It’s tough to design video games while running a major distribution network.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a new Half-Life game, but Stardock CEO Brad Wardell thinks that may simply be the cost of Steam’s success.
“[Steam’s] had an effect on their own development schedule. There’s not been a new Half-Life in a long time; a lot of people have complained about that,” said Wardell in an interview with Industry Gamers. “They’ve had their own challenges getting new titles out the door, and a big part of that I’m sure is the same problems we’ve had.”
Wardell compares Valve’s situation to his own experiences with Impulse, the distribution service that Stardock recently sold to GameStop. While Impulse was profitable, it was sold because it drew resources away from game development and changed the very nature of the company.
“When the winning scenario is not what your objective in life is, then it’s time to re-evaluate what you want to do,” continued Wardell, who believes that a similar scenario may be unfolding at Valve.
“When one of your groups is so ridiculously profitable, every business instinct you have is to throw all your best people at it, because that’s what’s making the money,” he explained. “I know the effect that’s had on us, where I’ve had to put some of my top developers over the years onto Impulse to make sure it was getting better and better.”
While Wardell makes some interesting points, Valve hasn’t exactly been sitting around twiddling its thumbs. The studio has been busy with two Left 4 Dead games and a steady stream of Team Fortress 2 updates, and will be releasing Portal 2 in a little less than a week. With those games out of the way, I’m sure that Valve is already hard at work on the next Half-Life.
(Come on, Valve. Please be hard at work on the next Half-Life.)
Source: Industry Gamer