Valve pays developers a whole lot to keep its Steam Deck open source software running

The Steam deck (opens in a new tab) is an incredible piece of hardware, but the software that underpins it is just as impressive. From longtime open source stalwarts like the Mesa graphics driver and Vulkan API to Valve’s own Proton compatibility layer, Deck only runs thanks to a lot of work from open source developers. Without them, the whole thing is just a big block of plastic.

It turns out Valve understands that, because in a recent chat with the Verge (opens in a new tab), Steam Deck designer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned that the company pays over a hundred open source developers to work on the various pieces of software that keep Steam Deck ticking. Valve has them working on things like Steam for ChromeOS and Linux too (Griffais didn’t mention macOS though, which makes sense given the way Steam seems to freeze in panic every time I launch it on a MacBook).

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