Gabe Newell Thinks Pokemon Go Should Have Had a Bigger Impact on Mobile Gaming

Nearly six years after its original release, Pokémon Go continues to be one of the most popular mobile games globally. However, the promised AR revolution never came to fruition, and Valve co-founder Gabe Newell is among those disappointed.

Talking to Rock paper shotgun on the occasion of the release of the Stream Deck, Newell said that he felt Pokémon Go should have had “more meaning” to mobile gaming. Instead, subsequent action, such as Harry Potter Wizard’s Unite, has largely fizzled out. In contrast, Newell hopes that Valve can continue to release Steam Deck by creating more mobile experiences that make sense for the platform.

“I think Pokémon Go really should have had more meaning for people thinking about the opportunity space for what’s possible with mobile gaming, and it didn’t happen,” Newell said. “So I think one of the things we’re excited about is that we’ve built this building block, this pretty important set of components, to make this possible. And now we can do some amusing stuff where we go into R&D mode.”

Valve has a history of making games that utilize its hardware innovations. Half-Life: Alyx is a recent example of this, explicitly built with Valve’s VR hardware in mind.

Newell says he is looking forward to exploring new possibilities. “[I] It’s also exciting to say, let’s make a prototype, three or four different new ideas of what he could put into the mobile gaming platform to expand the possibilities. Reach out to software developers and get them to say, “That’s rubbish” or “Oh, that’s pretty cool.” Or “Oh my God, you have to do this” and “Let’s start working together on a software prototype to use with your hardware prototype to test these features.” It’s pretty exciting when you can go all the way to not only the point where you can do it but also start discovering what you can do in those environments. So yeah, we’re on fire. We have a big appetite to keep trying to be innovative.

We recently got our hands on a Steam Deck called “well-built hardware” that doesn’t provide a remarkably smooth user experience. We also spoke with Newell about the platform’s launch and future, and he confirmed that Valve has no plans to increase the cost of any of the original three hardware configurations. As for Pokémon Go, it’s still evolving after all these years. Lots of Pokémon announcements are coming this weekend to celebrate Pokémon Day 2022. Stay tuned for more Pokémon Go news on February 26th.

Steam Deck Images


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