There's never been doubt that Valve takes gaming - and the PC as a platform - very seriously, but when the company announced its SteamOS, Steam Machines and Steam controller, it became clear as day that the company wants to make its already major impact on the gaming industry even more definitive.
Outside of its own games, fueling Valve's success is other developers - indie or established. For continued success, further support is required, and to help with that, the company has just unveiled "Steam Dev Days", a special two-day conference that will kick-off this coming January in Seattle. Whether this is going to become an annual event or not, we'll have to wait and see.
The goal with Steam Dev Days is to allow developers to meet up in a relaxed, off-the-record environment. Details are minimal at this point, but we'd expect there to be a keynote by founder and CEO Gabe Newell. What has been mentioned in that there will be lectures and roundtables, and that subjects will definitely float around Linux/OpenGL, game economies and user-generated content.
Another perk is that developers will have direct access to Valve's own Steam team; email can suffice sometimes, but nothing compares to discussing something in person. At this upcoming event in particular, deveopers will be able to get some hands-on time with all of the forthcoming Steam products.
Unlike some developer conferences, this one is invite-only, likely restricted to those who already have content published on Steam.
Given everything that Valve has been up to, a move like this almost seems expected, so it will be interesting to see how it fares, and if it becomes a regular occurrence.