PC Gamer is a magazine founded in the United Kingdom in 1993 devoted to PC gaming and published monthly by Future plc. The magazine has several regional editions, with the UK and US editions becoming the best selling PC games magazines in their respective countries; the magazine features news on developments in the video game industry, previews of new games, reviews of the latest popular PC games, along with other features relating to hardware, mods, "classic" games and various other topics. PC Gamer reviews are written by the magazine's editors and freelance writers, rate games on a percent scale. In the UK edition, no game has yet been awarded more than 96%. In the US edition, no game has yet received a rating higher than 98%. In the UK edition, the lowest numerical score was 2%, awarded to The 4th Golden Satellite Awards for Interactive Media Winner Big Brother 1; the sequel, Big Brother 2, was given an lower score of N/A%, the review explaining that " put as much effort into reviewing it as they did in making the game".
In issue 255, August 2013, the score of 2% was matched by the review of the re-released Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude given 3% when it first launched. In the US edition, the lowest score awarded was 4%, given to Mad Dog McCree, unseating the lowest-rated game, Skydive!, given 5%. There are two main editions of PC Gamer, a British version and an American version, both are published by Future plc. Founded in the United Kingdom in November 1993, the American sister version was launched a year in June 1994. There are numerous local editions that use the materials of one of the two editions the British one, including a Malaysian and Russian edition; the Swedish edition, though rooted in its UK counterpart, has grown to be more independent due to the immense popularity of PC games compared to console games in Sweden, now produces most of its own material. An Australian edition was published monthly by Perth-based Conspiracy Publishing since August 1998, but it appears to have been discontinued in mid-late 2004.
A Spanish edition titled "PC Juegos y Jugadores" exists. Both American and British magazines are published thirteen times per year, although there are sometimes variations; the British edition of PC Gamer has been in constant monthly publication since 1993. Subscribers get a special edition of the magazine with no headlines on the front cover. Devoted to PC games, the magazine has a reputation for giving in-depth reviews; the magazine shipped with an accompanying 3.5-inch floppy disc. A CD demo disc was released alongside the floppy disk edition from issue 11 onwards with the first CD Gamer containing all the content from the previous 10 issues' floppy discs; the single CD was expanded to two CDs. An edition with a 9 GB DVD known as DVD Gamer ran alongside the 2CD edition for a couple of years, until production of the CD Gamer edition ceased as of issue 162; the UK Edition only came with a single double-sided DVD. In August 2011, the UK magazine announced it was to be discontinuing the disk as of issue 232, replacing it with more pages of content within the magazine and exclusive free gifts.
The magazine has many regular features. These include sections called ´Eyewitness´, ´Previews´, ´Send´, where letters from the readers are spread over 2 two page spreads, at least one special feature, which reports on gaming related issues such as the effect of PC gaming on the environment, a review section which reviews the latest released PC games and re-reviews titles that have been released on budget and ´Extra Life´ which reports on modding games and gaming culture and revisiting old games. There is a ´Systems´ section, which reviews and recommends hardware such as video cards and monitors; the back page of the magazine is entitled ´It's All Over´ and consists of game related artwork such as a version of Dalí's The Persistence of Memory featuring items from Portal. For a time, one of the magazine's features, ´Gamer Snap´, where amusing pictures sent in by readers were printed in the magazine, however the feature was discontinued and replaced with a ´Guess the game´ where readers sent in drawings of memorable scenes in video games drawn in Microsoft Paint.
The PC Gamer blog was started to coincide with the transfer of the PC Gamer UK site to become part of the Computer and Video Games network which incorporates all of Future plc's gaming magazines. The move brought some controversy, with many long-standing members of the forum leaving due to the new forum's cramped spacing and slow loading times; the introduction of a blog was seen as one of the redeeming features of the switch. The blog has since been updated with contributions from many of the magazine's staff; the topics discussed range from the controversy over violent video games, to the benefits of buying a PC over a console. In 2010, PC Gamer re-launched their website and blog by bringing together the online communities of both the US and UK magazines into one website; as a result, the PC Gamer blog now has contributions from both the US and UK magazines, all hosted at the new website along with the forums for both magazines. The PC Gamer UK podcast was started on 4 May 2007 and ran 93 episodes until its final episode, released on 5 July 2013.
