Valve Knows They’re the Butt of Many Jokes
From Half-Life 3 memes to fans still waiting for Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Valve is apparently very aware of the jokes made about them.
“I think we’re very aware of all the jokes because all of us lurk all the forums and share them around with each other,” said Jeep Barnett, a programmer on Valve’s next game, Artifact, and a member of the original team that made Narbacular Drop, who all ended up creating Portal.
Up until Artifact’s announcement, many thought that Valve didn’t even need to or desire to make games anymore.
“A bunch of investment we’ve done over the past few years hasn’t really been exceptionally visible to customers playing our games,” said Artifact programmer Brandon Reinhart. “We spent a lot of time improving customer service on Steam. That was a hard problem, and it took a bunch of people a bunch of time to work on.”
And although Valve is a company with a finite amount of workers and no bosses and definitive direction, it appears they have collectively decided to focus on games again.
“Now we’re in a place where we’re able to, as a company, invest and focus a lot more on games again,” Reinhart said. “The answer to ‘you’re just sitting on your butts, sitting on a pile of money, swimming around the gold vault,’ is to not actually do that. To deliver a bunch of high quality games that show we’re actually working really hard.”
According to Barnett, Valve sees and listens to all feedback on their games and the company. However, they don’t typically respond directly.
“The way that we communicate back is by making changes to the game and trying to ship features that address the things people are saying,” he explained. “Rather than just speaking and saying we’re going to do this thing, we actually just go and do that thing.”