Update 22nd October 2020 8:40AM: Gabe Newell has denied plans to move Valve's development studios to New Zealand. He's confirmed that he will be applying for New Zealand residency, but that he does not currently have a meeting lined up with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
He's also said that, while Valve opening an office in New Zealand wouldn't be a bad idea, he doesn't currently have any plans to do so, when talking with 1News.
The original story follows below.
Original story: Gabe Newell has conducted an interview with Xbox's Phil Spencer and journalist Geoff Keighley. The interview's contents are subject to an NDA, but Valve News Network's Tyler McVicker has released some snippets of information from the interview.
What does Gabe Newell say about Valve in the interview?
McVicker's Valve News Network video consists mostly of paraphrasing and referring to the original interview, with some direct quotes included. Newell, who is president of Valve, was in New Zealand when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The team has been working from home, and Newell says Valve's productivity has seriously decreased since the pandemic began.
He goes on to say that since New Zealand's response to the virus has been so successful, he'll be meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and discussing the possibility of moving Valve and other development studios to New Zealand on a temporary basis. This would presumably mean that Valve could continue working in office spaces in person, enhancing what McVicker calls the studio's culture of "communication".
Does Gabe Newell talk about what Valve is working on next?
In the interview, Newell says that Valve has "a bunch of stuff in production". He says Valve has actually started work on Half-Life 3 a couple of times, but that each time, it "wasn't an interesting enough game" to follow up on. According to Newell, he's found that it's best for the team to "keep our mouths shut" until it knows it has a product it will actually deliver rather than releasing information on something it isn't necessarily ready to reveal. McVicker says the direct mention of Half-Life 3 means Valve feels comfortable discussing the franchise, which in turn means the developer is "more likely to work within this field".
Newell says Half-Life: Alyx "got everyone excited", and that the development team for that game has been "incredibly fired up" about the Half-Life franchise and about VR. According to Newell, the quality bar for VR "isn't high enough yet" for the studio to switch exclusively to developing within that field. He also says the gaming community as a whole "will benefit" from competition within the world of VR, specifically from companies like Facebook attempting to drive down costs and make the technology accessible.
It's worth checking out the full McVicker video for some more quotes from Gabe Newell about VR, his studio's development process, and other issues relating to the gaming world. We'll bring you more on this as we get it, including if the full audio or transcript is made available.
Are you looking forward to more Half-Life VR games? Let us know in the comments below!