Half-Life: Alyx is about to drop and now we're hearing more and more from Valve boss Gabe Newell, who was recently interviewed by EDGE magazine. I've also got a handy Half-Life: Alyx Buyers Guide: PC Hardware & VR Headset Recommendations article you can check out.
Newell said in the interview that he became a gold farmer in World of Warcraft -- a move not born our of necessity as he is a billionaire, but he did it for research. Newell's exploration into becoming a gold farmer in World of Warcraft let to the creation of the Steam Workshop, and the success in hats being sold for (a lot of) real money in Team Fortress 2.
Newell explained: "We were always used to thinking about games as entertainment experiences, but then we started thinking of them as productivity platforms. As a sort of proof-of-concept, I decided to be a World of Warcraft gold farmer for a while. I was making $20 an hour farming gold. I was making what was a spectacular wage for most people in most parts of the world".
He continued: "That's when we started focusing heavily on things like the Steam Workshop and trying to think of everybody as a content creator. There's this story of the parents that called us up because they thought we were selling their kids drugs. What happened was PayPal pinged the parents and said 'Your kid is exceeding our limits of how much money they can put into PayPal per month. They're probably selling stolen goods or drugs because there's no other explanation'".
Newell added: "So the parents called us up and I said 'He makes items on the Team Fortress workshop. He's making $500,000 a year'. That to us was an indication that this was a helpful way of thinking of games as platforms and it has informed all of our decisions about multiplayer games subsequently".
Half-Life: Alyx drops on March 23 for the PC, as a Steam exclusive and VR exclusive game.