Valve and its fans exchange money and hugs

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The second part of The Washington Post’s interview with Gabe Newell of Valve highlights the company’s relationship with its customers. It’s an uneasy mix of adoration and capitalism. When fans can make up to six figures of income from creating Steam Workshop items, the normal company-to-customer dynamic has to be modified. It’s not all business, though. According to Gabe, his fans like to get more touchy-feely in person.

“And they hug me when they run into me. I’m not a hugging person, but that’s what they want.”

I imagine many hugs end with “Hey man, where’s Half-Life 3?”