Half Life 3, is undoubtedly the most anticipated game in history. While Valve transitioned from the revolutionary series that brought the company most of its original success, to free to play games like Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2, people still expect a follow-up to Half-Life 2.
Gabe Newell, is very much aware of this, but Valve does not admit the existence of a sequel. In a recent podcast interview he had with Geoff Keighley, Gabe Newell explained,
“When we are thinking of the next challenges, then we tend to pick the franchises that are most useful in going forward. And if we don’t have one, then obviously we have to create a new one. But you know, I get it, I’m a fan of TV shows, I’m a fan of writers, I’m a fan of movies, I’m a fan of games and I certainly understand why people are like, you know, hey I remember this awesome experience and I’m starting to get worried that I’m never going to have it again. I am a fan of Terry Pratchett and he has Alzheimer’s, it’s like, Oh my god, I may never get another great Discworld novel.
“So we understand it and we feel that, and we think at the end of the day, customers are going to be really happy with where we spent our time and how we have turned that into entertainment for them.
“But we are also going to build on what we learned, and we have learned a lot. We aren’t going to go all retro because there are too many interesting things that have been learned. The only reason we would go back and do a ‘super classic’ kind of product is if a whole bunch of people internally at Valve said they wanted to do it, and had a reasonable explanation for why it was. But, you know, if you wanted to do another Half Life game and you want to ignore everything we have learned in shipping Portal 2, and in shipping all the updates on the multiplayer side, that seems like a bad choice. So we will keep moving forward but that doesn’t necessarily always mean what people are worried that it mean. “
Valve could be done with the traditional single player experience
It appears that the traditional single player experience might be a thing of the past for Valve. Yes the industry has shifted and evolved, and a company understandably follows that transition. But single player experiences do exist and they should exist for a very long time. Multiplayer gaming has gained great popularity over the years, and it is where the majority of gamers spend most of their time. That does not mean though that Half Life is a ‘super classic’ kind of product.
A deep and immersive single player experience transports players to other worlds, puts them into the role of exciting heroes, and provides a medium for beautiful, moving and exciting stories to be told. We must not forget that. Gaming can be art, and just like films and music, can transcend normality, and bring unique and special experiences.