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Valve announces they are in a place to 'focus a lot more on games again'

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In a recent interview with IGN about Valve's upcoming collectable card game, Artifact, a company spokesperson mentioned that Valve is finally ready to refocus on 'making Steam great again.'

The only way to do that would be to release new games on the platform. Yes new Half-Life and Portal games, not a new collectable card game! Jokes aside, according to IGN's chat with Artifact Lead Programmer, Brandon Reinhart, Valve is only now in a position to refocus on making video games.

A bunch of investment we've done over the past few years hasn't really been exceptionally visible to customers playing our games,” explains 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.”

You might recall that Valve has been changing and improving the Steam Store over the past few months. The platform is trying to simulate a Discord-type chat channel, and Valve announced all the new changes in July. In June Valve announced they were working on a replacement for Steam Spy that is "more accurate" and in the same month, they announced major changes in how they would regulate the Steam Store. In April the Steam client also received an important privacy setting update. Now that Valve is happy with all the Steam changes, they are ready to move some of their resources back to working on game development.

“Now we're in a place where we're able to, as a company, invest and focus a lot more on games again,” Reinhart continued. “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.

Valve has been teasing us with the "we're still making games" line for some time now. And then we got Artifact. In the same interview, IGN also talked with Jeep Barnett, a programmer who has worked on Portal, a few Half-Life and Left for Dead games, and now Artifact. According to Barnett, Vale is very aware of the never-ending jokes about Gaben's aversion to three and all the jokes about Half-Life.

“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,” explains Barnett. “Understanding Valve is very complicated because it's just made of all the people who work here"

“From outside the company, or outside any company, you try to personify it as something very specific to understand what that thing is. It's just not that simple, so I think it's very hard to explain.”

Reinhart emphasized a very important fact; the work Valve has been doing these past years are not things that are very visible to the PC gaming community. For us, "visible" would mean the release of the games we've been begging for, for years, while Valve has chosen to rather work on getting Steam to the place it is now - a competitor for discord. Other projects included the development of Steam VR and Vive, all projects that would take a lot of resources.

Valve saying they're now ready to focus on games doesn't equal a new Portal or Half-Life game. But I want to believe.

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"I think we're very aware of all the jokes"

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