Rumour: Google to buy Valve – UPDATED

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According to a report in The Inquirer, the all-knowing, all-encompassing internet search giant, Google, is to buy Half-Life developer, Valve.

Valve SoftwareThere have been increased rumblings on the ‘net regarding Google’s plans to enter the games market, with efforts such as their virtual world social network, Lively. Google would be interested in Valve, however, not only because they are a fantastic developer, but more likely is that they want to take advantage of Valve’s Steam, a service that streams games and game updates, as well as providing a central point of authentication for purchased software and online game servers.

Most of the large game publishers and developers have signed on to distribute their games through Steam as well, making the service extremely influential. With a current active subscriber-base of 15 million users, Steam could be even more powerful and prolific in the hands of Google.

If true, the news could be as big as the Activision/Vivendi merger or EA’s Bioware/Pandemic buyout last year. Also, if true, it’s expected that an announcement will be made during the course of the Austin Game Developer’s Conference, running through this week

Source: The Inquirier

UPDATE: In the first comment made by Valve regarding the supposed acquisition, Valve’s marketing director, Doug Lombardi, said that the rumour is just that – 100% rumour. Back to your lives, citizens…

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