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.

Dan O’Brien, Vive general manager for the Americas, revealed to The Rolling Stone that Valve was still “very committed” to the promise of delivering its three VR games:

“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.

Classic RTS 'Homeworld' is Getting a Brand New VR Game for Quest Next Month

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.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Flikr

    Stop saying three! I know that’s what they said, but you’ll jinx it!

    • :D

    • Miganarchine Migandi

      Two’s company…

  • Shaun Williams

    I made 3 VR games too :) FULL VR Games!! Ghostship Aftermath, CDF Starfighter VR and Reficul. But what the heck, I`m just one guy who gets no publicity ;)

    • nargorn

      Great job!

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Great you did some games, but looking at the reviews, you might want to invest some time in actually fixing those games. I would be very interested in buying them, but looking at the reviews on the controls and multiple crashes, it doesn’t give me any incentive to buy it. It shouldn’t be that hard to at least fix the controls part, the crashes might be something more difficult due to all the different hardware configurations out there. Starfighter should perfectly support joysticks and controllers.
      It looks promising though.

    • And when you do as much as Valve for the gaming industry as a whole, then you’ll be talked about just as much. Until then, it seems you have a lot work to do to get there.

      But, I’ll say that the games you’ve listed here *do* look interesting.

      Why do you think Onward became so popular? Why do you think that Onward’s developer got so much free publicity? It wasn’t just because he made a VR game or 2 or 3, it was because he made a game that people couldn’t stop talking about. Valve has been in that position more than once and at an international level on multiple platforms.

      When you’re a start-up, you have be your own publicity until others begin to do it for you –unless you’re willing and able to pay for that publicity. Valve happens to own Steam, which comes with it’s own fanfare for obvious reasons.

      So rather than coming on here and being a smartass about not getting enough publicity for your indie games, how about you get back in there, do the work to actually attract critical attention from the press *and players*, and build the publicity you seek, instead of acting like the world owes you something because you participated. (SMH)

      Don’t get me wrong… if your games are good, then I’d play them, if they’re available on a platform I care about supporting. But don’t come along and tell us that we should give you mad props just because you created a game… any schmuck with a couple of extra machines lying around can do that, but it takes serious work to get really good games out there that people talk about enough to the point where you don’t have to pay for your own advertising… at least as an indie dev. If you want that kind of publicity, then it serve you better to spend the time to find a publisher that will pay for your advertising for you –of course, they’re going to have higher standards than Steam & Valve, which will let you sell your game on their site while they give you free advertising merely by the title being hosted there –the #1 digital download PC game store on the planet.

      (Maybe this comes off as a bit harsh… but your statement caught me when I’m in a particularly foul mood, so I’m not pulling any punches today).

    • JustNiz

      Its quality not quantity that counts.

    • Jack

      yeah I bought CDF Starfighter VR on steam and it’s not compatible with the HTC Vive’s controllers so I’ve never been able to play it thanks Shaun…

      • Shaun Williams

        Thanks for the feedback Jack. With Track pads, its very hard and frustrating to control. The game is designed for – gamepad, or Hotas if you have one.

  • NooYawker

    Might be a couple of years before we see the first of these games.

    • Duane Locsin

      That is Valve.
      Valve are known to travel at their own pace, this is common knowledge for pc gamers, and often the wait is worth it.

      frankly I am more excited for their VR ‘Knuckles’ controllers, and I am sure there are some other VR titles that will tide many over until the day comes.

      Fall Out 4 VR
      Skyrim VR
      Doom VFR
      La Noire VR
      Wolfenstein VR

      Yes, they are all ports or based on existing IPs, but still great games.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Wolfenstein VR?

      • JustNiz

        Fallout4 VR is dissapointingly buggy/incomplete, even by Bethesda’s low release quality standards.
        Valve is entirely different than Bethesda. They always take whatever time is necessary to make sure they provide a high quality product at release.

  • Luke

    yesterday I played for the first time the awesome steam vr tutorioa/the lab those game designers are genious. my oculus rift is ready! hype!

    • Duane Locsin

      did you get exhausted shooting arrows at those stick figures?

      It was the game I played the most, but damn was it a work out.

      • Luke

        yes super exhausted and then they accomplished to storm the castle. I’m sorry for my pople castle’s been burned to the ground.because the stick figures, and my wife ran away… with a soldier.

  • Raphael

    I believe Valve fully intend to continue their three game development. However, their VR dev team consists of two people and one of them hasn’t shown up for work in seven months. That means Chuck has been trying to do it all by himself. Target release for the first game was going to be Q4 2020, we’re now looking at 2040 Q4 before the first of the new games arrives. Valve can’t afford to allocate a replacement for Chuck’s missing colleague.

    • Miganarchine Migandi

      I will join them, Done level desighn and modeling in 3d studio man

      • Raphael

        So long as you’re ok with working without a salary. Valve can’t afford to pay you but you will get discount lunches and discounts on valve products.

