As you all know, Half-Life: Alyx was revealed on November 21st with what we can say was mixed opinions. Valve has never received over 10k dislikes ever. Not one video on their YouTube channel even comes close to that margin. The second-closest is Artifact with 5k dislikes, and that game reveal wasn’t even uploaded on Valve’s official channel. This hate is due to one thing and one thing only – Virtual Reality.
People are complaining and cancelling this game already for the sole reason that it will only be able to be played on virtual reality headsets. For example Jenna on Twitter said “trailer was amazing but I’m not buying Half-Life: Alyx since it’s exclusive for VR which vast majority of PC gamers don’t have VR equipment”. As you can see this tweet wasn’t hated on very much, it has an actual pretty good amount of support, which means a lot of people agree with this statement. Although you may think this would cause worry on Valve’s end, it’s actually the complete opposite. See this is exactly what Gabe Newell wanted. On February 14th 2017 an interview was held by Newell and his VR team and he said this:
“If you took the existing VR systems and made them 80% cheaper, you’re still not- there’s still not a huge market right? There’s still not a really incredibly compelling reason for people to spend 20 hours a day in VR, right?” See Valve set out to make a game to give people a reason to buy a virtual reality headset and spend “20 hours a day of VR”. The reason this is one of the most important things in videogame history is summed up perfectly in a comment left on the reveal of Half-Life: Alyx by a YouTuber:
“You know I’m old. Like really old. And you know all this VR complaining reminds me of the complaining some people did back in the day about having to buy a dedicated graphics card to play games.” He also brought up the fact that people complain about buying a mouse a PC Mouse for their computer which now is an essential for every single computer across the world. Personally I believe that this release is one of those moments. Valve Index sales soared and are currently sold out, same with Oculus Rift and the Quest. Now that Valve has stepped in, VR is bigger than ever. The game Boneworks developed by Stress Level Zero sold 200,000 copies in just three days of release. Keep in mind this game is not a Triple-A title and was made by a small team and it’s still sold tremendously and is continuing to grow. Just imagine how well Half-Life: Alyx will sell after they release it in March.
This game is the thing that VR truly needed, and gaming as a whole. I may get flack for this but in my opinion virtual reality is truly the future. Every year it’s getting more and more accessible, with the Quest and Go which don’t require any gaming PC to run at all. Although Half-Life: Alyx isn’t coming to these systems, they’re getting more and more people interested in VR and seeing how immersive it truly is. There was something just so different and personal being there in the world and actually getting true scale of the world around you. It is truly revolutionary. If you don’t believe me, try it out and see it for yourself at a VR arcade. You can find them in the mall, or just look one up in your area. Soon everyone will have a VR headset with their gaming PC. It will be an essential like a mouse and a keyboard. Would this have happened without Valve? Maybe, maybe not. But now we know it is happening because of them. Half-Life: Alyx has opened the door for virtual reality and gave it a whole new meaning.
No more goofy grandma’s riding roller coasters on the Google cardboard, now you’re playing the new Half-Life game from the Valve corporation that fans have been waiting years upon years to play.