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Valve Defends Their Release Schedules

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In an interview with CVG that actually originated in Xbox World 360 Magazine, Doug Lombardi answers one of the most important Valve-related questions of all time.

What the hell is up with these release schedules?

Or in layman’s terms: “why is valve time so crazy lol”.

Valve Defends Their Release Schedules

Valve has been shocking and surprising us with irregular release dates and schedules since they first appeared.

They might delay an episodic game one year to bundle it with another game that took 10 years and a 3-hour experimental game, one day… then release the sequel to a brand new IP just one year after the first, another day.

They might take 6 years for a sequel to their very fi- Alright, you get the idea.

So what is up with this stuff? Come on Doug, tell us.

“I think it’s fair to say that Valve never approaches a product release the same way twice. With Half-Life 2 we took six years to create an epic sequel, then we immediately shifted to episodic releases, which were then followed by the release of a new IP (Left 4 Dead) which was given a sequel in less than a year. Now, with Portal 2, we’ve taken a couple of years to produce a full sequel to a game that was launched in episodic size.”

Isn’t that some sort of corporate schizophrenia?

“The point is not that we’re schizophrenic, but that we try to productise every game in a way that’s best for [it], given market conditions and other factors.”

So then what’s with the “productisation” on Episode Three?

That’s all for this article, but we’re thinking CVG has more stuff up their sleeve. Let’s hope they release more articles this week.


  1. I’m very glad that Valve defends their Valve Time,
    Because at the end it is what allows them to make their games so awesome.

  2. I think he is not talking about Portal 2, he talks about “episodic size” of the first Portal, maybe for the short playtime lapse.

    • Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about. That he isn’t referring to a possible HL3 through “full sequel to an episodic-sized game”, but that he’s talking about Portal 1 and 2.

  3. Was I the only one to smile Doug said “we’ve taken a couple of years to produce a full sequel to a game that was launched in episodic size.” ?

    I know he’s talking about Portal 2 but maybe it could also apply to the next Half-Life, but most importantly it shows that Valve is open to that approach.

    • It could apply, but yes, he’s referring to Portal 2. And it most likely applies to the next Half-Life. I’m sure the industry (and the fans) would laugh if they saw Valve announcing just “Episode Three” after close to 4 years of total silence.

    • I posted this on the HL2:EP2 forum because at first I though he was. I then remembered how insane us HL fans get, and then reread it to be sure. I was. Then reread it again for good measure, and only then did I realize it was talking about Portal 2, and not what was to come after it.

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