Valve's Gabe Newell Says They're Back To Making Games

No. Half Life 3 was not confirmed. Just let it go. 


Good news for folks still holding out hope that someday Half-Life 3 will actually be confirmed and not just another long-running meme. Valve has announced that they're getting back to shipping video games. For the last decade or so Valve has focused on their online gaming and software store, Steam as well as making hardware for PC gaming.

The news came directly from none other than the big head honcho himself Gabe Newell during a demo tour of Valve's new DOTA 2-themed digital card game, Artifact. According to PC Gamer, Newell stated that Artifact is just the beginning: 

"Artifact is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us. So that's sort of good news. Hooray! Valve's going to start shipping games again."

Back in January 2017 Newell confirmed that Valve was also working on at least one new single-player game during a Reddit AMA. Soon after, Valve confirmed that three new VR projects were also in the works. Newell wasn't ready to confirm anything more beyond what's already been mentioned just yet but went on to say that the real big deal was being able to develop hardware and software at the same time:

"We aren't going to be talking about it today, but sort of the big thing, the new arrow we have in our quiver, really, is our ability to develop hardware and software simultaneously." 

For the last few years, Valve has felt that the ecosystem of PC gaming was heading towards a more closed environment and had been focusing their energy on Steam VR and the Vive. But with that focus came a lack of game development. In fact, DOTA 2 was the last game that Valve developed, however that focus on VR ended up teaching the team the skills they needed to efficiently develop hardware and kept the PC gaming ecosystem from being closed off:

"The positive thing about the Vive is, in addition to making sure that nobody created an iOS closed platform for it, was also that it gave us the opportunity to develop our in-house expertise in hardware design. Five years ago, we didn't have electrical engineers and people who know how to do robots. Now there's pretty much no project in the hardware space that we wouldn't be comfortable taking on. We can design chips if we need to, we can do industrial design, and so on."

Newell went on to say that Nintendo was a big influence on Valve wanting to create hardware and software simultaneously:

"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."

Reviews Editor

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 9, 2018 11:00 AM

    Blake Morse posted a new article, Valve's Gabe Newell Says They're Back To Making Games

    • reply
      March 9, 2018 11:02 AM

      For the next month....

    • reply
      March 9, 2018 11:08 AM

      I am optimistic and I am interested in seeing their future games (after Artifact). They've done cool stuff in the past and it'll be interesting to see what they come up with now.

    • reply
      March 9, 2018 11:09 AM

      They're making a fucking card game. I don't think they have the staff to make a quality singleplayer game like they used to. Most of their writers left.

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 11:19 AM

        good lord not another card game! Whoever started this hype burn in hell (I am looking at you heartstone)

        • reply
          March 9, 2018 11:21 AM

          I enjoyed Gwent inside of Witcher 3 but the stand alone did nothing for me. Am I broken?

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 11:37 AM

            No, the last time I enjoyed a digital card game was FFIX, and I feel like that's because I could play a game or two within the game I was playing with additional out of game consequences (as minor as they were). I like real life ones but for some reason when you lose that tactile connection and looking into other peoples eyes when they pick up/put down cards it just loses all my interest.

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 12:02 PM

            not at all, the people who play those games are the ones who are broken

    • reply
      March 9, 2018 11:30 AM

      I’m a little stunned at how hostile the reaction has been.

      • DM7 legacy 10 years
        March 9, 2018 11:55 AM

        Last thing Valve needs to do is release another CCG. We’re at peak saturation! :D

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 12:01 PM

        They're a big company making an insane amount of money on numerous MP properties and their first foray back into actually making games is pretty much the lowest effort, lowest budget kind of game they could possibly make. And in a genre perfectly suited to the exact same microtransaction model they've been making bank on since TF2 became Hat Simulator.

        Valve fans want the high quality single player games they used to be known for, not the Dota version of Hearthstone. We expect more from them, and they should have known that.

        • reply
          March 9, 2018 1:00 PM

          "Valve fans"

          I think the legions of people playing Dota, Counter-Strike, and Team Fortress are Valve fans as much as you.

