Half-Life 2 Art Director Explains Valve Departure
The gaming community often depicts Valve as a walled garden, inside of which topless pixies frolic and gilded communal money pots constantly overflow with money. Why, then, would anyone leave? In an interview with Eurogamer, Dishonored Visual Design Director Viktor Antonov explained why he left his position at Valve for another project.
“Valve is a great place, but I’m interested in projects, not in companies. I went to Valve specifically for Half-Life 2. I went and I collaborated with Arkane to do The Crossing and Dishonored,” Antonov said. “I put the project above everything else.”
Antonov goes on to explain that he worked on the pitch for Team Fortress 2 at Valve, but left because they weren’t working on the large triple-A projects anymore.
“They’ve grown now, they’re much bigger, and I’m interested in a certain level of creative risk taking and a certain energy that can be compared to jazz, jamming or rock n’ roll, where it’s small, it’s intense and it’s about making revolutions in the media,” Antonov said.
I don’t want to pull a HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED twist out of this story, but there’s something concerning behind this if you read between the lines. Antonov left Valve because they’re no longer tackling huge projects like Half-Life 2. Of course, the series has been focused on episodes since Half-Life 2, but does that imply that a large Half-Life 3 is not in development? By Antonov’s logic, he would’ve stayed with the company if there was still a large, daring project to work on.
Regardless of how much you want to read in to it, Antonov’s attitude is pretty cool, only because it means we get to see the fruits of his talent more often.