Valve: Gabe Newell still likes Wii, still wants to work on the platform
A portion of a 1up interview with Valve’s Gabe Newell..
GN: …The thing is I’m a big fan of the Wii in terms of a lot of the interesting things that it does, and we have absolutely zero Wii games in development. There’s always so much more that we’d like to do that we could do. We have a bunch of MMO fans inside of the company that would kill to be working on an MMO….
1UP: …including you?
GN: Myself included. [Laughs] A Wii MMO! Woo-hoo! We have nobody working on such a beast. Magically, if we could increase ourselves in size, then we can do a lot more of this stuff.
1UP: The Wii obviously has a huge install base. Third-parties have been cranking out Wii games left and right, and very few have been successful. And they’re generally not that fun. You have obviously looked into the hardware — what do you think companies need to do to make a good Wii game that also appeals to hardcore gamers? What do you think is lacking?
GN: The Wii is no different than 3D. After Doom came out, there were literally 400 Doom clones that came out over the next 18-24 months. Most of them were really terrible. Everybody saw that there was an opportunity, and people’s attempts to exploit that opportunity were pretty feeble. I think the Wii is the same way. Everybody was ignoring it until launch; people weren’t expecting it to do well; there wasn’t a ton of third- party development investment going on — and then it exploded. And then everybody immediately raced to ship Wii titles as fast as they possibly could. I think the quality really suffered.
You have to really think hard [about] what makes a game better with that kind of input system and how to do it. I don’t think there is anything fundamentally casual versus hardcore about the opportunity it represents — the difference between being thoughtful about your game design and how you’re taking advantage of the platform versus “Oh my god! We have to have some Wii product shipping [so] that we can make some money and take advantage of this huge unexpected groundswell.”