It had a rotating cast made up of members of the staff including Chris Thursten, Tom Senior, Graham Smith, Tom Francis, Marsh Davies. The podca
Gordon Freeman is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Half-Life video game series, created by Gabe Newell and designed by Newell and Marc Laidlaw of Valve Corporation. His first appearance is in Half-Life. Gordon Freeman is an American man from Seattle, who graduated from MIT with a PhD in Theoretical Physics, he was an employee at Black Mesa Research Facility. Controlled by the player, Gordon is tasked with using a wide range of weapons and tools to fight alien creatures such as headcrabs, as well as Combine machines and soldiers. Gordon Freeman's character has been well received by critics and gamers, various gaming websites consider him to be one of the greatest video game characters of all time, including UGO and GameSpot. Half-Life director Gabe Newell coined the name "Gordon Freeman" during a conversation with the game's writer Marc Laidlaw in his car, it included a homage to philosopher Freeman Dyson. Newell disliked Laidlaw's proposed name, "Dyson Poincaré", which included the surname of Henri Poincaré.
The texture for Gordon's head was "too big of a job for just one person", so Valve designers combined references from four people. An earlier model of Gordon, known as "Ivan the Space Biker", had a full beard, subsequently trimmed. Other iterations of Gordon's concept featured different glasses, a ponytail, a helmet. Gordon wears a special full-body hazmat suit, known as the Hazardous Environment Suit; the suit is designed to protect the user from radiation, energy discharges, blunt trauma during the handling of hazardous materials. The suit's main feature is its "high-impact reactive armor", an electrically powered armor system that, when charged, absorbs two-thirds of the damage that Gordon would ordinarily suffer in Half Life and 80% in Half Life 2. A charged suit can survive several dozen hits from small arms and one direct hit from an RPG; the suit can be charged by various means, has its own oxygen supply and medical injectors, such as morphine and a neurotoxin antidote. It comes with a built-in flashlight, a radio, various tracking devices, a compass, a Geiger counter.
The suit contains an on-board computer system that monitors the user's health and vital signs, reacts to any changes in the user's condition. It projects a heads-up display which displays Gordon's health and suit charge level, remaining ammunition, a crosshair; as a means of immersing the player in the role, Gordon never speaks, there are no cutscenes or mission briefings—all action is viewed through Gordon's eyes, with the player retaining control of Gordon's actions at nearly all times. The images of Gordon are only seen on the game's cover and menu pages, in advertisements, making them marketing tools rather than pictures of what Gordon is "really like". Gabe Newell has stated. In Half-Life, Gordon wears the Mark IV suit. In the game, the suit is equipped with an optional long-jump module so Gordon can leap great distances, it is charged using power modules throughout Black Mesa. In Half-Life 2 Gordon receives the upgraded Mark V suit, which lacks the long-jump module but gains several new abilities.
It features a visual zooming capability, limited sprinting, an anti-venom injector, an optional ammo and health counter on the crosshair, the capability to use Combine power nodes to charge the suit. The Mark V used a single power source for the flashlight and oxygen supply; the symbol on Gordon's HEV suit is the lower case Greek letter Lambda, λ. This symbol is used by scientists to denote the decay constant of radioactive elements; as well as appearing on Gordon's suit, the symbol replaces the letter "a" in the game title, is the name of the complex in the Black Mesa Research Facility where teleportation experiments are conducted in the first game. The Lambda symbol is seen in Half-Life 2 as a marking of the human resistance, seen close to hidden supplies and on the arm bands of better equipped resistance fighters. A Seattle native, Gordon exhibited an early interest in theoretical physics quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity, his childhood heroes were Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman.
