The hilarious, universally acclaimed "Meet the Team" shorts for Team Fortress 2 are more than fan service or game promotion. Valve founder Gabe Newell says they're experiments in movie-making, because the studio would prefer to do a Half-Life movie itself.
Speaking to PC Gamer, Newell says Hollywood bombarded Valve with story pitches for a Half-Life movie, not long after the first game shipped in 1998. "Their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst," Newell said. "Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of."
Newell said the team reached a consensus to not sign a movie deal, because the only way it would be don right was if it made the film itself. "And I was like, ‘Make it ourselves? Well that's impossible,'" Newell said. "But the Team Fortress 2 thing, the Meet The Team shorts, is us trying to explore that."
It's a leap from animated, comedic shorts to a feature-length science-fiction drama, so at this rate, it's more likely that Half-Life: The Movie doesn't get made. But good on Newell and company for staying committed to seeing something done right, if it's done at all.
"As a [World of Warcraft] player, I would much rather that the WoW team made the movie, right?" Newell said. "I like Sam Raimi, I've been a fan ever since Evil Dead came out, but I would rather see Blizzard making the movie. We think that customers are like, ‘OK, we're kind of sick and tired of the way you guys are slicing and dicing the experience of being a fan of Harry Potter, or Half-Life, or The Incredibles, and you need to fix it.' And the people that fix it will be rewarded, and the people that don't will be on the rubbish heap of history, or whatever the phrase is."