Valve on Valve Time
Many fans use the term ‘Valve Time’ in a negative way, as a way to say “Valve is taking their sweet time and will get to it when they feel like it.” How does Valve feel about this term?
Valve business development chief Jason Holtman told Eurogamer that Valve loves the Valve Time tag line. Holtman described Valve Time as “charming” and “kind of a compliment”. “We like it,” he continued.
“Valve Time is interesting,” Holtman said. “To my mind, an interesting thing about being on the inside of Valve and working there quite a while is, what we’re always concerned with is doing what’s right for the customer; doing what’s right for the product. And people get an idea of Valve Time because they’re very used to how maybe other people work and bring things out. Other people have much more formalised schedules. They have dates they have like lines in the sand because of their structures.”
“When we get up to that, we may fully say at an E3 or a GDC, here’s a game coming out and here’s when we think it is. And then it doesn’t come out for a year. Or it doesn’t come out in the fall, it comes out in the spring. Hence we get tagged with Valve Time.”
So how did ‘Valve Time’ come about? Who started using the phrase and why? The concept seems to apply most to Half-Life 3, or Half-Life 2: Episode 3, whichever is slated to release next. It has been five years since Episode 2 and fans are waiting for their trilogy promised six years ago.
Do you remember how it took Half Life 2 six years to develop? I sure don’t. What I remember most is stepping off the train and being amazed by the vast new world that had risen from the ashes of Black Mesa. I remember rescuing Eli and how I had to stay off the sand. I remember cruising in my dune buggy trying to perform suicidal jumps. I remember the Citadel and the G-Man standing above reminding me of the present forces beyond my control.
The point being, when Half-Life 3 does come out, we will eventually forget how long we had to wait and instead be talking about the game and how it took us places beyond belief. How the situations we were put in came about and how we over came them. We will get out thrill. We will get what we ask for. For now, we must sync our watches to Valve Time and wait.