Gabe Newell recently did a long and interesting interview with Develop magazine, in which the Valve boss discussed the working culture inside the company and how they only hire the best people for the job among a lot of other things.
The most interesting thing Newell discussed was a ‘bug’ in the payment model used by the games industry – all players pay the same rate, whether they’re good or bad for the community they’re playing in.
Newell floated the idea of charging gamers based on how 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 likable 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.
The whole interview is worth a read, covering a lot of topics like Facebook and social gaming, the Source engine and a lot about the culture inside Valve.