In an interview with 1 News, President and Co-Founder of Valve, Gabe Newell, shared that the studio was currently developing new games. He also discussed the possibility of moving major tournaments like Dota 2‘s The International and Valve’s Studio to New Zealand.
It turns out that Valve President Gabe Newell has been laying low for the past year in New Zealand, having extended his 10 day vacation in 2020 to an indefinite stay due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. As New Zealand has been relatively COVID-free due to their strong response to the outbreak, citizens and visitors such as Gabe have been living relatively normal lives free of lockdown.
During an interview in October of 2020, Newell mentioned planning a meeting with Jacinta Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, to discuss the possibility of relocating production teams there. Fast forward to current day, when Mr Newell is interviewed again, he comments that there aren’t solid plans yet to move Valve and its developers to New Zealand.
Mr Newell continues on to suggest the possibility of moving major esports tournaments to the country, such as CS:GO Majors and the largest esports tournament of them all, Dota 2‘s The International. Currently, there is no date for the next ESL One Major or TI, both cancelled due to COVID-19 last year. He comments that New Zealand is where he can most confidently say will be able to hold in-person tournaments due to their pandemic response, ‘As long as Covid keeps mutating, it certainly is increasing the likelihood that we’ll be having events here.’
While he was pressed on the subject of Portal 3, Half-Life 3 and a project dubbed ‘Citadel’, Mr Newell remained tight-lipped – ‘I’ve successfully not spoken about those things for a long time and I hope to continue to not talk about them until they are moot questions. Then we’ll move on to a new set of questions’.
He was, however, able to confirm that Valve currently has games in development, crediting the success of their VR title Half-Life: Alyx, released in 2020 as their driving force in continued development on more single-player games – ‘It’s fun to ship games”. This will certainly be exciting for fans of Valve’s work as the studio’s last single-player non-VR game was the critically acclaimed Portal 2 in 2011.
Mr Newell then goes on to discuss games he has played recently, which includes trying to beat Left 4 Dead‘s expert mode and playing the highly controversial Cyberpunk 2077. He goes on to defend both Cyberpunk 2077 and its developer, CD Projekt Red, stating he had a lot of fun whilst playing the PC version of the game.
There are aspects of the game that are just brilliant, and it shows a tremendous amount of work — it’s unfair to throw stones at any other developer, because just getting something as complex and ambitious as that out the door is pretty amazing.Credit: News 1/Gabe Newell
As Gabe Newell is usually a fairly elusive figure, this interview gives us a lot of insight into the current goings-on at Valve’s studio and their plans for the future. Sounds like exciting things are in store, especially for fans of the developer’s single player games.