Last week I toured the Valve offices and got a hands-on preview of their upcoming collectable card game Artifact, but the most interesting thing to me was that Artifact runs on the Source 2 engine which Valve has successfully ported to mobile. In a passing comment surrounding Source 2 working on mobile devices, Gabe Newell also mentioned that they’ve got Dota 2 running on tablets, although it’s super difficult to control.
The fascinating part of this is that it means that mobile ports of all sorts of Valve titles (and other games that run on Source 2) are now technically possible. Additionally, given Valve’s flat structure and the complete freedom employees have to create new products and experiment with old ones, the only thing stopping all the Valve games eventually being released on the App Store is someone willing to champion that cause at the company. Valve team members are free to do whatever they want, as long as they feel it will bring value to the customer, after all.
Is it a major stretch to suggest we’ll see games like Portal on our iPhones? Of course it is, but, when you look at the history of the App Store and mobile gaming as a whole, there was a point in time where it would have been equally laughable to suggest that Square Enix would bring practically every Final Fantasy game to the platform. Hell, we’re even experiencing that right now with Fortnite not only coming to the iPhone but also supporting cross-platform play with the Xbox. If you would have floated that as a possibility as little as two weeks ago, you would have been dismissed as a dreamer, but, here we are.
So, for real, we need everyone in Touch Arcade land to cross their fingers and toes that somewhere along the lifecycle of Artifact coming to the App Store someone at Valve gets passionate enough about mobile gaming to take charge of bringing the rest of their library. Yes, controls will be an issue for games originally designed for the PC with a keyboard and mouse, but, when there’s a will there’s a way.
Valve… don’t make me do this. I totally will.
This just means I need to take one for the team, get a job at Valve, and spearhead bringing all their games to mobile.
— Eli Hodapp ??♂️? (@hodapp) March 9, 2018