Why is there a new Half-Life VR game now instead of Half-Life 3? Valve boss Gabe Newell says its because VR has “energized” the company.
Newell said as much in a prepared statement, issued today alongside the reveal of Half-Life: Alyx. Alyx is the first full Half-Life game in 12 years, serving as a prequel to the events of Half-Life 2 and casting players as Alyx Vance. It can only be played inside SteamVR-compatible headsets.
In his quote, Newell said that Valve had “invested a lot of ourselves” into VR. He said that making a Half-Life VR game felt like a “culmination” of the developer’s love of games, tech and, notably, open platforms.
Here’s Newell’s quote in full:
“Everyone at Valve is excited to be returning to the world of Half-Life. VR has energized us. We’ve invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we’re also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting. For that to come in the form of Half-Life feels like the culmination of a lot things we care a lot about: truly great games, cutting edge technology, and open platforms. We can’t wait for people to experience this.”
Valve, of course, runs the SteamVR platform that Half-Life: Alyx will run on. Not only that but the company launched its own headset, the Valve Index, earlier this year following its partnership with HTC on the Vive in 2016.
Newell’s comments are in line with teases he made about the culmination of Valve’s work at an Index launch event earlier this year. “Half-Life led to Half-Life 2,” he said, “Source led to Source 2, the experiments we did with Team Fortress 2 are what enabled us to build DOTA, Artifact is the reason that we’re able to do Underlords, and so maybe someday the number 2 will lead us to that shiny integer glowing on a mountain someplace. We’ll just have to see.”
Half-Life: Alyx is coming March 2020. You can catch up on the history of Half-Life VR right here.