Valve Announce Source 2, Because Why Not

Because they can’t do anything normally, after a day of daft conspiratorial rumours about an announcement at 3pm on the 3rd of the 3rd, Valve have finally and properly announced the existence of Source 2 via email at 15.54. The Source 2 they definitely weren’t making for all those years, and then sort of appeared in DOTA 2 code. And they’re aiming to make it amateur friendly. And free! Oh, and Steam Link too.

After years of denying its existence, painstakingly explaining that Source was an iterative engine that was upgraded all the time, out of the blue the (potential) developer snuck it out in DOTA 2 last year, and have now finally revealed that it definitely exists after all.

“With Source 2,”says Jay Stelly, “our focus is increasing creator productivity. Given how important user generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not just for the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favourite games.”

And putting themselves squarely in the way of Epic and Unity, it’s going to be “free to content developers.” Or as they put it, “This combined with recent announcements from Epic and Unity will help continue the PC’s dominance as the premiere content authoring platform.”

There’s also to be a “Vulkan-compatible version of the Source 2 engine,” a cross-platform, cross-vendor 3D graphics API “that allows developers to get the most out of the latest graphics hardware, and ensures (sic) hardware developers that there is a consistent, low overhead method of taking advantage of products.” Which are some words.

There’s no word yet on whether there will be licensing requirements for selling games made with Source 2, but that’ll likely become clear from tomorrow when we meet with Valve to look at all this new gubbins.

Steam Link, meanwhile, is a new product designed to stream Steam all around your house at 1080p and 60Hz. It’ll be out this November at the same time as the new controller, and also cost $50. Quite how it’s different to the in-built streaming Steam already offers across your home network is not clear. Again, hopefully we’ll have answers tomorrow.

They also throw in a few boasts about Lighthouse, which they say solves issues of high resolution, high speed tracking in VR, and involves a low enough “BOM cost”. Phew!

We should have a whole bunch more details for you tomorrow, IF YOU’RE GOOD.

Half-life 3 is a dream you once had.


  1. Potmos says:

    Actually far bigger new than Half Life 3.

    • Alfius says:

      Are we not still due Half Life 2: Episode 3?

      Sure, there’s been *some* delay since Ep. 2 but still, they promised us three episodes and I just know that Valve are as good as their word.

      • povu says:

        Perhaps they want it to be truly worst and longest lasting cliffhanger in videogame history where a swift sequel was promised. So far Dreamfall still holds that title (8 years and 5 months, super frustrating triple cliffhanger).

      • DantronLesotho says:

        My money is on “Half Life 2: Episode 2: Volume 2”

    • Henson says:

      I’m expecting Half-Life 3 to simply show up on Steam one day, fully finished and ready for purchase. When RPS asks Valve if the product is a hoax or not, they reply, “oh, did we not announce that yet?”

  2. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    They should do like Windows, skip a number and call it Source 3. Shit would be about to get real pretty fast.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Ben Barrett says:

    Wonder what the NEXT Source engine will be called. Source: Origins?

  4. Clavus says:

    The most interesting thing in the announcement for me is that the Lighthouse tracking system is free for other hardware manufacturers to use.

  5. James1o1o says:

    Why do you say they were “denying” existence? Source 2 has been in the Dota 2 Workshop Tools since mid 2014.

    link to

  6. misterT0AST says:

    So much snarkiness.
    I liked the part where you implied that they are hardly developers anymore, they are only “potential developers” of future games, because their only work in the last years has been “only” updating 3 online games at once, which is clearly a walk in the park, unworthy of even being called “development” at all. And as we all know multiplayer only games are hardly even worthy of being taken into consideration.
    Is Valve even a real developer at this point? When will they work on a real game? (“Real” meaning single player obviously).

    • John Walker says:

      You’re absolutely right. Amended. And yes, we’ll continue to tease Valve for not making games no matter how many games they make.

      • kael13 says:

        Until they release that game. Then they can have the title back.

    • El_Emmental says:

      To be fair, it’s not that easy to apprehend the concept of SaaS, let alone GaaS.

      It’s a bit like Source: nearly everyone was asking when “Source 2” will be released, missing the whole point of it, while anyone who played some mods or worked on one knows there’s a huge difference between the 2004 release (with Half-Life 2) and the Titanfall release in 2014 (or Dota 2 in 2013). Even in the Tools category of Steam download, there is several separate entries for each major SDK (full or base only).

