An interesting rumor about Valve and the way work is being conducted at the studio has popped up over the Internet a few hours ago, and as you might expect with Gabe Newell’s company involved it also features a good share of tidbits on Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3.
The rumor has been spread by a supposed former developer at Valve, who claims he’s had a bad experience at the studio since it is now only focused on “cosmetic microtransactions” and doesn’t really care about developing games, especially those without a multiplayer component.
“Valve has discovered that cosmetic microtransactions are big money makers, and thus every team at Valve was dedicated to that vision. When I was there (before Artifact started in open development) there were essentially no new games being developed at all,” he said.
It might’ve happened that things have changed along the way, as Newell himself said that Valve would be returning to making games a few months ago and then launched Artifact, had more titles in the making (mostly VR) and acquired Firewatch’s Campo Santo.
“There was a small group that were working on Left for Dead 3 (cancelled shortly after I joined), and a couple guys poking around with pre-production experiments for Half-Life 3 (it will never be released). But effectively all the attention was focused on cosmetic items and “the economy” of the three big games (DOTA, CS:GO, and TF2).”
One very senior employee even said that Valve would never make another single player game because they weren’t worth the effort. “Portal 2,” he explained, had only made $200 million in profit and that kind of chump change just wasn’t worth it, when you could make 100s of millions a year selling digital hats and paint jobs for guns (most of which are designed by players, not the employees!)”
This is particularly interesting because it insists on the well known ‘fluid’ structure of management at Valve, where no one is a senior and everyone can come up with ideas for new projects, building teams on their own and have games greenlight up until their release (or at least this is how it was working back in the days). We’ve learned that Left 4 Dead 3 has been in the making for a while and then was cancelled for some reason, perhaps with Turtle Rock Studios going independent they didn’t have the workforce, or they got uninterested in the franchise because it wasn’t that profitable. Half-Life 3 was also mentioned, but it is said that the game was only in pre-production for a short time and with a limited group of people working on that, so it never really because of something concrete along the way. What do you do of this rumor? Let us know in the comments below.