After observing a series of teleportation experiments conducted by the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck, the transmission of matter became Gordon's obsession. Gordon has no known dependents, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph. D. degree in Theoretical Physics. His doctoral thesis on the teleportation of matter through dense elements was titled Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction Through Nonlinear Transuranic Crystal of Extremely Long Wavelength Pulse from Mode-Locked Source Array. Gordon's research into science led him to accept a job offer by the Black Mesa Research Facility, begin working on a top-secret research project headed by his mentor at MIT, Dr. Isaac Kleiner, he takes up residence at Black Mesa, conducting nuclear and subatomic research in its Anomalous Materials department. Despite his education as a theoretical physicist, the work Freeman is involved with at Black Mesa is of a more experimental nature.
The games make light of the fact that the tasks Gordon performs amount to little more than manual labor, despite his qualifications. Gordon's assigned job at the start of Half-Life consists of little more than pressing a button and pushing a cart. Barney Calhoun wryly notes this irony at the beginning of Half-Life 2, when Freeman perfo
Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor Portal is an engineering simulation and puzzle video game developed by ClockStone and published by Headup Games. The game is part of the Bridge Constructor series, incorporates elements of Valve Corporation's Portal series, taking place in Aperture Laboratories; the game was released on Android, iOS, macOS and Windows in December 2017, for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One in February 2018. By August 2018, the game had sold over 500,000 copies. Bridge Constructor Portal is an engineering simulation and puzzle video game set in the universe of the Portal series. Players are tasked with designing and constructing bridges to get one or more trucks from one location to another at Aperture Laboratories under the supervision of the artificial intelligence GLaDOS; the game merges elements from the Bridge Constructor Portal series. Players are tasked with building bridges using struts and cables, anchored to pre-designated fixed points on the level's walls; the limited availability of fixed points may require the player to construct self-supporting bridges.
These bridges must be able to withstand their own weight, as well as the trucks and any force they impart when landing on the bridge. Elements from Portal require the player to guide the trucks across the bridges, navigate through portals, cross over buttons to open doors or other actions, avoid coming in sight of sentry turrets or in contact with deadly fluid or laser fields, use other Portal gameplay elements like propulsion and repulsion gels and launching pads. Players can switch between construction mode, test mode, vehicle mode to visualize their solution. Test mode simulates the physics of the level to see how the bridge components stand up under their own weight. Vehicle mode sends one or more trucks through the player's solution. During either of these, the game shows any cables that are under stress. If they exceed their stress limit, they will cause the bridge to collapse. If the player designs a bridge to allow one vehicle to pass, they can try to send a convoy of vehicles through the course.
These vehicles are released one at a time at regular intervals, tests to see if the bridge components stand up to repeated stress or if the crossing of paths causes any collisions. There is no building limit for a level, but each bridge component placed in a solution has a monetary value, the player is challenged separately to keep the total monetary value as low as possible; the player clears a puzzle by getting one vehicle across, but is rated higher by getting all of the vehicles in a convoy through the course without harm. Bridge Constructor Portal is published by Headup Games; the two studios worked throughout 2017 on a successor to their 2011 video game Bridge Constructor. They partnered with Valve Corporation who created and own the Portal series to help with gameplay elements from Portal, art assets, lore from the Portal series; this includes bringing Ellen McLain to voice GLaDOS for the game. The game was announced on December 6, 2017, it was released on December 20, 2017, for Android and iOS mobile devices, for Linux, macOS and Windows-based personal computers.
The game was released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One on February 28, 2018. Bridge Constructor Portal received "generally favorable" reception, according to review aggregator Metacritic. IGN reviewer TJ Hafer found the game to be simple and intuitive while still managing to offer and fulfilling level of depth and challenge, he was disappointed that the portals remained static in the levels and that the game featured no puzzles that involved placing portals. Although he did not think the humor was on par with previous Portal games, he noted that the aesthetics and sound design were reminiscent of those earlier titles. Destructoid writer Jordan Devore agreed that the game was straightforward and that constructing structures was easy to carry out, he found the pacing of the game to be good during the first half but thought it had exhausted introducing new mechanics by the half, opting to focus on greater complexity and more variables in the puzzles. The game was nominated for "Puzzle" at the 2018 Webby Awards.
