Gabe Newell Says Half-Life is a “Series of Things I Regret”

Gabe Newell doesn't remember Half-Life as fondly as everyone else.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has revealed the difficulties he has in returning to the Half-Life series, saying that he now looks upon the decisions he made in the first two games with “regret.”

Gabe hosted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session yesterday, with there being plenty of talk surrounding Valve’s games both old and new. However, it was the response he gave to a question regarding his favorite Valve game that turned the most heads. When a user asked him what he considered to be the best game developed by his studio, he replied: “I think Portal 2 is our best single-player game. I play Dota 2 the most of our multiplayer games.”

Half-Life and Half-Life 2‘s omission from this list was surprising, considering that both are regularly ranked among the best and most influential games ever. When pressed to expand upon why he doesn’t believe the series tops Portal, he continued: “The issue with Half-Life for me is that I was involved in a much higher percentage of the decisions about the games, so it’s hard for me to look at them as anything other than a series of things I regret. There’s no information in my response about what we’ll do in the future. It’s simply easier for me to be a fan of things that in which I was less directive.”

Portal

Gabe Newell’s favorite single-player Valve game is the original Portal.

With Half-Life and its successor being two of the most beloved games in history, Gabe’s omission that he looks upon the series with regret left many scratching their heads. Gabe elaborated upon his thoughts in a separate comment: “If you are involved in a game, everything ends up being a set of trade-offs. Anything in a game is a sacrifice of things not in the game. I just feel those more personally about Half-Life for a bunch of reasons. And Xen.”

There’s a saying that a game is never finished, it is simply launched, and this is echoed in Gabe’s comments. It seems that his heavy involvement in Half-Life has forced him to look at it more critically and, as a result, he is far less enthusiast about it than the game’s army of fans. Unfortunately, this doesn’t spell good news for a Half-Life 3… at least as we know it. When asked if there’s any chance of Valve developing a new IP set in the Half-Life/Portal universe, he replied: “Yep.” Though it’s not exactly a solid confirmation of Valve currently working on this mysterious IP, it’s at least an indication that we’ll be able to revisit the company’s sci-fi world in the future.