PC and console gamers alike can breathe a sigh of relief: Half-Life 3 will not be a Steam Machine or SteamOS exclusive. Steam Machine designer Greg Coomer confirmed the news, putting to rest any speculation that Valve might use their extremely popular franchise to push sales of their new platform or self-contained console.
The speculation hit a fever pitch after DICE Creative Director Lars Gustavsson said that all it would take is “one killer app” for the Linux OS to gain traction. Gustavsson wouldn’t outright say it, but most assumed that the strongest candidate for the killer app category, especially as the Steam Machine is concerned, would be Half-Life 3.
Luckily for fans, that won’t be the case. As Coomer explains, “You won’t see an exclusive killer app for SteamOS from us. We’re not going to be doing that kind of thing.”
It appears pretty clear that Valve wants to sell the SteamOS as an open platform for games. And so, with that idea in mind, it would seem counterintuitive for the company to release a console exclusive.
Yes, releasing Half-Life 3 on SteamOS and no other platform would likely boost the profile of Valve’s newest creations, but Valve spokesperson Anna Sweet stressed that no exclusive content will be developed by the company.
“That would go against our whole philosophy, to launch something that’s exclusive to SteamOS or Steam Machines.”
Moreover, Sweet revealed that Valve would rather third-party developers not craft experiences exclusive to Steam Machines either. Rather, Valve will encourage multiplatform development wherever possible.
“Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms. Because we think that customers are everywhere, and they want to put their games wherever customers are.”
Part of the reason that the Steam store and PC gaming have seen tremendous growth isn’t because of exclusive content, but because it’s easier to discount digital versions of games while still turning a profit. Not to mention, the PC has been the preferred platform for the highest quality visuals over the past few years. That might change as we enter the next generation of consoles, but early reports regarding the PS4 and Xbox One suggest the PC might still be king.
For now, prototypes of the Steam Machine will soon begin shipping to developers, and some time next year the console should roll out to the consumer. Lots of gamers will likely be drawn to the unique experience, and its unique controller, but not because it will be the only home for Half-Life 3. Provided Half-Life 3 ever comes out.
Are you happy to hear that Valve will not develop any SteamOS-exclusive content? Do you think that’s a mistake on their part, or does it make you value the company more?