Many trends in 2023 have made gamers happy, including the slew of AAA titles that have been of high quality and easily become contenders for Game of the Year. However, a trend that many aren’t happy with is the lack of quality and care in certain other AAA titles that were released this year and the release of games that have no real quality to them at all. That might sound like something that only happened with one or two games, but it was a lot, and it’s not something Gabe Newell would’ve done had he been involved with their development.
Yes, we know that Valve doesn’t “make games anymore” because they’re focused on cashing in with Steam, the Steam Deck, and other things, but they still remain one of the best game developers in the world when they want to produce titles.
To prove our point, you only need to watch this video that Valve dropped celebrating the 25th anniversary of Half-Life. You know, one of the greatest games ever created?
One of the things that Gabe Newell noted in that video was that Valve had already promised to release the game in 1997. However, the game wasn’t ready, and he flat-out said that they wouldn’t ship the game in its current state. So, they delayed the project a year to get everything fixed and ready to ship by their standards.
He also admitted that if they had tried, they COULD have rushed out the product, and it would’ve been fine, but Valve wanted to raise the bar and showcase how good certain games could be, so they went the delay route. Newell summed it up perfectly by stating:
“Late is just for a little while. Suck is forever.”
Indeed, and could you imagine what their iconic title would be like if they had rushed it out? Could you imagine the fate of the video game world if Valve wasn’t allowed to do things to the quality they’re known to produce? To say that things would’ve been changed for the worse would be an understatement.
The sad irony here is that many developers today don’t follow that belief system, and as such, their games suffer, and we, as gamers, suffer because they refuse to delay things to ensure a better product. And yes, some patches and updates can fix things, but the sour taste in gamers’ mouths will last for quite a while, and the trust between dev and gamer won’t be the same.