Valve, of Half-Life and Portal, is making 3 full VR games
So says Gabe Newell, Valve co-founder and head honcho.
Sean HollisterSenior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Valve, the famous video game developer behind Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead and DOTA 2, doesn't make a lot of games these days. When it does, they're typically uber-popular, critically-acclaimed hits like the names above.
So imagine our surprise to learn that Valve is working on not one, not two, but three new games right now -- and that those three are reportedly full-size virtual reality titles. (VR games with some real meat on their bones are pretty rare, too.)
That's the word from Gamasutra, a respected video game publication reporting from Valve's Seattle offices today. According to them, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell himself told the publication that they'd be "full games" instead of the bite-size experiences the company created for The Lab.
Newell suggested that like The Lab, though, these new games might help show how new
hardware can push
forward, comparing it to how famed Nintendo developer (and father of Mario) Shigeru Miyamoto was able to do that thanks to Nintendo's tendency to create hardware and software at the same time.
Valve invites you up to The Lab with the HTC Vive (pictures)
"[Miyamoto] has had the ability to think about what the input devices & the design of systems should be like while he's trying to design games. Our sense is that that's going to allow us to actually build much better entertainment experiences for people," Newell told Gamasutra and other attending publications.
We may have already gotten a glimpse at the new VR hardware that'll let us play those games: Valve showed off a new "knuckle" controller at the Steam Dev Days developer conference in October, and Newell said Valve was developing at least one VR title alongside that controller in a Reddit AMA.
Separately, Newell confirmed at Reddit that Valve is working on at least one full-length single-player game, though it's not clear if that title is for virtual reality.
Valve helped create the
VR headset, which runs on Valve's Steam platform, the dominant way to buy games for PCs (and Valve's cash cow). Valve's ideas also partly helped shape the
headset, and several prominent Valve VR developers went to work for Oculus after it was purchased by Facebook in 2014.