In 2016, the video game industry welcomed the arrival of The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV, two long-gestating titles that were often dismissed as vaporware during their prolonged development cycles. Amid reports of creative turbulence and development woes, it appeared as though neither would ever see the light of day – ten years is an awful long time to spend in production, after all – and that’s a feeling many have toward Half-Life 3.
Of course, the crucial difference here is that, unlike The Last Guardian and FFXV, Valve is yet to actually announce Half-Life 3, and given the company’s penchant for secrecy, we fully expect that radio silence to remain intact for some time yet. Speculation continues to swirl, however, and while hosting a Reddit AMA yesterday evening, Valve boss Gabe Newell addressed the inevitable Half-Life questions in typical fashion.
After confirming that a live-action feature film is still in the works – along with an adaptation of Portal – Newell offered up some fascinating new details regarding the dormant Half-Life series, his longstanding issues with it, and why Valve tends to keep things hush-hush.
When asked about Valve’s handling of product launches, and the radio silence that tends to precede them, Gabe Newell outlined the reasoning behind the company’s atypical approach.
“Our decision making is way more conditional than most other companies. The one thing we won’t do is waste our customers time and money, which means we will cancel or change stuff much later in development. Tracking our choices would be annoying and frustrating.
“…we prefer to communicate through our products. We are all pretty devoted to reading and listening to the community – everyone here believes it is an integral part of their job to do so. And when it comes time to respond, we generally use Steam – shipping updates that address issues or add functionality. Obviously this doesn’t work for everything. Working this way imposes latency on our communication – it takes longer to ship and update than to do a blog post. This can lead to the feeling of an echo chamber, where it seems like Valve isn’t listening. We’re always listening. So sometimes the latency is rough for everyone, including us when we want to address issues quickly. On balance we think it’s usually worth the trade-off.”
You’ll be able to find the full Q&A session via Reddit, in which Newell also teases the development of a new game. In related news, the Valve boss now ranks on Forbes‘ latest list of the world’s richest people with a net worth of over $4 billion.