Gabe Newell, current president and co-founder of Valve, hosted a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Tuesday. He was joined by Valve colleagues who work on Steam’s user experience, Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, and the company’s virtual reality sector. Newell was incredibly careful with his words, but he offered just enough to make our heads spin.
As with anything Valve related, the most scintillating question is always about one thing — the status of Half-Life 3. In response, Newell wrote, “The number 3 must not be said.” On the topic of the validity of internet sources claiming to know the status of a new Half-Life game, Newell wrote, “I personally believe all unidentified anonymous sources on the Internet.” We can only assume the sarcasm on his end there. Yet, Newell, as always, was adept at dancing around questions, but his responses at least showed that Valve hasn’t completely discarded the iconic franchise.
In the same chain, Newell confirmed that Valve is currently working on a full-fledged single-player title. In another, possibly connecting, thread, a user remarked on the wealth of stories untold in the Half-Life/Portal universe and asked if a new IP set in that universe could be in the cards. “Yep,” Newell responded succinctly.
Newell, though, did claim that the J.J. Abrams-helmed Half-Life and Portal movies are still on the horizon, writing simply, “Yep. They’re coming.”
There hasn’t been a new entry in the Left 4 Dead franchise since 2009’s Left 4 Dead 2. Newell was peculiarly opaque in a response to possibly continuing the series:
“Products are usually the result of an intersection of technology that we think has traction, a group of people who want to work on that, and one of the game properties that feels like a natural playground for that set of technology and design challenges. When we decided we needed to work on markets, free to play, and user generated content, Team Fortress seemed like the right place to do that. That work ended up informing everything we did in the multiplayer space. Left 4 Dead is a good place for creating shared narratives.”
His reply certainly wasn’t an affirmation of another Left 4 Dead game in development, but it also makes it clear that he is still fond of the franchise, despite Valve’s vested interest in free-to-play models.
Additionally, a verified Valve employee gave an update on Team Fortress 2. “We’re currently working on our next major update, which features a new campaign, the Pyro class pack, matchmaking improvements/features, and lots of game balancing improvements,” the employee wrote.