It's been 10 years since Half-Life 2. Hell, it's been 7 years since Half-Life 2: Episode 2.
Will we ever get Half-Life 3?
Yep, that's the poll this week. Happy voting!
Tune in to this week's podcast (streaming live Saturday night at 6p PST) and I'll explain why I don't like the original Half-Life. Or Fallout. Or Myst. Or World of Warcraft. Or Minecraft. Or Baldur's Gate. Or Telltale's The Walking Dead. Or Sonic the Hedgehog.
Valve has launched Steam Music Player, which lets users listen to MP3s while playing games in Steam. The Music Player allows users to create their own playlists, queue up mixes, listen to albums, and MP3s on your computer.
To go along with today's launch, Valve has some of the Half-Life and Portal soundtracks DLC available for free to those who own the related games and the documentary.
The PC version of first-person cooperative zombie survival game Left 4 Dead 2 has finally been reclassified in Australia with an R18+ rating (thanks Cheater87). The game, now has warnings for "high impact violence," "strong impact themes," and "mild impact language."
According to new data from the International Game Developers Association most game developers think working at Valve Software would be the best career move they could make. The data is part of the IGDA's annual Developer Satisfaction Survey. The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Western Ontario and M2 Research polled more than 2,200 developers on a variety of topics.
Recently SteamDB published an open letter to Valve from members of Steam’s developer community concerned with some of the company’s security practices. The letter signed by 16 individuals from the Steam developer community complained that Valve does not offer rewards or bounties to security researchers who discover exploits.
Steam has broken the 8 million concurrent users milestone for the first time in its history - thanks mostly to its popular summer sale. On Sunday evening over 8 million gamers were using the service at the same time as the Steam Summer Sale began to wind down.
The last milestone for concurrent users on Steam - according to its stats page was around 7.5 million, which occurred over Christmas 2013. The new record high of 8,020,834 was recorded at 16:03 PDT on Sunday June 29.
The Steam Summer Sale ends at 10am PDT today.
Valve Software has banned a couple of Steam Community contributors and released a statement to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive creators, according to this Gamasutra report. The community content creators allegedly used artwork for one of the most popular user-created weapons in the game that they did not own.
Former Valve Software director of business development Jason Holtman has joined Oculus as its new "head of platform." Holtman served in his former role for eight years. In his new position at the virtual reality hardware company, Holtman will work closely with the head of platform engineering and head of worldwide publishing to lead the company's business development and forge new partnerships.
Valve has updated the official FAQ for Early Access releases on Steam, now noting that games purchased by consumers within this program "may never be finished." The new warning from Valve in the Steam Early Access, is an answer to the question, "When will these games release?" The answer, according to Valve's update:
Curve Studios design director Jonathan "Bidds" Biddle has found himself in the spotlight today after tweeting that Valve will be making dramatic changes to its Steam Greenlight program. Biddle said on Twitter that the system, which lets users cast a "Yes" or "No" votes on pitches for potential products to be listed on Steam, will be gone by this time next year.
We met with Valve at GDC, and they say Greenlight will be gone within 12 months. They'll still offer curated space, but otherwise be open.
In a thread on Reddit, Valve front man Gabe Newell said something that surprised a lot of people: that he's okay with EA's Origin digital distribution platform running on Steam Machines. While we don't know how Steam OS and Origin would cooperate within the same environment, Newell's comments continue to illustrate Valve's commitment to being an all-inclusive platform for all kinds of games and methods of delivery, etc.
According to information coming out of Valve's Steam Dev Days event from Steamdb, Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 content creators were paid a collective $400,000 in the first week of 2014.
"In the first week of 2014, $400k was paid out to content creators", noted Valve during the second Steam Day. The content in question is made by ordinary players in the community who then resell it to fellow players.
Valve's Steam Controller has been getting a mixed response from journalists who finally got to try out the hardware at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Valve recognizes that the controller still needs a lot of work and tweaking, but ultimately the goal is to make it work with all kinds of games - even games that one would think "require" the use of a mouse and keyboard.
Twelve more companies have lined up to build Steam Machines - machines meant to be used with a high definition television set in the living room that run Valve's Linux-based operating system Steam OS and support the Steam controller. This news comes from an Engadget report. Valve is set to hold its Consumers Electronics Show press conference this evening, where it will make a number of announcements related to these systems and its custom-built game-focused operating system.
