As part of a larger press briefing at its offices, Valve Software announced that it would be building three full VR games. Valve is partnered with HTC on the Vive virtual reality headset, but to date, the company has only offered the free Portal Stories: VR for the device. Valve founder Gabe Newell clarified that these would be full games, not small experiences like Portal Stories.
"Right now we're building three VR games," Newell told Eurogamer and other media during a roundtable talk. "When I say we're building three games, we're building three full games, not experiments."
The games themselves weren't named, nor did they have a release date, but Newell did say they're being built in Source 2 and Unity.
"One of the questions you might be asking is 'Why in the world would you be making hardware?'" said Newell. "What we can do now is we can be designing hardware at the same time that we're designing software. This is something that Miyamoto has always had. He's had the ability to think about what the input device is and design a system while he designs games. Our sense is that this will actually allow us to build much better entertainment experiences for people."
Newell also believes that virtual reality needs to offer new experiences to succeed. Valve has already ported Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress, but found the games lackluster.
"VR is not going to be a success at all if people are just taking existing content and putting it into a VR space," he said. "One of the first things we did is we got Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress running in VR, and it was kind of a novelty. That was purely a developer milestone, but there was absolutely nothing compelling about it, the same way nobody's going to buy a VR system so they can watch movies."
The full roundtable interview with further commentary from Newell is available at Eurogamer.