Valve for sale? Asian firms reportedly in talks to purchase video game studio

Even though Valve CEO Gabe Newell said it’s more likely that his company will “disintegrate,” rather than be bought out, reports are out that two major Asian online game companies are discussing a possible purchase of the Bellevue-based video game company.

Nexon and NCsoft reportedly met in Hawaii on Wednesday to discuss a merger and valued Valve for more than $893 million. Nexon is a Japanese online game maker and recently bought a $685 million stake in NCsoft to become its largest shareholder. 

Chris Chung, a former exec at NCsoft and current CEO of Motiga, told GeekWire last month that Asian gaming companies are becoming more interested in investing in PC online games.

The timing is curious, especially with Newell’s comments in a New York Times article published earlier this month. Journalist Nick Wingfield notes that Electronic Arts pursued Valve this year and valued it at over $1 billion. The article also notes that a financial analyst estimates that Valve could be worth about $2.5 billion right now.

Last month, comScore Networks ranked Valve as the fourth-fastest growing site with a 25-percent increase in total unique visitors from June to July. The company is also trying to push the boundaries of its business with new additions like “Big Picture” gaming modes for living room TVs.

Wondering how Valve, a private company that was founded in 1996, has been so successful? Newell gave an interesting eight-minute dissertation on the modern economics of video games last year that you can check out here.