Back in February this year, Valve confirmed that they were internally developing three “full” VR titles. While there’s still no information surrounding genres or launch dates, it now looks like Valve may just be keeping them tight under wraps as usual, and hasn’t forgotten about the projects after all.
“I manage the relationship with Valve,” O’Brien says. “I meet with Valve weekly to talk about everything from what’s happening on new content launching to new product launches to new features and new functions. They are very committed; they are still committed to delivering on that promise.”
O’Brien declined to comment any further on the subject.
As one of Valve’s closest VR hardware partners, HTC and Valve worked together to produce the Vive headset, becoming the first to adopt Valve’s Lighthouse tracking solution. Outside of Valve itself, there’s no better authority on its VR dealings, making O’Brien’s statement a rare peek into the company’s otherwise secretive game development.
Outside of its landmark PC hits including the Half-Life series, Portal, Dota 2, and Counter Strike; Valve produced the incredibly slick (and still extremely fun) The Lab (2016), a free collection of mini-games that shows just what room-scale VR can do. The Lab currently sits at a 97% approval rating on Steam, making it the 3rd most popular VR game on the store. The thought of getting to play not one, but three full titles at that level of quality would undoubtedly attract more potential headset owners, as they would likely be instantly hailed as VR ‘AAA’ titles in their own right.
Valve is concurrently developing a more ergonomic motion controller called Knuckles that straps to your hand to enable better hand presence. Developer kits have since shipped to a lucky few studios, although with the lack of this year’s Steam Dev Days, Valve hasn’t released any more information on exactly when the controllers will land in the hands of consumers.
Valve head Gabe Newell said earlier this year that much like Nintendo’s penchant for concurrently designing hardware and software, that doing both “will actually allow [Valve] to build much better entertainment experiences for people.”
And no. We don’t know if one of the games is going to be Half-Life 3. We’ll of course be keeping our eyeballs peeled for any sign of it – along with the rest of humanity.