Gabe Newell Explains Valve’s Silence on Half-Life Sequels
Over the weekend on Penny Arcade, Valve boss Gabe Newell sat down to chat about many, many things—among them, the reasons why the company is reluctant to discuss sequels to their popular franchises, particularly Half-Life.
“We’re acutely aware of how much we annoy our fans and it’s pretty frustrating to us when we put them into that situation,” Newell remarked in response to fans who are “gnashing their teeth” waiting for sequel news.
“We try to go as fast as we can and we try to pick the [projects to focus on] that we think are going to be most valuable to our customers and if there’s some magi way we can get more work done in a day then we’d love to hear about it, but we recognize that it’s been a long time whereas we have so many great games that people really love—Counterstrike, Half Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, not a whole lot of Ricochet enthusiasts out there, and at the same time we want to be making sure that those games and those stories and those characters are moving forward while also making sure that we don’t just get into terminal sequelitis.
“…part of the reason that we backed off talking so much about what was happening in the future is that when we’ve done that in the past, you know, with Half Life 1 it was a year after we originally said it would be, Half Life 2 basically if you go and read the forum posts apparently took us fifty or sixty years to get done so we’re trying to be careful not to get people too excited and then have to go and disappoint them. So we’re sort of reacting in the other direction ands saying ‘okay, well let’s have thing a little more baked before we start getting people all excited about it.’”
A few weeks ago, the Steam Forums start to see a lot of activity from frustrated Half-Life fans, who explained that their frustration with Newell and Valve had reached a boiling point (boing!). A group of fans named “Call for Communication” demanded to be told what was going on with their beloved franchise, and later that group held a “game-in” type of protest, where they would all play Half-Life 2 on Steam at once to demonstrate their love of the franchise. An even weirder sort of protest cropped up before that, called “Operation Crowbar,” where fans would buy crowbars on Amazon and have them shipped to Valve’s headquarters.
Which, you know, is really, really fucking creepy. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
Via Penny Arcade