If you heard that Valve's hit Zombie shooter Left 4 Dead 2 was free for a limited time but didn't get it yet - don't fret, there's still time. According to Valve's Left 4 Dead blog you have until 9 am PDT, or 1 pm EDT. From the blog:
With Valve Software pushing towards a future in which it is at the center of our big screen gaming experience in the living room using a system that is entirely powered by the Linux operating system, it should come as no big surprise that the company has joined The Linux Foundation this week. The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of the titular open-sourced operating system.
Valve Software's Mike Sartain says that joining the foundation is just one of the ways that it is putting a spotlight on the operating system.
Voting is now open for the Saxxy Awards, Valve's annual film-making awards competition. This year, the competition is exclusively based on the Source Filmmaker tool. The animation suite from Valve has been out long enough so that the community is familiar with it enough to create some amazing shorts - like the Team Fortress 2-based short about a mini-Pyro called 'Lil Guardian Pyro.'
You can check out the video to your left, and if you like it, you can vote for it here.
According to a Gamasutra report, many of the developers working on the indie title Dark Matter were laid off after the game's Kickstarter failed this summer. But that didn't stop an abbreviated version of the game hitting Steam and GOG last week. This week, the game has been yanked from those digital download services after complaints that the adventure title didn't have an ending.
Valve today released a video showing off how the new Steam Controller will work with different types of games. In the video Valve shows off how games such as Portal 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Papers, Please; and Civilization V work with the new controller - including some games that use the legacy mode (games that have not been modified specifically to support the controller). Valve promises more of these videos in the future.
Valve Software has announced a two-day event in January of next year for developers that showcases the new Steam OS, and its own hardware. The goal of the event set for January 15 - 16, 2014 is to get developers interested in supporting the controller and the OS.
It will cost $95 to attend and will take place at Valve headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Seating is limited, according to Valve.
Valve's third and final "big announcement" for this week is a new controller designed to work with Steam OS and its SteamOS-based hardware. The controller features two trackpads (instead of thumbsticks) that uses haptic feedback, a touch-enabled surface with a high resolution screen similar to what Sony is offering on the PS4 controller (which can also be used like four separate clickable buttons), shoulder buttons, four face buttons, and three buttons below the touch enabled surface.
Valve promised three big announcements and the first - revealed today - is that it is working on its own Linux-based operating system called SteamOS. Valve said that it came to the conclusion that the best environment for delivering games is one that it has created. While Valve promises that the new OS will be open-ended as Linux-based operating systems usually are, some are concerned that Valve is creating its own version of the "walled garden" that the company complained about with Windows 8.
Warner Bros. has confirmed with IGN that the PC version of Batman: Arkham Origins will use Valve's Steamworks for its multiplayer and achievements, distancing itself from Microsoft's Games for Windows Live service. Microsoft announced last week that it planned shut down the marketplace portion of the service at the end of this month.
According to Gaming Blend, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB) is reportedly looking to challenge Valve's stance on digital trade-ins in court before the end of the year. The VZVB is pursuing legal action regarding Steam's inability for its customers to resell the software they buy. The group had promised in February that it planned to sue Valve.
Valve has taken the wraps off a new program aimed at young people who want to work in the video games industry called Pipeline. The special initiative is aimed at helping teenaged designers seeking careers in the game industry. The ultimate goal of the Pipeline program is to help answer questions important to getting in the field as well as some commonly asked questions about working at a company such as Valve.
Valve has launched the annual Steam Summer Getaway Sale, offering steep discounts on hundreds of games. Right now the biggest problem consumers hungry for deals will encounter is the ability to actually get into the Steam storefront in order to buy something - due to high levels of traffic hammering the site right now.
Valve developers working on the new language ban system for DOTA 2 - the company's popular MOBA game - say that the negative communication system is proving to be a deterrent for those caught being a little too sassy during in-game chats. The system set up to keep players from using crude, offensive, or overly derogatory language during online multiplayer battles is causing players caught in the system's net to curtail their behavior, according to a lengthy post on the DOTA 2 blog.
Valve has announced the latest batch of games and application software to be approved for sale on the digital distribution platform as part of its Steam Greenlight program. Eighteen new games and two new software programs join the 90 titles Greenlit since Steam Greenlight launched in August of last year.