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Valve Would Like to Make All of Their Franchises in VR

by William Schwartz

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Standing over a dead Combine soldier, bloody crowbar in hand, is not a new experience for anyone who is familiar with Half-Life (and who isn’t?). Now imagine this same scene enacted and viewed from behind the glasses of Gordon Freeman with the aid of VR. That certainly sounds enticing. And it’s something Valve would like to see happen themselves.

Valve threw their hat into the VR ring with the Vive just days ago, opening up limitless possibilities (or at least limitless speculation and wishing) for its use. In an interview with Kotaku, Valve programmer Jeep Barnett explained where the company currently stands on the rising tech and what it could mean for the future of their games. What was uncovered was Valve’s desire to see virtual reality integrated into all of their franchises.

“Would we like to make all of our franchises in VR? Absolutely,” stated Barnett. Valve has been using assets from Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, DOTA 2 and more with the Vive for experimentation and design purposes. Obviously this doesn’t mean that VR versions of these revered series will be hitting digital shelves anytime soon, but it does give some hope. In fact, Half-Life 3 in VR is not being ruled out at the moment. Barnett responded to the likelihood of this long-awaited installment receiving the virtual reality treatment with: “We’re not saying ‘no’, but we don’t know what the right thing is [yet].”

The biggest challenge being faced in achieving this dream is limited resources. Insufficient time and staffing are going to be what kill the concept in the end rather than lacking direction or passion, according to the programmer. At this time, there are just too many factors to accurately predict the future of Valve’s projects and their relationship with virtual reality. But that won’t stop us from daydreaming about the day we can truly immerse ourselves in the inventive puzzles tucked away in Aperture Science.

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