By August 2018, the game had sold over 500,000 copies
Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle-platform video game developed by Valve Corporation. It was released in April 2011 for Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360; the digital PC version is distributed online by Valve's Steam service, while all retail editions were distributed by Electronic Arts. Like the original Portal, players solve puzzles by teleporting between them. Portal 2 adds features including tractor beams, light bridges, paint-like gels that alter player movement or allow portals to be placed on any surface. In the single-player campaign, players control Chell, who navigates the dilapidated Aperture Science Enrichment Center during its reconstruction by the supercomputer GLaDOS. In the new cooperative mode, players solve puzzles together as robots P-Body. Jonathan Coulton and the National produced songs for the game. Valve announced Portal 2 in March 2010, promoted it with alternate reality games including the Potato Sack, a collaboration with several independent game developers. After release, Valve released downloadable content and a simplified map editor to allow players to create and share levels.
Portal 2 received acclaim for its gameplay, balanced learning curve, dark humor and acting. It has been described as one of the greatest video games of all time by numerous publications and critics. Portal 2 is a first-person perspective puzzle game; the player takes the role of Chell in the single-player campaign, as one of two robots—Atlas and P-Body—in the cooperative campaign, or as a simplistic humanoid icon in community-developed puzzles. These four characters can interact with the environment. Characters will die after sustained injury. There is no penalty for falling onto a solid surface, but falling into bottomless pits or toxic pools kills the player character immediately; when Chell dies in the single-player game, the game restarts from a recent checkpoint. The goal of both campaigns is to explore the Aperture Science Laboratory—a complicated, malleable mechanized maze. While most of the game takes place in modular test chambers with defined entrances and exits, other parts occur in behind-the-scenes areas where the objective is less clear.
The initial tutorial levels guide the player through the general movement controls and illustrate how to interact with the environment. The player must solve puzzles using the'portal gun' or'Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device', which can create two portals connecting two distant surfaces depicted as matte white and flat. Characters can use these portals to move between rooms or to "fling" objects or themselves across a distance. Outlines of placed portals are visible through other obstacles for easy location. Game elements include Thermal Discouragement Beams, Excursion Funnels, Hard Light Bridges, all of which can be transmitted through portals. Aerial Faith Plates launch the player or objects through the air and sometimes into portals; the player must avoid their line of sight. The Weighted Storage Cube has been redesigned, there are new types: Redirection Cubes, which have prismatic lenses that redirect laser beams, spherical Edgeless Safety Cubes, an antique version of the Weighted Storage Cube used in the underground levels, a cube-turret hybrid created by Wheatley after taking control of Aperture.
The heart-decorated Weighted Companion Cube reappears briefly. Early demonstrations included Pneumatic Diversity Vents, shown to transport objects and transfer suction power through portals, but these do not appear in the final game. All of these game elements open locked doors, or help or hamper the character from reaching the exit. Paint-like gels impart certain properties to objects coated with them. Players can use orange Propulsion Gel to cross surfaces more blue Repulsion Gel to bounce from a surface, white Conversion Gel to allow surfaces to accept portals. Only one type of gel can affect a certain surface at a time; some surfaces, such as grilles, cannot be coated with a gel. Water can wash away gels, returning the surface or object to its normal state; the game includes a two-player cooperative mode. Two players can use a separate computer or console. Both player-characters are robots that control separate portal guns and can use the other character's portals; each player's portals are of a different color scheme, whereof one is blue and purple and the other is orange and red.
A calibration chamber separates the characters to teach the players to use the communication tools and portals. Most chambers are less structured and require players to use both sets of portals for laser or funnel redirection and other maneuvers; the game provides voice communication between players, online players can temporarily enter a split-screen view to help coordinate actions. Players can "ping" to draw the other player's attention to walls or objects, start countdown timers for synchronized actions, perform joint gestures such as waving or hugging; the game tracks which chambers each player has completed and allows players to replay chambers they have completed with new partners. Portal 2's lead writer Erik Wolpaw estimates each campaign to be about six hours long. Portal 2 contains in-game commentary from
Eurogamer is a website focused on video game journalism and other features. It is operated by Gamer Network Ltd. with headquarters in East Sussex. It was formed in 1999 by brothers Nick Loman while they were in secondary school. Gamer Network states that the site has the largest readership of any independent videogames website in Europe, was the first such site to subject its traffic to independent verification by the ABC Electronic system; the site caters to a UK/Ireland audience. Most of its reviews are of PAL releases of games. In February 2015, Eurogamer dropped its 10-point scale review scores system in favour of a "recommendation system," where games would either receive no specific recommendation or awards for being "Recommended," "Essential" or "Avoid." Eurogamer launched on 4 September 1999. Among its founders were Rupert Loman, a Quake and esports community organiser. Eurogamer's current editor is Oli Welsh, who took over the role from Tom Bramwell in September 2014; the editor prior to Bramwell was Kristan Reed.
