Valve boss Gabe Newell has suggested that “jerks” should pay full retail price for games, and an additional cost to be able to communicate, while “likeable” players with a proven track record should be given games for free.
The tongue-in-cheek business model was raised in an interview with Develop:
“The industry has this broken model, which is one price for everyone. That's actually a bug, and it's something that we want to solve through our philosophy of how we create entertainment products,” explained Newell.
"What you really want to do is create the optimal pricing service for each customer and see what's best for them. We need to give customers, all of them, a robust set of options regarding how they pay for their content.
“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 likable person in our community should get DOTA 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2,” he proposed. “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.”
Valve’s latest output was the very well-received Portal 2.