A year on, Gabe Newell feels “great” about Half-Life: Alyx

We learned a little more about the Steam Deck yesterday via Gabe Newell’s chat with IGN, but that wasn’t all that was discussed. IGN also asked Newell how he felt about Half-Life: Alyx one year on – and (with no spoilers), how he felt about the game’s ending.

You can find the quotes about Half-Life: Alyx around the 23:45 mark in the video below.

“I feel great a year out,” says Newell. “I think it’s been super helpful in terms of what do we do next. How do we continue to move VR forward, what are the opportunities in the space? In that sense it’s been hugely successful.”

On the subject of its sales performance, Newell was vague, saying only that, “Everything we saw in terms of VR adoption – it had a positive impact there.”

He was then quick to link the conversation back to the Steam Deck, expanding in terms of what the team learned by shipping the Valve Index. Specifically, they got some good feedback about the importance of thumbsticks, but there were broader benefits, too. “In terms of giving us this confidence, it was hugely helpful with Deck, right?” said Newell. “This notion that working these tightly coupled hardware/software designs can in fact have big payoffs. You don’t end up with, ‘Well, why’d we do that? It’s the same hardware anyone else would build.’ Or the game developers saying, ‘That’s great but you haven’t impacted my thinking at all about what the opportunity space is.’ But yeah, I’m super happy with Alyx and everything that the team did and the implications it has for our business long term.”

IGN then asked about Newell’s feelings about the ending of Half-Life: Alyx. Newell picked his words extremely carefully, with a lot of false starts, but eventually boiled it down to: “Endings are hard. But to us it feels like the right progression for where we’re going with Half-Life.”

I won’t spoil anything, but Half-Life: Alyx’s ending is kind of a big deal. If you haven’t played the game yet and have the means to do so, you should. I loved it, and said as much in my Half-Life: Alyx review and in our roundup of the best VR games. It’s absolutely the Half-Life game I wanted as a huge Half-Life fan, and it’s only a shame that more people aren’t able to play it.

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