Edge magazine goes inside Valve Software for an exclusive 34-page feature covering Half-Life: Alyx, Steam and more

The last time Edge (opens in new tab) visited Valve, way back in 2013’s issue 250, we asked CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell an awkward question: should we even see Valve as a videogame developer anymore? At the time the company’s focus was on the colossally successful PC storefront, Steam (opens in new tab); on the idea of players as creators through Steam Workshop; and on its first tentative steps into hardware with the (ill-fated) Steam Machines venture. In our latest issue, Edge 344, we go back to Valve HQ for a rare trip inside this most elusive of game companies. We do not need to ask the same question again. Half-Life is back, after all.

In Edge 344, we review Half-Life: Alyx (opens in new tab), and tell the fascinating story of the game’s creation. But to focus solely on Half-Life is to ignore everything else Valve represents. Originally merely a brilliant game developer, the Valve of today is also shopkeeper of the industry’s biggest download store, owner of some of the most popular games on the planet, and has moved from software to services into hardware, making the most powerful VR headset available.

As such this isn’t merely an issue about Half-Life: Alyx. It’s also a chance to check in on one of the most secretive companies in the industry, to talk not only about its new VR game but also the headset around which it is built, the platform through which it will be sold, and the games and initiatives whose success have helped fund it. And yes, to get Gabe Newell on tape, because it’s been far too long.

Edge 344 goes on sale in print on Thursday, March 26 through all major newsagents, featuring this beautiful wraparound cover, custom-designed for us by Valve’s artists: 

(Image credit: Future)

Subscriber copies will begin arriving in the coming days, and feature an exclusive cover design we’re not revealing yet, in order to preserve the surprise for our subscribers. To guarantee delivery of future issues, check the latest Edge magazine subscription offers (opens in new tab).

We’re mindful that many readers, and potential readers, are stuck at home and unable to head to the shops to get their issue. As such, for the first time – of many, we hope – we’re offering a limited number of pre-orders of our print edition through our online store. 

Get five issues of Edge for only £5 / $5

We’re also launching our digital edition earlier than the planned street date of March 26; it’ll be live at 5pm GMT next Monday, March 23. Our latest subscriber offer gets you your first five digital issues for just £5/ $5 (opens in new tab) – and if you sign up now, your subscription will begin with our Valve special edition.

Here’s a glimpse at what else awaits inside.

Valve Time

(Image credit: Future)

With a photographer in tow, we conducted more than 20 interviews with Valve staff in a bid to paint a picture of where the company stands in 2020. We tell the story of how Half-Life: Alyx was made, then look into the past, present, and future of everything else that defines this remarkable studio: from games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota Underlords, and Artifact – yes, it has a future – to its plans for Steam and its hardware business. 

An Audience With… Gabe Newell

(Image credit: Future)

What happens when you sit down for an hour with one of the industry’s finest, and most forward-thinking minds? Quite a lot, as it happens, from how we’ll be controlling games with our brains – and vice versa – within the next few years, to how single-player games will soon be powered by virtual people that live in our computers. In rare, wide-ranging conversation, Newell reflects on the milestone moments that have taken Valve to where it is today, and offers some tantalising hints at where it’s headed next.

Half-Life: Alyx reviewed

(Image credit: Future)

Valve is one of only a handful of development studios to have multiple Edge 10s under its belt. Can a game built from the ground up around a proprietary VR headset deliver the studio its third? Our review investigates, and in our Post Script we examine whether Alyx is the proof of concept for consumer VR in general.

Subscribe today

For more industry-beating access to the very best that the videogame industry has to offer, why not subscribe to Edge? You’ll save on the cover price and have your copy delivered to your door (or device) each month, complete with exclusive subscriber covers.

You can subscribe to the print edition (opens in new tab), digital version (opens in new tab), or save even more with the print/digital bundle (opens in new tab) – whatever you choose, you can rest easy in the knowledge you’re getting the full story before anyone else. 

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