Contributors to the site include past or present writers from PC Gamer, GamesTM, Rock, Shotgun, such as Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, John Walker, Simon Parkin, Alec Meer, Richard Leadbetter, Dan Whitehead, as well as former GamesIndustry.biz editor Rob Fahey. Eurogamer founder Rupert Loman was interviewed in February 2007 by MCV magazine, he was featured in the Sunday Telegraph on 19 August 2007, speaking about the experience he has gained from choosing to run Eurogamer instead of attending university. At the Games Media Awards, Eurogamer won the categories of Best Games Website – News, Best Games Website – Reviews & Features in 2007; the two awards were consolidated in 2008 and the site went on to win the new award for Best Games Website every year it was awarded, from 2008 to 2013, making it the only website to win the award in its history. Deputy Editor Tom Bramwell won Best Writer in Specialist Digital Media and Eurogamer TV editor Johnny Minkley won Best Games-Dedicated Broadcast on Mainstream TV or Radio in 2007.
News editor Wesley Yin-Poole won Best News Writer in 2014. Rupert Loman was winner of Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 at the Sussex Business Awards and The Observer's "One to Watch" in Media 2007, he was selected as one of 30 "Young Guns" by Growing Business magazine in October 2008. Eurogamer is the principal site of the Gamer Network family of video game-related websites which it has either launched or acquired. Many of its sister sites were started with language/country-specific sites through 2006 to 2012. Eurogamer Germany; this was followed up with Eurogamer France in June 2007, Eurogamer Portugal in May 2008, Eurogamer Netherlands in August 2008, Eurogamer Spain and Eurogamer Italy in October 2008, Eurogamer Romania in March 2009, Eurogamer Czech in May 2009, Eurogamer Denmark in June 2009, Eurogamer Belgium in August 2009, Eurogamer Sweden in April 2010 and Eurogamer Poland in November 2012. In April 2011, Eurogamer Netherlands and Eurogamer Belgium merged to form Eurogamer Benelux. Eurogamer Romania closed down in 2011.
In November 2012, Eurogamer launched their first non-European site, Brasilgamer,In February 2018, Gamer Network was acquired by ReedPOP for an undisclosed sum. Other sites under the Gamer Network include: GamesIndustry.biz, which reports on the global video games industry, launched in May 2008. USgamer, a site following the same principles as the main Eurogamer website but helmed by American staff, launched around 2013. VG247, a video game news site started between Gamer Network and Patrick Garrett in 2008. Mod DB, a database for video game modifications launched in 2002, acquired by Gamer Network in 2015. Rock, Shotgun, a British-based website principally devoted to personal computer video games; the site was acquired into the Gamer Network in May 2017. Eurogamer has hosted the Digital Foundry channel since 2007. Digital Foundry evaluates video game hardware and software from a technical level comparing performances of the same game across different platforms. In February 2018, ReedPOP, a subsidiary of Reed Exhibitions that runs the PAX conventions, acquired the Gamer Network and its network of sites as to expanding into digital news and editorial content, as well as EGX, the largest video game convention in the United Kingdom.
No immediate changes were expected at other sites on the Gamer Network. Eurogamer.net GamesIndustry.biz
Game Informer is an American monthly video game magazine featuring articles, news and reviews of video games and associated consoles. It debuted in August 1991; the publication is owned and published by GameStop Corp. the parent company of the video game retailer of the same name, who bought FuncoLand in 2000. Due to this, a large amount of promotion is done in-store, which has contributed to the success of the magazine. Game Informer has since become an important part of GameStop's customer loyalty program, PowerUp Rewards, which offers subscribers access to special content on the official website. Game Informer debuted in August 1991 as a six-page magazine, it was published every two months until November 1994, when the magazine began to be released monthly. Since 2001 Game Informer has been published by Cathy Preston, working as part of the production team since 2000, it was under her that the publication became an integral part of GameStop's customer loyalty program, Power Up Rewards. In 2010, Game Informer became the 5th largest magazine in the US with 5 million copies sold, ahead of popular publications like Time, Sports Illustrated, Playboy.