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 11:30 PM

            That's an entirely different Valve. Might as well be a different company altogether.

            • reply
              March 9, 2018 11:45 PM

              So then why do you care?

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 12:09 PM

        Because they’ve jerked with people’s emotions for so long. They’re like an ex coming back after many years, telling you that they’ll go to the way things were.

        I personally have a lot of skepticism. But if they make AND RELEASE something awesome, I’ll be there. But not before.

        • reply
          March 9, 2018 12:14 PM

          They are sitting on some great IPs, hope they do something with them

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 12:49 PM

            I almost hope they leave the old IPs alone. This is not the Valve that made Half Life and Portal.

            • DM7 legacy 10 years
              March 9, 2018 6:20 PM

              I don’t know, I could play a left 4 dead 3.

              • reply
                March 9, 2018 11:10 PM

                I wonder how far they got with that and how much is salvageable, also Source 3 or whatever

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 12:13 PM

        I understand the skepticism (they earned the mountain they have to climb) but the reaction to Artifact is stupid. "Another card game" is such a one-dimensional reaction. All that matters is whether the game is good or not and they have ridiculous talent working on this one.

        • reply
          March 9, 2018 12:16 PM

          Unless you don’t give a shit about card games and liked Valve because of their high budget and quality FPS story games.

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 12:39 PM

            Then hopefully a future game is more your speed. Steam is in danger of being sidelined in 5 or so years so the pressure is on Valve to create exclusive content for it.

            Epic has maybe the biggest game in the world running through their launcher right now. Origin has all of the EA games, GoG is a viable alternative minus DRM, Battlenet is getting the next CoD and probably every major Activision release going forward, etc etc. Even Steam's importance as a social hub is irrelevant now that platform agnostic social gaming apps like Discord have taken over.

            Content is king, the failure of the XBox platform (and Phil Spencer's recent remarks that they are refocusing on exclusive content) is testament to that. Sony has had huge success with exclusives even after cutting back on internal development in 2011, and obviously Nintendo has been reaping the rewards of exclusive content for over 30 years.

            Whatever competitive advantage Valve had is rapidly starting to erode and now they need to start giving people a reason to use Steam outside of the fact that there were no viable alternatives.

            • reply
              March 10, 2018 1:53 AM

              Yup. I'm mostly on, on uPlay for Rainbow Six, and if I'm on Steam it's for Call of Duty. If CoD switches to, Steam's going to be even less relevant to me.

        • reply
          March 9, 2018 3:13 PM

          It's going to be a scummy pay-to-win, micro-transaction-rape game. Valve isn't interested in making awesome games anymore, they just in it for easy billions.

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 3:19 PM

            None of Valve's F2P games have been P2W, so I'm not sure why you're assuming this one will be.

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 3:38 PM

            Yeah dota and Cs go are both evidence of this. Tf2 also

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 3:46 PM

            I don't think it will be pay-to-win. But I do believe they will be selling card packs and individual cards so it will be very micro-transaction heavy. I'd love it if they didn't though.

            • Zek legacy 10 years
              March 9, 2018 4:43 PM

              CCGs are the original pay-to-win games. Selling card packs is the very definition of P2W.

              • reply
                March 9, 2018 6:12 PM

                Not really. You're assuming there is guaranteed better cards in those packs. I'm not.

                • Zek legacy 10 years
                  March 9, 2018 6:15 PM

                  Wouldn't be much of a CCG if the best cards were in the free set.

                  • reply
                    March 9, 2018 6:19 PM

                    Wouldn't be much of a balanced game if you had to buy the packs to be competitive. Are we sure this game is going to be FTP?

                    • reply
                      March 9, 2018 6:56 PM

                      It isn’t free to play. They’ve been very clear

              • reply
                March 9, 2018 10:52 PM

                to me P2W is defined by uncapped spending going towards your win percentage. CCGs are just games with high buy ins at the competitive level that offer the ability to buy in via small chunks in case you don't ever care to go there.

