Poor old Valve. The company just can’t seem to do anything that doesn’t upset its fans these days.
Granted, part of the problem is that Valve has poured the majority of its efforts into the money-spinning platform that is Steam, rather than actually making any genuine games that people want to play.
For years, fans have demanded sequels to existing Valve games, waiting desperately for any hint of “Half Life 3”.
Then, when “Portal” turned out to be an even bigger hit than the adventures of Gordon Freeman (and when everyone got sick of being reminded that the cake is a lie), Valve fans instead started demanding a third game in any of Valve’s big name franchises.
“Portal 2” was fun, so where’s “Portal 3”?
There have been other “Portal” games – there’s a huge chunk of levels for “Lego Dimensions” that are “Portal”-themed, as well as a VR game built specifically for the HTC Vive which is set in the “Portal” universe.
Fans, though, continue to wait for a third “Portal” or “Half-Life”, and grow more anxious with every passing day that these titles are not announced.
Instead, we’re now getting “Bridge Constructor Portal”, and Valve fans are livid.
In fairness, it does make sense to combine the core concept of “Bridge Constructor”, itself a puzzle game about navigating spaces, with “Portal”. This gameplay could turn out to be a lot of fun, and its position on the Android and Apple storefronts means that it’ll be a fun time waster for a lot of mobile gamers.
But, it’s not “Portal 3”.
To many fans, this mobile game feels like little more than a painful reminder of what Valve refuses to provide. The company is willing to leverage their popular “Portal” brand for cheap gimmick games, but won’t actually make the game that their fanbase is waiting for.
The game also be available on console, but the idea of it coming to mobile platforms seems particularly painful to fans of more substantial gaming.
If there’s a moral from the backlash that Valve is experiencing, it’s this: don’t constantly annoy your fans by teasing, but never delivering, what they actually want.
Valve is attempting to have its cake and eat it too, by licensing its most popular brand without providing a truly meaty experience. For angry fans of the series, it’d be better if games like “Bridge Constructor Portal” didn’t exist at all.
Of course, for the rest of us, this game is going to be a lot of fun.
Turns out, if you don’t take Valve games too seriously, it’s a lot easier to enjoy yourself when all that’s available is a twee little bridge-building smartphone app.