Gabe: Origin still playing catchup, Half-Life 3 seeing “twists and turns”

Valve’s Gabe Newell spoke out recently on topics dear to fans of the company. The Steam impresario appeared on the premiere episode of new podcast Seven Day cooldown (opens in new tab) (via Gamasutra (opens in new tab), Develop (opens in new tab)) to give his thoughts about EA’s would-be Steam-killer Origin (he thinks it’s not very good yet) and the next Half-Life game (he says it’s not very done yet).

Saying EA’s Origin isn’t “doing anything super-well yet,” Newell charitably acknowledged his service’s rival has seen issues since launching some ten months ago. EA “have a bunch of smart people working on it,” Newell allows, “but I think they’re still playing catch up to a lot of people who have been working in the space for a while.”

If the company’s goal is to provide a Steam alternative, says Gabe, it’s worth asking whether this will serve customers: “We think their customers would be happy if their games were on Steam. We tell them that on a regular basis.”

Then again, Newell’s own customers would be happier too, if Valve’s games were on Steam – specifically, the ones with “Half-Life” and “3” in the title. “The problem is,” suggests Gabe, “we think that the twists and turns that [HL3’s development is] going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what’s happening next.”

Newell’s caginess on this matter was such that he wouldn’t even call the game by name – referring to it as “Ricochet 2” – but should leave fans satisfied that the game’s afoot, if frustrated at the lack of making-of videos thus far. It’s almost as if Half-Life 3 is a bit of a special case or something.

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