Valve has finally confirmed when Half-Life: Alyx will release and the date is incredibly bold. Not shying away from direct competition with both Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Doom Eternal, Alyx will hit Steam on March 23, 2020. That’s the old-school, ultra-confident Valve we’ve long since forgotten about.
The date came from an ultra-short Tweet on Valve’s official Twitter account. It was then followed up with a reminder to follow the game on Steam to stay up to date on any news. Pre-order bonuses for Alyx (which include environments for SteamVR users) should be rolling out on March 2. Also, don’t forget the rest of the Half-Life series is currently free-to-play on Steam until Alyx launches.
Before now, Alyx was slated for a tenuous “March 2020” release. Valve had stated it had no intention of delaying the game, so we were all pretty sure Half-Life’s return would be happening soon. What’s really shocking is that it comes mere days after the two heavy hitters of the month release.
Obviously people can play whatever they want in whatever order, but it’s not hard to see this as a power move by Valve. Some people have been waiting more than half of their lives for a new Half-Life and that might take precedent over Animal Crossing and Doom. With basically no other big games coming out either (having been delayed to avoid such a massive battle), it will be interesting to see how well Alyx will do.
I don’t expect we’ll see massive numbers, but then Valve’s on Index VR headset has been sold out for the last month or so. Apparently the vague promise of Gordon Freeman eventually stepping back into action is enough to get people dropping $1,000 on VR tech. I’m definitely excited, but not excited enough to part with so much cash.
If there is any company that could do it, it would be Valve Software. Despite some missteps with more recent titles, the studio has typically put on quality stuff. The original Half-Life remains a classic and games like Counter-Strike and DOTA 2 are still insanely popular. VR may be unproven, but I have a feeling we’ll finally see a killer app with Half-Life: Alyx.
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