By 2011, Game Informer had become the 3rd largest magazine in the US topping 8 million copies circulated. However, in 2014 it had fallen to 4th place with 6.9 million copies sold. Recent figures still place the magazine at 4th place with over 7 million copies sold; the financial success of Game Informer has been attributed to its good relationship with publishers, ties to GameStop, the lack of gaming magazine competition. In each year's April edition, Game Informer includes Game Infarcer, an annual feature in the magazine, as an April Fool's joke. On the cover is "World's #1 Pretend Magazine" where it would ordinarily say "World's #1 Video Game Magazine", the word "Parody" is written on the bottom of each page. Game Infarcer articles are accredited to the fictional editor-in-chief Darth Clark, addressed in hate mail every year sent to Game Informer; the heated responses to parody articles are featured in Game Informer issues. Game Informer has included four "Sacred Cow Barbecues". Similar in style to a celebrity roast, the occasion is meant to "knock some of gaming's most revered icons off their high and mighty pedestals."
The first Sacred Cow Barbecues featured in issue 158. Other issues featuring Sacred Cow Barbecues are: 183, 211, 261. Sacred Cow Barbecues articles are considered controversial among those gamers who aren't amused with their games being mocked. Game Informer Online was launched in August 1996, featured daily news updates as well as articles. Justin Leeper and Matthew Kato were hired on in November 1999 as full-time web editors; as part of the GameStop purchase of the magazine, the site was closed around January 2001. Both Leeper and Kato were placed on the editorial staff of the magazine. GI Online was revived in September 2003, with a full redesign and many additional features, such as a review database, frequent news updates, exclusive "Unlimited" content for subscribers, it was managed by creator of PlanetGameCube.com. Berghammer is the editor in chief of the EGM Media group On March 2009, the online staff began creating the code for what would be the latest redesign to date; the redesign was to release hand-in-hand with the magazine's own redesign.
On October 1, 2009, the newly redesigned website was live, with a welcome message from Editor-In-Chief Andy McNamara. Many new features were introduced, including a rebuilt media player, a feed highlighting the site activity of the website's users, the ability to create user reviews. At the same time, the magazine's podcast, The Game Informer Show, was launched. In February, Game Informer's editors round up to count and judge the "Top 50 Games of last year"; the games are sorted in order of release date. They do not have rankings, but they do commemorate special games with awards like Game of the Year and other examples, they have mini top 10 charts of differing categories, both in the Top 50 games section of the website and in the regular magazine. In August each year, Game Informer includes a "E3 Hot 50", a special section that reviews the year's E3 and most to all of its games, which temporarily replaces the "previews" section. In November 2009, Game Informer was launched in Australia by former Australian GamePro and Official PlayStation Magazine editor Chris Stead and publisher Citrus Media.
By June 2010, Game Informer Australia had become the first local games publication to pass 10,000 subscribers. By August 18, 2010, it had become Australia's biggest selling video games publication. Game Informer Australia has picked up three Australian Magazine Awards for best in category, multiple nominations in the Lizzie awards and the 2013 MCV award for Print Publication of the Year. Chris Stead received the 2013 Journalist of the Year gong at the MCV awards. Game Informer reviews games on PCs, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation VR, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Android, iOS. Older games, three per issue, were given brief reviews in the magazine's Classic GI section; this was discontinued in months before the redesign of the magazine. The magazine's staff rate games on a scale of 1 to 10 with quarter point intervals. A score of 1 - 5 is considered terrible. Andy McNamara – Editor-i
Valve Corporation is an American video game developer and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. It is the developer of the software distribution platform Steam and the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, Dota 2 games. Valve was founded in 1996 by Mike Harrington, their debut product, the PC first-person shooter Half-Life, was released in 1998 to critical acclaim and commercial success, after which Harrington left the company. In 2003, Valve launched Steam, which accounted for around half of digital PC game sales by 2011. By 2012, Valve employed around 250 people and was worth over US$3 billion, making it the most profitable company per employee in the United States. In 2015, Valve entered the game hardware market with the Steam Machine, a line of third-party built gaming PCs running Valve's SteamOS operating system. Valve was founded by former longtime Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington on August 24, 1996, as Valve, L.
