Half-Life: Alyx has just been released, stirring all sorts of buzz throughout the gaming community. It’s Valve’s next big game, and the newest installment in a franchise over a decade old. It’s quite the achievement to say the least, and Valve has stressed that Half-Life: Alyx was built from the ground up with Virtual Reality in mind. However this has not gone down entirely well as the limited hardware has alienated a large group of gamers who simply do not have access to a VR setup.
On the day that HL: Alyx launched, it reached 43,000 concurrent players on Steam, that’s not nearly as much that DOOM Eternal got on launch day, and Half-Life is arguably a more well-known franchise. So it’s clear that the number of actual users who got to play the new Half-Life VR game was significantly held back due to the VR requirement. In comparison, the peak amount of Twitch viewers for the game was 300,000, nearly 7 times the number of concurrent players.
So it’s clear that Half-Life: Alyx didn’t reach nearly as big of an audience it could have were it not exclusive to VR, and many online have called out for modders to create a non-vr version of Alyx, and it seems like Valve believes that will happen…
“I know it’s going to happen,” said Robin Walker, game designer and programmer at Valve, when talking to the press. “There are a set of people on the team that are concerned about that. Personally, I’m not concerned about it at all.”
“It will clearly demonstrate to people why we did this in VR.”
So Walker thinks that modders will eventually mod the game into a non-VR version, and considering that Source 2 SDK is releasing alongside Half-Life: Alyx, it probably won’t be all too hard to transfer assets over, or even to recreate it from the ground up so more players can experience it.
“Yes, it’s going to happen. I’m fine with it, for the sake of the other members of the team I don’t want to say I encourage you to do it, but it’s going to happen,” he continued. “I think people will then hopefully have an even greater understanding of why we decided to build the product in VR than they do now.”
It definitely sparks an interesting conversation about whether or not VR games should have an accompanying non-VR version, would that bring the game to a wider audience who can then experience it? Or will it essentially not translate very well, as many VR controls cannot be translated to traditional keyboard & mouse controls.
On the fence about getting Half-Life: Alyx? Worried how well your system can run it? Then check out our PC Performance Benchmarks to get an idea of how well your PC setup can run it.
What do you guys think? Will Half-Life: Alyx eventually be modded into a non-VR version? How will that affect the gameplay? What does this mean for VR in the future? Let us know your thoughts!