Stardock's Brad Wardell Blames Steam for Lack of Half-Life 2 Sequel3

Written by John Ponio    Thursday, 14 April 2011 14:10

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Stardock's Brad Wardell recently told IndustryGamers that Steam may be to blame for the lack of a sequel to Valve's Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Stardock recently sold their Steam-Like games distribution service Impulse to Gamestop, but Wardell said that when Stardock stilled owned it, he had to take a lot of top developers off of games and put them onto Impulse to improve it and make it work faster. He claims Valve may be suffering from a similar situation.

"Steam and Valve, internally speaking, of the companies out there I would say we're the most similar. Obviously they're bigger and far more successful than our games unit is, but culturally they're pretty similar. If you were to look at a timeline of games developed in-house by Valve – not developed externally and then acquired – and you look at before Steam and after Steam, it's definitely had an effect. I don't argue that that's a good thing or bad thing, but I do know the effect that's had on us, where I've had to put some of my top developers over the years onto Impulse to make sure it was getting better and better.

"Even though Valve is in Seattle, where you can get developers everywhere, [Steam's] had an effect on their own development schedule. There's not been a new Half-Life in a long time; a lot of people have complained about that. They've had their own challenges getting new titles out the door, and a big part of that I'm sure is the same problems we've had. When one of your groups is so ridiculously profitable, every business instinct you have is to throw all your best people at it, because that's what's making the money. That's just sound business. At the end of the day, again you have decide if that's what you want to do.

"Steam and Valve, internally speaking, of the companies out there I would say we're the most similar. Obviously they're bigger and far more successful than our games unit is, but culturally they're pretty similar. If you were to look at a timeline of games developed in-house by Valve – not developed externally and then acquired – and you look at before Steam and after Steam, it's definitely had an effect. I don't argue that that's a good thing or bad thing, but I do know the effect that's had on us, where I've had to put some of my top developers over the years onto Impulse to make sure it was getting better and better."