L. C. based in Washington. Alternative names explored by Newell and Harrington include "Fruitfly Ensemble" and "Rhino Scar". Harrington left the company in 2000. In 2003, the company moved from its original location to Bellevue, re-incorporated as Valve Corporation. In 2010, the office was moved again to a larger location in Bellevue. In 2016, Valve signed a nine-floor lease in the Lincoln Square complex in downtown Bellevue, doubling the size of their offices. For its first product, Valve settled on a concept for a horror first-person shooter using a modified Quake engine licensed from id Software known as GoldSrc. Half-Life was released in November 1998, it was praised by numerous publications as one of the best and most influential games of all time. The Team Fortress Classic mod, a port of the original Team Fortress mod for Quake, was released for Half-Life in 1999. Gearbox Software created the expansion packs Opposing Force, Blue Shift, Decay, ported the game to PlayStation 2. A port to Dreamcast was canceled in 2001.
After the success of Half-Life, the team worked on mods, spin-offs, sequels, including Half-Life 2. All current Valve games are built on its Source engine; the company has developed six game series: Half-Life, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead and Day of Defeat. Valve is noted for its support of its games' modding community, most prominently, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Day of Defeat. Valve has branched out with this tradition to continue developing Dota 2 as the standalone sequel to the Warcraft III mod; each of these games began as a third-party mod that Valve developed into a full game. They distribute community mods on Steam. Valve announced the Source 2 engine in March 2015 porting the entirety of Dota 2 to the engine in September of that year. Valve has grown both in commercial value. In January 2008, they announced the acquisition of Turtle Rock Studios, which would be renamed Valve South. Turtle Rock Studios spun out of Valve again in March 2010. In April 2010, the company won The Escapist Magazine's March Mayhem tournament for the best developer of 2010, beating out Zynga in the semi-finals and BioWare in the final.
In December 2012, Valve acquired Star Filled Studios, a two-man gaming company, to open a San Francisco office. However, Valve ended the operation in August 2013 when it was decided that there was little benefit coming from the arrangement. In April 2018, Valve acquired the independent developer Campo Santo, known for the 2016 adventure game Firewatch. Campo Santo will continue to develop its own titles under Valve. Valve's internal network has been infiltrated by hackers three times, in 2003 where content of the yet to be released Half-Life 2 was leaked onto the internet, Newell's email account was compromised, keyloggers were installed on several Valve systems. In 2011 the Steam customer databases and forums were compromised. In September 2011, a hacker broke into the network and downloaded the beta code of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. In June 2014, a developer from SCS Software reported an exploit that allowed announcement pages to be injected with code, after no response, he edited an announcement to redirect users to a Harlem Shake video.
In March 2016, a vulnerability on the Steam Store allowed a user to publish a game without any authorization from Valve. Valve has developed and published the main games in both the Half-Life and Portal series, as well as published both and developed one of the Left 4 Dead games, the other of, developed by Valve South. Valve developed and published Team Fortress, Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, Artifact. Several of Valve's series feature only two primary games, such as Half-Life and Half-Life 2. With no apparent announcements of a third title in these series, Valve has acquired a joking reputation for being unable to count to 3. In the absence of an official announcement of a Half-Life 3, players and journalists have claimed to have found proof that a sequel remained under active development, many of which have been revealed as hoaxes or leaks of dubious authenticity. Unreleased and cancelled games include a fairy-themed role-playing game and Stars of Blood. Valve worked with Arkane Studios on The Crossing, canceled in May 2009.
Arkane tried to develop Return to Ravenholm without consent by Valve, canceled. Valve announced Steam, its digital distribution software platfor