Speaking to IGN, Newell said he believes Valve has “nailed it” with the upcoming VR exclusive, but he’s equally hopeful those outside of the company view it as a return to form for the Steam firm after disappointments including 2018’s digital trading card game Artifact.
“We can be right, and we can be wrong, we make mistakes,” he said. “We did Steam Machines, Artifact was a giant disappointment, you know we screw things up.
“And so, for us, this is actually a really powerful moment for us, because this is as good as we get. We want to know, we want to find out, are we on the right track? We want people to come back and say, ‘oh my God, the magic still is there’. These guys at Valve can take this kind of experience and build something that opens our eyes as designers, that thrills us as players, that reviewers look at and say, ‘this is legit’.
“And if not, then that’s also going to be super powerful and super useful for us. I think we’ve nailed it but for us, we’ve gnawed on this thing for a long time, it’s time for it to go out into the real world, it’s like you’re sending your kid off to college, let’s see what happens. That for us is incredibly important and part of our development.”
Half-Life: Alyx will be available to pre-load from this Friday, March 20, and playable from 10am PT (5pm GMT) on Monday, March 23.
“How everybody reacts to it is going to tell us what the next generation of changes and improvements we’re going to make,” Newell continued. “Unfortunately, failure is more educational than success. I’m going for a little not-education this time around.”
Valve released 10 minutes of Half-Life: Alyx gameplay earlier this month.