have a way of capturing that. We should have a way of rewarding the people who are good for our community.

So, in practice, a really likeable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice.

So imagine in the near future where you will have a reputation meter on Steam and all Steam launched games are linked to that so while you’re thinking it’s hilarious that you’re team killing in Team Fortress 2 your reputation meter is plummeting and your next Steam game suddenly has a 40% premium on it.

While the team player who saves the day and is great to play with gets his next games for free… I love it.

What do you think, is this realistic and would you support it?

Last Updated: March 28, 2012

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