Valve Makes More Money Per Employee than Google or Apple - News

by Nick Pantazis , posted on 14 February 2011 / 8,915 Views

Earlier today Forbes published an article on Valve, calling Gabe Newell the next gaming billionaire, if he's not one already. Forbes estimates Valve's value at $2-$4 billion, with Gabe Newell owning over half of the completely privately owned company. The article goes on to mention that Half-LIfe 2 has sold more than 12 million copies, and, perhaps most shockingly, Gabe Newell claims Valve makes more money per employee than Google or Apple. Since Google and Apple are publicly traded companies, their ratio of profit per employee is no secret, so there's really no way the PC software tycoon could be wrong.

Valve's primary profit machine, Steam, easily the largest digital distribution service on PC (and arguably on any platform), was estimated by Forbes to have earned an astounding $1-$2 billion last year. There is no way to directly confirm these estimates, as Valve is infamously private about the sales of Steam software, but it's hard to argue with that kind of success. These estimates on the value of Valve and their revenue would put the independant company well out of the range of purchasability from even the largest of third party publishers, such as EA. With many gamers (and even some publishers) still claiming PC gaming is dying, this news may change some opinions on the subject of PC's viability as a major gaming platform. 

You can find the full article on Forbes, linked below. 

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naznatips (on 15 February 2011)

Ail apparently is more knowledgeable than Forbes. Who knew?

Ail (on 15 February 2011)

For those wondering Google makes roughly 500k/employee ( little lower than that). Valve has 250 employees so what this tells us is that the company makes more than 125 million$ of profit/year. Based on the estimated valuation of the company and steam revenue I would actually venture that Valve's annual profit are in the 250-300 million$ range...

skullking (on 15 February 2011)

Wow! way to go Valve!! Have to say, this doesn't surprise me a lot, considering Valve is a MUCH smaller company than the other two, and I'm guessing the bulk of their employees are white collar higher ups. But, either way, good for them.

famousringo (on 15 February 2011)

Impressive! Even if the estimates are off, just being in the same profit ballpark as the giants of tech is a major achievement. That's the power of digital distribution! I kinda like privately held companies. Even if their actual results are inscrutable, you always know where the buck stops.

Ail (on 15 February 2011)

2010 Steam revenue were just shy of 1 billion$, not in the 1-2 billion range....

scapegoatsqueal (on 15 February 2011)

Really? Nobody has said it yet? Fine. GABEN.

Viper1 (on 15 February 2011)

Mchaza, Nintendo was making $1.5 million per employee in 2009. Last FY, for Nintendo it was just about $1 million per. $4 billion in profit - 4,000 employees.

naznatips (on 15 February 2011)

@Baalzamon Definitely. It doesn't mean they're a larger company, but it does imply they're a more efficient one. And judging by that $1-$2 billion from Steam last year alone estimate, they're probably making a LOT more money per employee. Valve only employs 250 people.

Baalzamon (on 15 February 2011)

Google and Apple are laughing their asses off that somebody is proud to make more per employee when they aer making a shit ton more money overall.

libellule (on 15 February 2011)

why I m not surprised AT ALL !

FaRmLaNd (on 15 February 2011)

12 million copies for half-life 2? Thats amazing if true!

Hephaestos (on 15 February 2011)

steam sales are a big part of this.

mangoman10 (on 15 February 2011)

HALF LIFE 2: EPISODE 3 plzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finnbar (on 15 February 2011)

Very interesting, this has inspired me to go and get steam!

mchaza (on 15 February 2011)

doesn't Nintendo make 500,000 USD per employee. So value must be millions but it isn't like value is treating its employees bad with low wages when they have one of the lowest retention rates in the US. Gabe has enough doe to build his own food court in his mansion if he sells off.

thetonestarr (on 15 February 2011)

This just in: Aperture Science was a self-depiction.

PureDante (on 14 February 2011)

I like this!