With this open way of thinking it is no wonder that some of the most enduring titles have come from valve. I can vividly remember picking up the game Half Life in what was then a Walden Software store. The game had the tagline Run, Think, Shoot, Survive; which is, in many ways, a good analogy for Valve.
What does this trip down memory lane mean? Well the other day there were numerous Facebook posts showing a fun item sent by nVidia to a select group of the press. There was a happy round of jokes and comments on the crowbar (all of which were labeled “for use in case of Zombies or …”). Then someone mentioned Half Life and lights went off.
I remembered that during the interview with the Seven Day Cooldown Newell mentioned Half Life 3. We began to wonder about the significance of the item from nVidia and the comments about Ricochet 2. It is very unlikely that Valve is actually going to release a sequel to what was originally a mod for the original Half Life game (and a multiplayer one at that). What is sounds like is that there is something going on. Previously Valve had something of a relationship with ATi (and then AMD). Part of this could be due to the fact that Valve was founded by a group of ex-Microsoft employees that were around when ATi and Microsoft were putting together the foundations for DirectX (although the first Half Life was based on a modified Quake Engine that ran on Glide or OpenGL).
This relationship has continued for a long time even through the advent of PhysX and the introduction of Cuda. However, lately AMD has not had the money to dump into game development like they used to and new CEO Rory Reed has been working in a completely different direction than before. This could mean that what money AMD did have for game development might get shifted to other items.
What if (and believe me this is only speculation based on circumstantial evidence) nVidia has teamed up with Valve to launch the third Half Life? This would be a huge thing for nVidia to announce and if they were to show off a new game engine alongside a new GPU things would even be better. Think about the possibilities… Half Life 3, in 3D with full PhysX support (or a GPU accelerated version of Havok) with a new Engine, GPU accelerated AI (that has been in the works for a while). I do not know a single Half Life fan that would not begin to drool over a new addition to the Half Life family like that (even the die-hard AMD fans would have a hard time not wanting it).
Although there are a hundred other things that the crowbar could mean it does seem a tad odd that it shows up right after a comment from Gabe Newell that could be tied to Half Life 3 shows up. This is one we will keep an eye on and even will make the effort to get an answer from both Valve and nVidia….
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