Half-Life 3 is becoming something of a running joke in the industry now, and while we can titter and guffaw about the matter, Valve founder Gabe Newell has set some records straight in a new interview.
Brenna recently posted an opinion blog about the long wait for Half-Life 3. Check it out and see what you think.
Speaking with the Washington Post, Newell recalled, “When we started out we were a single-player video game company that could have been really successful just doing Half-Life sequel after Half-Life sequel, but we collectively said let’s try to make multiplayer games even though there’s never been a commercial successful multiplayer game.
“Then we tried to do Steam. There were a bunch of people internally who thought Steam was a really bad idea, but what they didn’t think was that they would tell the people who were working on Steam what to do with their time. They were like “that’s what you want to do with your time, that’s fine, but we’re going to spend our time working on Half-Life 2. We think you’re kind of wasting your time, but it’s your time to waste.”
As we know, Steam worked out quite splendidly, but Newell – in less elegant words – explained why a new Half-Life hasn’t happened yet, “So, if somebody becomes the group manager of X, they’re going to really resist it when X is not what you want to do in the next round of games. You don’t want them to sort of burrow into that – you want them to recognize that being really good at Half-Life level design is not as nearly as valued as thinking of how to design social multi-player experiences. You’ve had them feel like they have an organization and title tied up to something when the key is to just continue to follow where the customers are leading.”
That line about customers seems counter to the many baying gamers screaming at Newell and company to make Half-Life 3 a thing you can play. However, Newell made clear that he’s not blind to the wants and needs of the community.
“We definitely in a sense have an army of customers who are always helping us stay honest…,” he concluded. “We’ve essentially crowd-sourced supervision of a lot of these decisions to our customers and it works way better than almost any other system we could design. They’re rabid, they’re passionate, and there are a lot of them.”
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