Speaking to Eurogamer at a media roundtable, Gabe Newell didn’t just confirm that Valve are still in the business of actually making games, but that the’ve got three of them on the go at once. He even went further than that, clarifying that “When I say we’re building three games, we’re building three full games, not experiments.”
That distinguishes these games from The Lab, which was released on Steam last year and acted as a tech demo of sorts, exploring some of the interactions that you can achieve in VR through a series of mini-games and experiences.
Looking to the future of VR, he does have some predictions, such as an exponential increase in resolution in the very near future. He said, “We’re actually going to go from this weird position where VR right now is kind of low-res, to being in a place where VR is actually higher res than just about anything else, with much higher refresh rates than you’re going to see on either desktops or phones. […] It’s probably not obvious from the first generation of products, but you’ll start to see that happening like in 2018-2019.”
More importantly, he says that “VR is not going to be a success at all if people are just taking existing content and putting it into a VR space. One of the first things we did is we got Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress running in VR, and it was kind of a novelty. That was purely a developer milestone, but there was absolutely nothing compelling about it, the same way nobody’s going to buy a VR system so they can watch movies.”
It’s clear that Valve are all in on its development and fostering its success, though Newell does say “We’re also comfortable with the idea that it may turn out to be a complete failure, simply because if you’re not trying to do things that might fail, you’re not actually probably trying to do anything very interesting at all.”
The other piece of news from Eurogamer’s visit? Well, Valve aren’t all that fussed about consoles anymore. There were some notable releases from the company on the last generation, but Newell said, “We get really frustrated working in walled gardens,” before pointing at the difficulties of maintaining free to play games, pushing out rapid updates and simply that “We love the PC right now. A lot.”