Valve and its Steam service are obviously wildly successful. But as a company that refuses to ever offer up any financial information, it's difficult to figure out just how successful Valve really is.
In a Forbes profile of founder Gabe Newell, it's claimed that Valve's digital distribution store now owns between 50% and 70% of the $4 billion business that is downloadable PC games. Forbes cites IHS Screen Digest analyst Ed Barton, who suggests Valve's revenue in 2010 was in the "high hundreds of millions of dollars." Newell will only get as specific as saying that Valve is "tremendously profitable." He also stated that, per employee, Valve is profitable than Google or Apple.
The profile goes on to describe the story of how Newell almost went blind before getting surgery that granted him much-improved eyesight, as well as his current hobby of creating things like iPad stands, custom swords, and other 'geek accessories.'
Newell admitted that Valve has missed out on some trends that have been proven to be extremely profitable, including mobile, social, and motion control games. He qualified what could be construed as regret over the misses by saying, "If we tried to blaze new trails of our own and ride all the latest trends, we'd likely be bankrupt by now."
Valve will be launching its next game, Portal 2, in April. It also continues to provide a tremendous amount of support for Team Fortress 2. Last year it launched an in-game store where weapons and cosmetic items can be purchased. It also allows players to develop and sell their own items (with some making up to $20,000 per week).
Original Article: http://www.1up.com/news/valve-more-profitable-google-apple-per-employee