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Was he there for acquisition talks? Partnership discussions? Trying to convince Gabe Newell to bet bigger on the iPad and other Apple platforms? Or was it just a friendly way for two technology companies to get to know each other?

Whatever the reason, Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly spotted today at the Bellevue headquarters of Valve, the game company whose Steam platform is often called the iTunes of video games.

It’s far from the first contact between the companies. As noted by Apple Insider, Newell, the co-founder of Valve, had this to say about Apple in a 2007 interview.

We have this pattern with Apple, where we meet with them, people there go “wow, gaming is incredibly important, we should do something with gaming.” And then we’ll say, “OK, here are three things you could do to make that better”, and then they say OK, and then we never see them again. And then a year later, a new group of people show up, who apparently have no idea that the last group of people were there, and never follow though on anything. So, they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there’s never any follow through on any of the things they say they’re going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for their platforms.

Of course, a visit by the Apple CEO is a different matter entirely. Rumors aside, the real litmus test will be whether to Newell shows up on stage to make an announcement at a future Apple event.

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