Valve, the company behind the highly-successful digital platform Steam and its plethora of bankable IPs (Left 4 Dead, Portal, Half-Life) are known for being notoriously secretive and to withhold information regarding their games for a very long time – something that’s not lost on a lot of its fans.
The question is, why do they do that? Certainly, the company isn’t just doing that for kicks or are they? Valve big boss Gabe Newell admits in an interview that they know how much they annoy their fans, but it’s something that’s also frustrating to them. Not only that, but they want to “bake” the game a little more and make sure it’s up to snuff before revealing it to the public.
Oh absolutely. We’re acutely aware of how much we annoy our fans and it’s pretty frustrating to us when we put them into that situation.
We try to go as fast as we can and we try to pick the things that we think are going to be most valuable to our customers and if there’s some magic way we can get more work done in a day then we’d love to hear about it, but we recognize that it’s been a long time whereas we have so many games that people really love–Counterstrike, Half Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, not a whole lot of Ricochet enthusiasts out there, and at the same time we want to be making sure that those games and those stories and those characters are moving forward while also making sure that we don’t just get into terminal sequelitis.
But we’ve always somehow, you know, part of the reason that we backed off talking so much about what was happening in the future is that when we’ve done that in the past, you know, with Half Life 1it was a year after we originally said it would be, Half Life 2 basically if you go and read the forum posts apparently took us fifty or sixty years to get done so we’re trying to be careful not to get people too excited and then have to go and disappoint them. So we’re sort of reacting in the other direction and saying “okay, well let’s have things a little more baked before we start getting people all excited about it.
Be sure to give the whole interview a read, as to know more how Newell and Co. make great games and how they run their day-to-day operations.
Source: Penny Arcade Report.