In a recent interview with Develop magazine, Gabe Newell gave some insight into the direction of Valve’s future development process, saying that “[Valve] went through the episodes phase and now we’re going towards shorter and even shorter cycles.”
Newell adds that the move towards “games as a service model” is the future for Valve. In the recent past Valve has changed their focus from periodic big release games to a core set of titles receiving consistent updates. Perhaps the best example of “games as a service” is Team Fortress 2, which has undergone consistent and frequent updates – as many as 200 content related updates since the game came out in 2007.
Newell elaborates that the “games as a service model” format is beneficial primarily because it reduces stress on – not to mention that the investment risk is much smaller.
Does this mean all hope is lost for Episode 3? While he firmly believes that the service based model is beneficial, Newell doesn’t completely write off big huge projects. “I think you’ll still see projects from us that are huge in scale, simply because we have the ability to do that.”