Rumors suggested Valve was working on Left 4 Dead 3, but devs have elaborated, saying the studio was never seriously working on a third entry for the beloved zombie series, and the leaked renders were more of a tech test while developing a new engine.
In this month’s episode of IGN Unfiltered, Ryan McCaffrey sat down with Chris Remo and Robin Walker from Valve to talk about Half-Life: Alyx, Portal VR, Left 4 Dead 3, and much more.
The official Valve statement on the Left 4 Dead 3 rumors said, “We did briefly explore some Left 4 Dead next-gen opportunities a few years ago, but we are absolutely not working on anything Left 4 Dead-related now, and haven’t for years.”
What the team at Valve was experimenting with was Source 2, and Valve’s Robin Walker explained how it happened. “We used parts of a Left 4 Dead level as the first bit of level geometry to start building in Source 2, so a bit of that got out. It was essentially a rendering test, and people thought that meant we were working on Left 4 Dead.”
Half-Life: Alyx First Screenshots (4K)
Unfortunately for Left 4 Dead fans, that wasn’t the case. Walker continued, “We built lots of different things as part of building technology in Source 2… There were groups here who would generate a product in mind that would attempt to be a target for Source 2, and so a couple of those were Left 4 Dead-related things, but none of them reached the point where we were like, ‘now this is a product team that we’re going to build a big product around.’ They were more tools for moving Source 2 forward.”
Portal VR was another project which ended up being a blip on Valve’s development radar. “We [looked] at our various IPs when we started… before we selected Half-Life… which is a really standard thing for us to do. When you’re trying to explore something new, of course you start with ‘What are all the tools we’ve got from the past that could help us rapidly learn here?’
“So we looked at various IPs and, yep, Portal was one of them, [but] we didn’t get very far in that. It was pretty clear when we looked at Portal as a whole… If we can’t do player movement, not as a result of their choice, but by launching them… momentum…standing on things… all that sort of stuff… then a whole swath of Portal’s puzzles… the whole back half of Portal, or more… goes away, and we’d need some alternative thing.
“The whole point of using existing IPs is to get a head start on trying to understand and learn, and if we start by taking away one of the most interesting things from the IP we’re looking at, then it doesn’t seem like we’re making a good choice there.”
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Brian Barnett writes news, features, wiki guides, deals posts, and much more for IGN. You can get your fix of Brian’s antics on Twitter and Instagram (@Ribnax).