A New York Times (opens in new tab) report published last weekend discussed Valve's unorthodox structure (opens in new tab) and employee handbook (opens in new tab) in the wake of the studio jumping into hardware production (opens in new tab) . According to an anonymous source in the report, competitor and partner EA once eyeballed Valve for a possible purchase valued at over $1 billion, but Gabe Newell says the company would "disintegrate" before being sold.
"It's way more likely we would head in that direction [disintegration] than say, 'Let's find some giant company that wants to cash us out and wait two or three years to have our employment agreements terminate,'" he said.
As a privately held company, Valve keeps the specifics of its finances inside a crowbar-braced vault, but Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter estimates the company's worth at $2.5 billion. That's about 278 million Team Fortress 2 hats.
In the same report, EA Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore placed Valve "on the cutting edge of the future of this industry." Earlier this year, Newell said EA's Origin needed "to play catch up" (opens in new tab) with rival services such as Steam for worthwhile competition, saying, "They have a lot of work to do to get to the way they want to be and where I as a customer would want them to be."