Gamers will probably never play Half-Life 3. Critics know it, Valve definitely know it, and deep down fans know it too. Despite never getting to know what might have been, fans might be able to take solace in knowing that, despite years of remaining fairly inactive with regards to game development, Gabe Newall and the team over at Valve are looking to get back into the swing of things.
While speaking at an event today for Artifact, Newall revealed the the card game set in the Dota universe is only the first of many things coming from the company notoriously unable to count past 2.“Artifact is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us,” said Newall, “So that’s sort of good news. Hooray! Valve’s going to start shipping games again.”
Newall’s comments will no doubt excite fans. Since releasing its first title, the original Half-Life, back in 1998, Valve has grown into one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. Much of the Valves success obviously comes from its online distribution service Steam, making Newall a very rich man. Of course this focus on Steam and the companies other hardware en devours has seen a steep decrease in original games developed by the company, who haven’t released a new non-VR game since Dota back in 2013.
During the discussion, Newall discussed why exactly Valve had slowed game production to such great length and focused on hardware, saying the company feared PC gaming becoming a closed high-margin ecosystem, which caused concern “because we thought that the strength of the PC is about its openness … So we started to make some investments to offset that.”
Luckily, Valves commitment to hardware has seemingly paid off, allowing the company to develop it’s own tech with ease in-house. “Five years ago, we didn’t have electrical engineers” Newall said, “Now there’s pretty much no project in the hardware space that we wouldn’t be comfortable taking on.” The team at Valve argue that the ability to develop hardware and software together is the key to making amazing games, citing Nintendo’s success as an example:
“We’ve always been a little bit jealous of companies like Nintendo. When Miyamoto is sitting down and thinking about the next version of Zelda or Mario, he’s thinking what is the controller going to look like, what sort of graphics and other capabilities. He can introduce new capabilities like motion input because he controls both of those things. And he can make the hardware look as good as possible because he’s designing the software at the same time that’s really going to take advantage of it. So that is something we’ve been jealous of, and that’s something that you’ll see us taking advantage of subsequently.
Its worth remembering this isn’t the first time Newall has mentioned such prospects. In January last year Newall confirmed in a Reddit AMA that the company had at least one new single-player game in development and only a few months later confirmed that 3 more VR games are in development also. Assuming these are some of the titles being referred to and that progress has been made over the last year, fans may not have to wait too long to see what Newall and Valve have in store.