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 4:28 PM

            They’ve done a very good job of not making their games pay to win, that’s a big conclusion you’re jumping to. They explicitly said that they are making the best cards common while edge use cards are the rarer ones.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          March 9, 2018 4:42 PM

          The reaction comes from the context. THIS did not happen because people hate card games so much: It's because Valve's fans feel betrayed by the neglect they've shown their beloved franchises. Everyone knows it's because they prefer the easy profit of Steam and endless microtransactions on existing games. So in that context, when they ended their drought by announcing a derivative game in perhaps the most infamous genre for microtransaction cash grabs, it was understandably poorly received. This is what happens when you squander all your fans' good will.

          You say they have ridiculous talent working on this one, how do you know that? They have not released a single game since Dota 2 in 2013. That's not a great way to retain the best talent.

          • reply
            March 9, 2018 5:55 PM

            I said the reaction was understandable given the context. The reaction to the specifics of the game divorced from context are what is silly.

            As for talent, Richard Garfield is working on it, its very difficult to get much higher in the world of tabletop game design. Others like Brad Muir were previously announced but Garfield is a major win, up there with their acquisition of Icefrog

        • reply
          March 10, 2018 5:06 AM

          I have no doubt it'll be an excellent card game, but there's no place in my game library for ANOTHER card game, especially if it costs similar to other Card games and I cant see me abandoning my current investment in Hearthstone.

          Its just unexciting, the card game market has come and gone IMO, even if its really well done its still just a card game.

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 1:37 PM

        It's sorta like getting ghosted by a girlfriend that you fell head over heels for.

        She comes back into your life and wants to play a game of cards.

        Go fish.

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 2:17 PM

        Probably because people didn't want yet another glorified magic the gathering.

        • reply
          March 9, 2018 2:25 PM

          this game seems about as close to Magic as PUBG is to Doom

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 2:53 PM

        nerds have weird emotional issues. nothing new

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 3:16 PM

        They have long since burned through any goodwill they had as a developer with me. I mean, I'm not hostile towards this announcement, but I'm really not holding my breath that anything of value is going to come from them anytime soon.

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 3:48 PM

        I think the reasons for that are more layered than just the kneejerk defense that naysayers are just acting like they are entitled.

        Personally, my cynicism is centered around two points;

        -Quite a bit of the talent (writing and design for e.g.) that made Valve what it was back in its heyday have left.
        -The fact that their newfound dedication to releasing IPs again is heralded by a CCG based on DOTA 2 is not inspiring or encouraging.

    • reply
      March 9, 2018 1:54 PM

      I'm not convinced Valve has what it takes to make the kind of game the old fans want from them. A lot of the talent who knew how to make those kind of games have moved on. Hell the industry has moved on a great deal since they made ripples in the single player realm.

      Valve built a reputation for leading the single player field, but in their absence everyone else has been busy evolving and developing in that realm for nearly a decade now. Balancing and supporting something like Dota 2 is an entirely different beast, and requires totally different talent to what they used to be known for.

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 2:42 PM

        But don't they have billions of fuck off dollars they could use to hire the best devs from other places?

        • reply
          March 9, 2018 2:49 PM

          Sure and I'd probably be reassured if they announced they'd hired X y or z developer to spearhead the development but there has been none of that.

          And that's the other thing it's more of the same drip feeding of vague details that valve has been frustrating people with for years. It's up to them what they do or don't share, but it's also up to fans whether or not they care to get excited at this point.

          I mean they claim to have 3 big titles in development, will we actually see any of them? There have been countless reports of other titles they've been developing over the last few years that eventually got shelved.

    • reply
      March 9, 2018 4:22 PM

      Would love to know if the “3 VR games” is a thing or not.

    • reply
      March 9, 2018 10:47 PM

      Sure sounds like they're making a console!

      • reply
        March 9, 2018 11:05 PM

        a VR-native console (+OS) would be interesting

Hello, Meet Lola