It would be an understatement to say that Valve do things differently from other developers. Other than their flat structure and anarchic decision-making, Valve do their own marketing and use the same people that develop the games to communicate directly with their fans.
While this sounds good in principle, a developer with multiple active projects like Valve can find it hard to properly and clearly communicate with their audience in this way. In the past this has led to a few cases of miscommunication or to complete lack of communication, and to more than a few angry fans. However, things could change soon. According to their business guy Erik Johnson, the company is looking for ways to fix their problematic communication methods.
"For a long time, the way we've operated—especially with games like Counter-Strike, DOTA, and Team Fortress—is by writing software for our customers
," Johnson told Kotaku
"Our plan on that has been, 'Let's be as efficient as possible in building features and content.' We want all of our customers to be as close to the people who are actually building content as possible
"We try to be transparent because they're no point in being otherwise. Customers will always find out what's going on. You can't lie to the internet
"[Time spent communicating] isn't free. It's not coming from a marketing department. That's the programmer who's gonna be doing that instead of writing code
"But there definitely does seem to be something where we need to be doing a better job of walking people through what we're doing. There is something we're missing where we need to spend more time explaining things to users
Johnson didn't say how exactly does Valve plan to improve their relations with fans, but it's good to know they realize there's a problem, at least.