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Report RSS Half-Life is dead ... long live Half-Life !!

Altough it was meant for a comment on the Valve page here in ModDB, it's size became something of a mini-article so I decided to post it as an featured article, since I have no other options available from the pull-down menu.

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The following was meant as a comment of Valve's page here on ModDB but its size grew in such way that I decided to post it as a mini-article.


It's sad to see how Valve transformed from a company that makes games to a company that makes money. Is this the 'thank you' we are getting as players for buying, playing and otherwise using their products? Apparently it is, since Valve no longer NEEDS Half-Life!

When Valve was a struggling developer, they needed a hit title and that title would become Half-Life. A lot of us were in their late teens when this game hitted the shelves and as always, money was a bit of an issue with low-paid jobs and such. Never the less, we still bought the game plus the expansions and secured Valve's future. Then Valve came with the idea of Steam but for that, they needed another hit title, so a sequel for Half-Life was developed and that became Half-Life 2. Without Half-Life 2, Steam would have never been so popular as it is today. For example, take a look at Direct2Drive and similar from that era (not counting today's Origin, GOG Galaxy, Uplay). All were less popular because of the lack of a hit title that would have sold the platform. Half-Life 2 further secured Valve's financial position.

After Half-Life 2 and its source ports (Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source), Valve released Episode 1 and 2 with the sole intention to keep the interest in Steam peaked. After all, what good will only one 'hit' title do for the platform? Nothing off course, so the only reason for the episodes was to generate enough 'buzz' for the Steam platform as a selling point. After the release of Episode 2 in 2007, things began to silence real fast. Occasionally there would be some comments here and there about possible things incorporated within Episode 3 but after a while, even Valve realized that they could not keep telling the same lies over and over again.

In the meantime, the only thing Valve "did", was buying other developers content and put a big Valve sticker on it. Games such as Left4Dead (plus sequel), Portal (plus sequel) and CS:GO were all developed by other developers, who were then 'acquired' by Valve Software and subsequently there was a "new" Valve product. While others were busy with new games, Valve abandoned the Half-Life series in order to pursue other money generation endeavours. In the early 2010's, the phenomenon of microtransactions grew to great heights and Valve decided to step in this bandwagon by introducing it into some of their products. Team Fortress 2, CS:GO and DOTA 2 all contained these 'microtransactions' and has become one of the large contributors to Valve's revenue, besides the Steam sales and the thirty percent cut they take from non-Valve developed games.

This is why I believe there will never be a Half-Life title since the interest isn't there anymore, since Valve financial future has already been cemented in concrete. Furthermore, others are now doing things with the Half-Life universe with the Crowbar Collective finishing up Black Mesa with the upcoming Xen chapter and the (still in development) mods "Guard Duty" and "Operation: Black Mesa" (and others), retelling and bringing the well-known story into the 21st century with all the capabilities nowadays possible (and doing an excellent job, if I may add).

Another reason why I believe that there will never a Half-Life 3, is its story and the way it was abandoned. Half-Life was set in the Black Mesa Research Facility and Half-Life 2 and its episodes, were set in City 17 and its surrounding environments. Half-Life 3 should have introduced us to a whole new environment (let's take the fight to the combine!) instead of now requiring to mop up elements of its predecessor. Episode 3 should have handled that and concluded Half-Life 2's City 17 storyline and no recently returned writer (Erik Wolpaw) will be able to change that, despite all the HL3 memes and conspiracies!

I dare to say that Half-Life is dead and after a decade, I do say it's time for other media such as gaming sites to pick up this mantle as well and declare the series dead with a nice editorial piece talking about the highs and lows of the series. It would become the end of a beautiful era, the era that is called Half-Life . . .


Comments
Driver33
Driver33

You realize that Half-Life VR is basically a thing we know exists, right? Like, it's pretty much been all but confirmed by Valve itself.

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BshiftCalhoun
BshiftCalhoun

We still don't know if it's actually going to be released. For all we know, Half-Life VR will get the Episode 3 treatment a year later.

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TheRealApaul27
TheRealApaul27

You also forgot that Artifact, Team Fortress Classic, Alien Swarm and it's sequel, Half-Life: Source, HL2: Lost Coast, and The Lab (Portal Spinoff), and Bridge Constructor Portal were exist too.

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RealApprentice Author
RealApprentice

You realize that Half-Life VR is basically a thing we know exists, right? Like, it's pretty much been all but confirmed by Valve itself.

Does it? Where can I read about it? I would certainly like to know more about it.

Also, I'm wondering: how does it look like. Are we getting the same visuals as was shipped with the original game from 1998 (where they nowadays even ask 10 dollars for it) or are we getting the visuals from rip-off Half-Life: Source from 2004.