    • Duane Locsin

      I listened to a podcast on all about Valve and how they operate, and it is very different from most companies and can see why they take their time.

      Valve is more like a technology and project company overall , than a straight software development company.

      • Raphael

        Well…how they take their time conflicts with their taeget audience who aren’t really prepared to wait 30 years for 3 vr games or 50 years for HL3.

        We’re not talking Star Citizen complexity here… Valve games are pretty standard in terms of code complexity.

    • Luke

      can’t they just relase the screenplay fot the end of 2017? It’s faster

    • JustNiz

      > Target release for the first game was going to be Q4 2020

      You can’t possibly know this unless you work for Steam. They are VERY closed about future plans, especially release dates. If you read this date somewhere, its absolutely just speculation. If you made it up, shame on you.

      • Raphael

        I am ashamed. I exaggerated the release date for dramatic effect. Q1 2020. I should not have said Q4.

        • Freeflight

          Shit, this dude was on to something and Chuck actually pulled trough!

          Half-Life: Alyx will be released in Q1 2020, on 23 March.

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    Valve is the new Apple : they don’t care about games anymore, just money.

    • PJ

      A company that cares about making money? Shocking

    • NooYawker

      If that were true they’d pump out half life games at the rate of call of duty. Their MP games would have play to win micro transactions.
      I see steam as the opposite. They don’t seem concerned at all with big profits by moving at their own pace and doing things that interest them. And don’t forget their many VR patents that they are releasing royalty free.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        They big cashcow is Steam, they don’t need to make any games anymore (and it shows, otherwise there would have been at least a couple of games). Everything they do now, it so advance sales on their steam platform, that’s also their ticker for SteamVR, more games, more income.

        • NooYawker

          So you don’t think they could make 100’s of millions by pumping out half life games? Or allowing some other dev create it like how COD is developed by multiple dev companies.

          • RFC_VR

            Valve are doing their thing, no doubt… it’ll be ready when it’s ready!

            Found them very pleasant and engaging during some recent communication.

    • Duane Locsin

      Valve are making 3 full VR games.

      what you are talking about is, you are upset they are not making Half-Life 3.

    • JustNiz

      What they actually care about is only releasing games if they bring something new (i.e. not been done before) to the gaming world.

  • They’ll make Half Life 3 if they’ll think they’ll be able to disrupt the gaming market again

  • Duane Locsin

    before someone comes in and complains “it’s been years since we had a sequel to ‘Half-Life 2’…”

    We haven’t had a full original game for VR from Valve yet.

  • Evgeni Zharsky

    HTC has more or less concentrated mostly on the Asian (Chinese) market. Love or hate Oculus, they are one of the only big players invested in growing VR for the US market.

  • James Clerk Maxwell

    VR has two hardware problems that must be solved : 1) Great eye fatigue from poor stereoscopy implementation (poor stereoscopy brought down 3D TVs) 2) Motion sickness from improper locomotion solution

    • Pablo C

      VR is in its infancy. Not even the VR generas have been properly developed, most right now being adaptations of the flat monitor generas. Controls, resolution, locomotion, are only some of the obstacules of something that is just starting. Remember Duken Nukem, Doom?. Great games, firsts of the 3D generation. We had mouse at the time, but you had to aim with the keyboard: The very foundations of 3D gameplay were just starting back in the 90´s, and it is the same case now with VR: Developers are just creating the foundations.

      • MosBen

        Not to be that guy, but I’m pretty sure that Duke 3d had mouselook. I want to say that a game called Cybermage (or something like that) was the first game that I played with mouselook. But I’m just waxing nostalgic. Your analogy was a good one.

        • Pablo C

          You might be right, I think Doom didn´t though (neither did Castle of Wolvenstein). You pretty much only needed to aim horizontaly with the arrow keys.

        • JustNiz

          I think you’re right. I’m also pretty sure I can remember back in the day playing Doom with a mouse, but I also remember that Doom wouldn’t let you look up or down, at least much.

  • Lucidfeuer

    Valve won’t release these 3 games until VR has reach decent enough format and specs, and GPUs can follow whatever the rendering technic they’ll use with Source 2/3, not even mentioning adoption.

    It’s been known for years that Valve “3s” rely on VR to disrupt gaming (which would be the only redeeming thing Gabe Newell will have done for 15 years, pretty sure he might even retire after it), if they didn’t do it with the Vive launch, it means they’re in a configuration to wait for VR to be mature…which is not close to happen yet.

    • JustNiz

      Look at The Lab. They’re not just waiting for VR to mature. It takes years of effort to develop one AAA game, let alone 3.

  • JustNiz

    Valve releasing 3 full VR AAA games will revitalise the whole VR scene again. Ever since they made the original announcement I’ve been waiting for whatever they come up with. I’m gonna guess the 3 are the next Half Life, Portal and Left 4 Dead. Or maybe at least one will be a whole new game.