      People became too used to the Unreal Engine versions (or id Tech versions) and want the name of the software with a big number next to it – even Steam is affected by that phenomenon: outside of dedicated PC gaming communities, people massively ignore the difference between the 2003 version of Steam and the current one; if Valve was to announce “Steam 2”, it would be a massive news spread everywhere in the press.

      While I understand the frustration with Valve (like how they keep adding complex new features to Steam, but have yet to add simple basic improvements to the existing ones), they’re still simultaneously taking care of:
      – 4 major multiplayer games (2 still growing: Dota 2, CS:GO / 2 finally stabilized: TF2, L4D2)
      – 2 major single-player franchises (Portal, and Half-Life when it’s done)
      – 1 inhouse game engine (Source) working on PC, Mac and Linux
      – the largest #1 digital distribution platform in the video game industry, still growing fast
      – 4 hardware related project (Steam controller, Steam Link, Steam VR with HTC, Steam machines with several assemblers)
      – Ricochet 2

      And they can’t really hire hundreds of people with the way Valve works, so they really have to choose and prioritize – even if it means millions of people will be mildly dissatisfied when their favorite service isn’t the one that’s being updated.

      • Nova says:

        Valve is working on Portal (3)?

      • basilisk says:

        Yes, but it’s precisely their weird choice of priorities that is usually questioned by the “Valve don’t make games anymore” crowd (which I consider myself a member of). A handful of hardware prototypes that never made it into full production, more half-implemented features in Steam than you can shake a stick at and adding gambling crates to any game that will support them. In other words, useless, useless and morally questionable. Not a great track record.

        Are they lazy? Certainly not. But you’d think a company with near infinite resources could do something more valuable with its time.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I think being a skunkworks of various smart people with resources trying out all kinds of weird and mostly dead-end experiments in the rough field of PC gaming is a pretty good way for Valve to spend their time and effort.

          • basilisk says:

            I would accept that, but you’d think that something like that should be done in public, and not in utter secrecy that is broken twice a year with vague announcements that they never follow up on.

            Experimenting is great, but not if it’s done in a black box.

          • LogicalDash says:

            If they were open about what they were doing, damn right everybody would jump the gun and release a half-assed imitation of it before Valve’s version makes it to market.

        • Nova says:

          Huh. I can only find rumors for this.

    • morbiusnl says:

      be glad he didnt accuse Valve being pathological liars

    • welverin says:

      Those multiplayer games you say they support? They farm a lot of that work out to the community, if not most of it.

  7. Dave L. says:

    It’d be really nice if anyone running the stories about the announcement would link to the full text of the press release. I can’t find it anywhere.

  8. iniudan says:

    Steam Link steam page

    link to

    • FCA says:

      Question: why do both (here and in the article) links to the Steam Link (no pun intended), just redirect me to the Steam Store frontpage? Does anybody else have this problem? Is it related to the GEMA/digital oceans/censorship bollocks?

      • NukeWithG says:

        I’ve got the same problem, however I found this screenshot of the top of the store page with a quick google search:
        link to
        It seems like it’s a streaming box like the one that Razer announced recently, but presumably running SteamOS.

      • iniudan says:

        Well seem like Valve as blocked access to it, will guess that it will be re-enable later this week, as they post new information here.

        link to

      • gibb3h says:

        google steam link and look at the google cache version of the store page

  9. grundus says:

    BOM = Bill of Materials, they’re basically saying the components aren’t anything too fancy and are presumably all off-the-shelf.

  10. xfstef says:

    Source 3 confirmed !

  11. The Dark One says:

    Steam Link, meanwhile, is a new product designed to stream Steam all around your house at 1080p and 60Hz. It’ll be out this November at the same time as the new controller, and also cost $50. Quite how it’s different to the in-built streaming Steam already offers across your home network is not clear.

    They’re basically using this as a guard against low-end Steam Machines ruining the brand. Instead of a crappy HTPC that can play a few games locally and that has stream the rest, it’s positioned like a Chromecast- streaming only, but for a fraction of the price. This lets them use current-gen consoles as a minimum level of expected performance for Steam Machines when they finally launch.

    • Martel says:

      Am I understanding you correctly that it would basically let you extend your gaming box to various locations around your house, without the need for a full computer in each room? Sort of the Roku of gaming?

