Half-Life: Alyx – the vanguard of a Valve comeback? (pic: Valve)
The makers of Half-Life and Portal are finally returning to make traditional single-player titles, according to Valve boss Gabe Newell.
Go back 10 years and Valve were regularly held up as one of the most talented and influential game developers in the world. Nowadays, many people will probably be unaware that the company that runs Steam makes games at all.
Dota 2 and other multiplayer PC games are still hugely popular but Valve’s last major console release was Portal 2 in 2011 and while they did return to traditional single-player games with last year’s Half-Life: Alyx the fact that it’s a PC-only VR game meant that very few people ever got to play it.
Valve has hinted that other of their franchises might also get the VR treatment but there’s never been any real hope that they would return to making traditional single-player games… until now.
Valve CEO Gabe Newell has been living in New Zealand during the pandemic, after what was intended to be only a 10-day holiday, and has enjoyed it so much he’s applied for residency.
He gave an interview to local TV news programme 1 News, where he also discussed the possibility of hosting Dota 2 and Counter-Strike esports tournaments in the country.
It’s his comments about returning to single-player games that are the most striking though, as they seem to suggest a major change in approach.
‘We definitely have games in development that we’re going to be announcing – it’s fun to ship games,’ said Newell.
‘Alyx was great – to be back doing single-player games, that created a lot of momentum inside of the company to do more of that.’
He wouldn’t be specific about what those games might be though, and pointedly avoided saying if there’d be any new Half-Life or Portal sequels.
‘I’ve successfully not spoken about those things for a long time and I hope to continue to not talk about them until they are moot questions. Then we’ll move on to a new set of questions’, he said.
‘The nice thing is, by not answering those questions, I avoid the community coming up with new, equally-difficult-to-answer questions.’
As relatively positive as this sounds, it should be noted that Gabe Newell says a lot of things and even though he’s the head of the company there’s no guarantee that anything will really happen, as Valve is infamous for regularly cancelling or delaying projects that then never see the light of day.
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