The 2015 Tech Impact Awards: Gaming

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

WINNER

VALVE
Location: Bellevue | Employees: 300+

Valve software has always been about changing the game, from its hit PC titles like Half-Life and Portal, to the way games are distributed and managed through the Steam online platform. Its vigorous pursuit of new ideas has helped build one of the most successful video game companies in the world.

Valve continues to shake the game universe, beginning with its planned autumn release of Steam Link, a low-cost console for streaming high-definition games to a TV. The audacious, Netflix-like offering to the 125 million active Steam account holders guarantees Valve a place in the ferocious battle for people’s living rooms waged by much larger players like Microsoft and Sony.

Equally bold is Valve’s foray into Virtual Reality (VR) games, joining companies like Google and Facebook in forging this new frontier. Working with Chinese hardware company HTC, the Vive VR headset is expected to be available to consumers by year’s end, with applications from several partnering game developers.

With its Dota 2 world video game championship giving away $18 million in prizes this summer, and watched by a packed audience at KeyArena as well as millions of people at home, Valve has heled create a new kind of spectator sport. These bold moves are only the latest example of Valve creating new, exciting realities. 

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Longtime friends Kate Isler and Susan Gates encourage consumers to shop with purpose