Besides that, would it be feasible for Valve to re-release Half-Life 1, even if it is for VR? They cannot continue or finish a storyline but they can re-release and old title? Would that not be a slap in the face for the Crowbar Collective with their Black Mesa title and for the mod-teams behind "Guard Duty" and "Operation: Black Mesa"?

No, I don't think it will happen. With a remake of an older title, Valve has more to lose then when they finally decide to ship Half-Life 3 . . .

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ReezeTheVampire
ReezeTheVampire

I'm honestly sick of the 'company that makes money' statement. They are still making games, they have always been making games, they have never, at any point, stopped making games. To act like they have abandoned us all because they don't push out a game every year is foolish and stupid. They are perfectionists, most of their games take forever to develop or are dropped because they don't think the game is good enough for what the community deserves. Acting like Valve is a selfish, greedy company that doesn't care for its community is downright incorrect. Valve lives and breathes for its community.

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RealApprentice Author
RealApprentice

I'm honestly sick of the 'company that makes money' statement. They are still making games, they have always been making games, they have never, at any point, stopped making games.

Then please point out which games they have released under the sole Valve banner, other then The Orange Box and Artifact. Like I already pointed out, all "Valve" titles released between those two, are developed (read: "collaborations" between Valve and) by other studios. Valve had probably a more over-all position and the studios did all the work. Somehow, I really doubt that a Valve level designer is going to work off a whiteboard concept by a Turtle Rock concept designer. It's probably the other way around IF Valve is active in the design process of that particular Turtle Rock game and that is something that I don't see happen either.

To act like they have abandoned us all because they don't push out a game every year is foolish and stupid. They are perfectionists, most of their games take forever to develop or are dropped because they don't think the game is good enough for what the community deserves.

They don't need to release a game every year and it wouldn't be a slap in the face now, if Episode 3 was released to close the story of Half-Life 2's City 17 storyline. Then there would be closure and if Half-Life 3 would take 20 years to make, then it would've been fine by me and others. Now there is no closure but vague hints for the past decade on what Valve was doing with the next Half-Life title. Something that even Valve doesn't do anymore.

What if the creators of Game of Thrones would be saying "we're working on season 8" but for 10 years, nothing happens? No-one would accept that and after a while, people will think that the series would've been abandoned. The result would be that the creators will never be hired by a TV station to create a new series and if Valve didn't have the revenue they are getting today, then Valve would've been a defunct studio right now or a subsidiary of EA or name another big publisher and working on the big titles as a sort Raven Software.

I don't say that Valve MUST release a Half-Life title every year so that it can be a cash grab such as a Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed (which certainly didn't help the series) but they could've respected the REAL day one fanbase from 1998 to bring closure to the City 17 storyline by releasing Episode 3. Even the time between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 is almost half of the time since the Orange Box was released and today.

Acting like Valve is a selfish, greedy company that doesn't care for its community is downright incorrect. Valve lives and breathes for its community.

In the early days, I would've agreed with you. Valve did need the community, so they decided to support it thus paved the way for the commercialised Half-Life mods (Day of Defeat, Counter-Strike). Half-Life wouldn't be this big in the modding community if Valve decided to drop mod support. For instance, take a look at single/multiplayer games who doesn't have the modding tools available. Heck, even the original Doom wouldn't be this big if there were no modding tools available!

However, one cannot deny that with the revenue generated by Steam and the titles that carry microtransactions, Valve has manoeuvred themselves in a very comfortable position. That is why Ubisoft, EA and others decided to release their own platforms with their exclusives so that they too have a steady revenue.

Valve may have lived and breathed for its community but the way they have abandoned the Half-Life series, is regrettably telling a whole different story and again: it's a shame that they have decided to walk this path. It could've been so much more and so much better . . .

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TalonFive
TalonFive

I have to agree with you, I mean look peeps, the signs are there... Look at GOG for instance, I remember when they started as a "website" that was polishing (no pun intended :D) old games for the new OSes and were a bunch of people devoted to the good old games, but as the time moved on, they've became something greater, now they sell not only old games but indie games as well from small or a bit larger independent studios and then they came with GOG Galaxy, something like Valve did (except they didn't have their 'platform' game first) and then Witcher 3 distributed on Galaxy but fortunately still available individually without the need of downloading the app. I mean at some point everyone will succumb to this giant wormhole called 'business' but some less (I really hope that CD Projekt will stay the same) and some more or even completely (Yes, I'm talking to you EA bastards...). With that said, I completely agree with you mate, proper and honorable closure is what we (fans or not) and Half-Life need.

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Guest
Guest

On the other hand, what if Valve continue with the series and we had Half-Life 5 by now? How would it look and more important: how much of the microtransaction crap would it have?

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