The math i
s based on a remark of Newell that the company is more profitable, per employee, than Google or Apple. If Google made about $350,000 profit per employee in 2010, and if that number is applied to Valve's 250 employees, then it would mean that Valve had a profit of at least $87.5 million last year. The company's annual revenue should be in the range of about $600 to $800 million.
Forbes concludes that Valve could now be worth more than $2 billion, while conservative estimates put the company closer to the $1.5 billion range. That, of course, is only a number that relates to Valve's PC game business and its distribution platform. The company has not even begun to move into the mobile space yet.
Who would be interested in acquiring Valve? Given the trend toward platforms, there are plenty of possibilities: Microsoft, Apple, Google. Newell repeatedly said that he intends to keep Valve private and he has no intentions to sell. That, however, may be a matter of the right amount.