Does Valve have something to worry about?

By on February 6, 2012

The ‘call for communication’ was a significant failure.

Share this Article


First Impressions
My reaction is

On February 4th, 2012, at precisely 11:00pm, I quickly logged into my Steam account and started Half Life 2. On any other day, it would be a normal routine. But that day, it was different. That day, I wasn’t playing for personal enjoyment. I had an agenda. A week or so ago, a Steam group called ‘A Call for Communication’ organized an event to happen on that day, calling Half Life fans to ‘unite’ and join in a ‘silent’ protest by playing Half Life 2.

I have never been a ‘fan’ of anything – not of a person, not of a book, not of a movie, and not of a video game. Except Half Life. Or Valve. I have read about the company with utmost fascination; for instance its hierarchy-less employee system baffles me to how they actually function. Its passion and dedication for perfection has inspired me many a times. And Valve loves and cares about its fans, something that automatically gets props from me. I could write a love letter.

And I thought I could be a part of this ‘protest’. It doesn’t involve me rallying on the streets, shouting slogans, or looking like a super-nerd wearing T-shirts (or hats!). It was still ludicrous – not so much for what it meant to do, trying to coax a company to admit work on a project by playing one of their others. But I would be just alone; it wasn’t a multiplayer gathering after all. I could be romantic and say that I didn’t feel alone, but I won’t (I totally didn’t).

When I booted up my game, here’s what I thought was happening: thousands of players were now logging into their systems, booting up Half Life 2, and increasing the number of concurrent players for the game on Steam. This is going to be it, the day of reckoning, when Valve truly understands how dedicated and loyal its fans are.

What did happen was, in my opinion, a symbolic failure. Only 13,216 players partook in the event, a lowly number that did not even propel the game to the top 10.

Does Valve have something to worry about?

Are fans tired of waiting? Is interest from the franchise waning as new and fresh IPs make themselves available, in far, far quicker doses? Games like Bioshock: Infinite, The Last of Us, Heavy Rain, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, The Witcher, are proving to not only be great games but also great storytellers. Why should one care about a game whose developer is frustratingly silent on it? Who has not even cared to even admit that they are working on it?

Because, honestly, that’s all Valve has to do. Admit. The community has come to a point where it’s latching at any piece of news, even though there is nothing to it. During the VGA 2011 award speech by Portal’s Wheatley, fans decoded a bunch of numbers running on the background to predict an announcement at E3 2012. Valve quickly debunked the theory, and that’s slightly crooked on our part if you think about it.

It’s a bit stupid to go on about a game like this. But Half Life holds significant value in the history of video games. It’s no longer a ‘property’ that can be done and away with. Valve doesn’t really have to force themselves to release it tomorrow. But do say – is it being worked or not? That is all we have been demanding for almost a decade now.


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

More News
  • nothingherebutdust

    It has not been almost a decade, it has been just over HALF a decade. EP2 came in 2007.

Most Read
Most Commented