Steam Ends Bitcoin Support

Valve Implements Additional Changes to Steam User Reviews

Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method as a result of “high fees and volatility”, Valve announced Wednesday.

“In the past few months we’ve seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network,” Valve said in a post on Steam. “For example, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically.”

The open source cryptocurrency has seen its value increase dramatically throughout 2017, beginning the year valued at roughly $1,000 USD and reaching a new high of $12,000 USD this week.

Valve explained that the value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time, and if a transaction is not completed with the time frame, the amount of Bitcoin needed for the transaction can change. While these discrepancies are normally refunded or require an additional payment from the customer when using a more traditional currency, the high transaction fees associated with Bitcoin make these solutions unfeasible.

“At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.”

Valve originally added support for Bitcoin for Steam purchases in 2016 in a partnership with bitpay.


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Portal Returns This Month With Bridge Constructor Portal

Portal Returns This Month With Bridge Constructor Portal

It’s been seven years since the Portal series saw its last release with Portal 2, but Headup Games and ClockStone Software are bringing the series back before the end of 2017 with Bridge Constructor Portal.

Due on December 20 for Windows, MacOS, Linux and mobile devices, Bridge Constructor Portal combines the physics-based puzzles of the Bridge Constructor series with the physics-based puzzles of the Portal series.

In Bridge Constructor Portal, you’ll construct bridges using spans and supports to allow traffic to cross from one side of a level to another, while also using the Portal gun and other tools common to the Portal series to make sure the feat bends physics as much as possible. As is common to both franchises, expect to fail hilariously along the way.

Bridge Constructor Portal will blend the laws of structural engineering and technology straight from Aperture Laboratories into an exciting new game experience, all under the demanding gaze of GLaDOS,” said Headup Games in a press release.

Versions for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One will follow next year, according to Headup Games.


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Valve’s Kim Swift Headed to EA

Valve's Kim Swift Headed to EA

One of Valve’s strongest alumni is about to head over to EA. Portal and Left 4 Dead veteran Kim Swift will be joining EA’s Motive Studios, according to an EA announcement.

While Swift’s work at the studio has yet to be announced, she comes with strong praise from higher-ups. “Kim comes with an impressive resume that extends beyond her work at Valve. She’s been recognized in the Forbes’ “30 Under 30: Games & Apps” list, been named “one of the most recognized women in the industry” and been part of teams that brought home Game Developers Choice Awards for Best Game Design, Best Innovation, and Game of the Year,” Group General Manager Jade Raymond wrote. “Despite all this success, it’s clear from Kim’s passion and talent that her greatest achievements still lie ahead.”

Based in Canada, Motive Studios was founded by Raymond, who previously worked as an executive at Ubisoft. At the moment, the studio is working on a Star Wars title with Visceral Games, as well as a “new IP” that has yet to be announced. Swift expressed excitement in working with the Frostbite engine and prototyping, suggesting that Motive Studios’ work may involve the Frostbite engine on one or more projects. But it’s hard to say for certain at the moment without more information from Raymond, EA or Motive Studios developers.

Swift’s move also comes amidst speculation from Gabe Newell’s Reddit AMA that Valve is working on a new single-player game, although little news was given from Newell beyond that. Team Fortress 2 is receiving another update, but Swift’s work on the Portal and Left 4 Dead franchises have yet to see any further follow-ups since Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. Suffice to say, a change of pace is always welcome in gaming. Check back later as more news comes out about Motive Studios’ work over the coming months ahead.

Valve Announces Boston Major, Hosted Dec 7th through 10th

Valve Announces Boston Major, Hosted Dec 7th through 10th

Valve’s Dota 2 has seen major success in recent years as an eSport. With the ongoing International raising Dota 2‘s competitive Twitch views significantly in August, it’s clear the gaming community is interested in seeing more of the game’s eSports scene. Today, Valve is accommodating that request: The Boston Major is coming Dec 7th in Boston.

Read moreValve Announces Boston Major, Hosted Dec 7th through 10th