Software giant Valve is reportedly focusing on making video games again.
That's according to a number of sources, including video games personality Geoff Keighley on Twitter (below) and PCGamer, who were at a briefing about upcoming DOTA 2 card game Artifact at Valve's offices in Bellevue, Washington. Incidentally, Keighley says that Artifact will be out in 2018.
The outlets report that chief Gabe Newell said that the aforementioned project was the first of many to come out of the American game maker.
"Artifact is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us," he said.
"So that's sort of good news. Hooray. Valve's going to start shipping games again."
The reason that Valve hasn't been focusing on making brand new games, Newell says, is to do with its recent investment in hardware due to the HTC Vive.
"The positive thing about the Vive is, in addition to making sure that nobody created an iOS closed platform for it, was also that it gave us the opportunity to develop our in-house expertise in hardware design," he said.
"Five years ago, we didn't have electrical engineers and people who know how to do robots. Now there's pretty much no project in the hardware space that we wouldn't be comfortable taking on. We can design chips if we need to, we can do industrial design, and so on. So that added to that."
This new hardware knowledge, alongside the software prowess that the Valve has, will result in more than just brand new video games from Valve.
"We've always been a little bit jealous of companies like Nintendo," Newell said.
"When Miyamoto is sitting down and thinking about the next version of Zelda or Mario, he's thinking what is the controller going to look like, what sort of graphics and other capabilities. He can introduce new capabilities like motion input because he controls both of those things. And he can make the hardware look as good as possible because he's designing the software at the same time that's really going to take advantage of it. So that is something we've been jealous of, and that's something that you'll see us taking advantage of subsequently."
Furthermore, Newell expressed concerns about the direction that the PC games market was set in - saying that it was becoming more of a closed ecosystem.
"You can see that Microsoft was like, wow, how can we make Windows more like that?" PC Gamer reports Newell as saying.
"Or Zuckerberg is saying, 'well I tried to compete in the phones, I got my ass kicked, so I'm going to create this new thing, VR, which will allow me to recreate the kind of closed, high margin ecosystem that Apple's done.' And that really started to worry us, because we thought that the strength of the PC is about its openness … So we started to make some investments to offset that."\
Yesterday I spent the afternoon up at Valve's stunning new office in Bellevue. "We're back to making and shipping games," Gabe Newell assured me as he started to share details of @PlayArtifact , the new digital card game coming later this year. pic.twitter.com/q93Aern2IX— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) March 9, 2018