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Valve could've been successful just doing Half-Life

2:00 PM on 01.03.2014

Jordan Devore

Managing Editor

'In retrospect, [Steam] was a great idea, right?'

In an interview with The Washington Post, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell described the company's inner workings which have been the topic of discussion time and time again. Did you know, for instance, vacation time isn't tracked? And for those who have wondered why Half-Life 3 hasn't happened yet, a few quotes bring the point home.

"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," explained Newell, "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."

Elsewhere in the interview, he talks about how "specialization in gaming is sort of the enemy of the future," noting "...being really good at Half-Life level design is not as nearly as valued as thinking of how to design social multiplayer experiences."

While Valve undoubtedly has the money to bring that long-awaited next installment to market if it so desired, collectively, that's not been a priority for employees. I can't say I blame them, either. Not with the success of Steam, Team Fortress 2, and Dota 2. Newell is thinking much more long-term than a single game, even if it is a game we desperately want.

Gabe Newell on what makes Valve tick [The Washington Post]

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