      • Hex says:

        That’s how I’m understanding it. For instance, I can stream games on my laptop which it can’t play on its own — but my connection is shitty so stuff tends to be a bit slow. I expect this Link thing is intended to address this issue.

    • UnholySmoke says:

      I’m not sure about this Link thing, even though it is in theory the perfect solution. I haven’t tried the home streaming for a few months so maybe it’s taken steps forward, but when I gave it a go from my main machine onto my big living room screen via a laptop, the picture was…meh. Like a decent movie rip – artifacts and obvious compression. For something detailed and not particularly fast-paced (Civ:BE) it just didn’t look great.

      Which makes sense – if you want to send uncompressed 1080 over ethernet you need two LAN cables, right? That’s why I’ve recently invested in 40-foot HDMI and USB repeaters. Snaking them through the hallway drives my wife up the wall, which is an added bonus, but as far as I can see, that’s the only way I can get HD gaming from one room to another. Am I missing something here?

      • El_Emmental says:

        Nope, I believe you’re right: with Cat5e cables, you would get Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gb/s), which is barely enough for uncompressed 720p @ 50 fps.

        To get uncompressed 1080p @ 60 fps, you would need around 3 Gb/s – something only Cat6 cables (and netword cards priced at 150-200 pounds) can handle.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    John – I don’t recall Valve ever denying working on Source 2, but it’s entirely possible I missed it. Are you referencing any story in particular?

  13. Floomi says:

    What is that (sic) doing there? I’m pretty sure that’s the right spelling of ensures for the grammar.

    • Hex says:

      Clearly the (sic) was in the original quotation, which is why it’s in parentheses instead of brackets.

    • John Walker says:

      Unless I’ve gone mad, for that sentence to make sense, it should be “assured”.

      • DrFunfrock says:

        You’ve only gone half mad; it should be “assures”.

        • souroldlemon says:

          Or more awkwardly, ensures for.
          Which doesn’t preclude the possibility of John being insane anyway. I quite like the idea, an indication of open-minded employment policy at rps.

          • gunny1993 says:

            “ensures that” would work much better

          • gunny1993 says:

            Actually, no it doesn’t … my brain did some serious gymnastics to make that work XD

        • stele says:

          Half-Mad 3 confirmed?

      • Mr Coot says:

        Heh! Well spotted. I couldn’t work out what the problem was since my brain dropped ‘hardware developers’ to make sure (ensure!) the sentence parsed correctly.

  14. Brosecutor says:

    I don’t even care anymore about Half-Life 3, but I’d love to see the engine used for a new Left 4 Dead game.

    • Jernau Gurgeh says:


      Actually, I don’t care about Half-Life 3 either. I’m just waiting for Half-Life 2: Episode 3.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I would deeply like newer lighting in L4D so that team-mate’s torches affect my view too, yes. It’s a case where 2 is pretty enough, but losing some technical visual constraints would help gameplay.

  15. vahnn says:

    3/3 at 3 o’clock?

    HL3 confirmed.

  16. ThTa says:

    They had the opportunity to call their little streaming box Steam Stream (tagline: Streams Steam) and they didn’t take it, I don’t know what to think anymore.

  17. gbrading says:

    Ricochet 2 is going to be a hell of a game.

  18. Hunchback says:

    I like what they are doing, it seems to be genuinely fueled by curiosity and will to change the game-making field and to enable people to create things even more than it’s currently possible. Not a purely economic “evolution”, like we are used to see from everyone big.

  19. kevmscotland says:

    These announcements that are barely announcements are incredibly annoying.

    So Source 2… great. When? What sort of features can we expect. How does the revenue system work for it. etc etc.
    All I’m sure to be “announced at a later date because we’re not talking about that yet”.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Maybe they weren’t ready to announce it yet, but felt that they had to do something after Epic and Unity was generating interest in their respective engines. (Probably not the whole truth, as the weird concept of a teaser for a trailer is a thing that exists, but it’s probably part of it.)

  20. cairbre says:

    Steam link for Christmas then. This is what I want for my livingroom not another desktop.

    I only have the resources to pour funds into one gaming rig and a console game box (PS4)

  21. cunningmunki says:

    I hope the Steam Link paired with a Steam Controller kills the input lag from In-Home Streaming, because that’s the one thing that is keeping my PC in the living room for now (and that’s on a wired network before I get the usual “it’s your wireless router!” comments).

  22. SIDESTEAL says:

    This is the cached version of the ‘Steam Link’ box :

    link to