“Artifact is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us. So that’s sort of good news. Hooray! Valve’s going to start shipping games again,” Newell said.
It’s been almost five years since Valve has released a new game. Dota 2 launched in the summer of 2013. Along with Dota 2, Valve has consistently updated its other major multiplayer game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but in recent years, the studio that owns Steam has focused more on the shop itself and hardware. Valve worked with HTC on the Vive virtual reality headset and has manufactured a string of peripheral devices like the Steam controller and Steam Link.
Now, Newell thinks Valve is ready to develop hardware and games simultaneously while managing the ever-growing Steam storefront. He made an interesting comparison to Nintendo’s design philosophy in describing his vision.
“We’ve always been a little bit jealous of companies like Nintendo. When [Shigeru] Miyamoto is sitting down 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, and 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 that. That’s something we’ve been jealous of and that’s something that you’ll see us taking advantage of subsequently.”
Newell wasn’t ready to reveal what’s in the works, but one of the titles, if plans haven’t changed, is a full-fledged single-player game. In a Reddit AMA last year, Newell confirmed the existence of a single player game, which would be the first since 2011’s Portal 2.
For now, we have Artifact to look forward to, which will compete with the likes of Hearthstone and Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. Unlike those pair of games, Artifact will not be free-to-play. A price point hasn’t been announced, but Newell said Artifact will launch by the end of 2018 on PC, with iOS and Android versions to follow in mid-2019.