Valve has been one of the leaders in offering alternative ways to fund their games. Of course, the company launched Steam alongside Half-Life 2 in 2004 that slowly emerged as the number one source for digital downloads of games. Later the company turned Team Fortress 2 into a free-to-play game, with revenues coming from cosmetic in-game items. More recently, Valve announced it was going that same route for the upcoming DOTA 2.
Now Valve is showing it is getting more serious about how economics and games work together. In the newly launched Valve Economics blog, the company reveals it has hired Yanis Varoufakis to be its "economist-in-residence."
Born in Greece, Varoufakis received a PhD in Economics from the University of Essex and is currently the Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens. He has written several books and is considered to be an expert on the worldwide economic collapse of 2008 and its consequences.
In the blog, Varoufakis talks about how he was emailed by Valve founder Gabe Newell to come to Valve and offer the developer help in their economic ventures. Varoufakis states that while he was not knowledgeable about the game industry he added, "... the people at Valve and I discerned a double coincidence of interests. My academic curiosity blended nicely into Valve’s burning desire to serve its gaming community better, through the development of services that are in tune with the community’s needs as gamers but also as traders, developers, participants in something much bigger than just video games."
Varoufakis said the Valve Economics blog will be updated weekly with information on "... on our projects, experiences and ideas regarding Valve’s various social ‘economies’.
Source: Valve Economics blog