Retailers said Portal would only appeal to “female gamers”
The 10th anniversary of The Orange Box is here, but you may not know that Valve hit some issues when showing off the collection. Particularly with Portal. “We were often told that we’d made a game that would really appeal just to female gamers, or to people who weren’t into shooters, and so on,” Valve’s Robin Walker told Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
However, that’s not what happened. Valve found after release that players were bouncing between all of the titles in the collection. “After we shipped, we saw people of all kinds playing everything in the Orange Box, and they didn’t break down along those kinds of simplistic lines. Portal players spent a lot of their other gaming time in Counter-Strike, and TF2 attracted players from all across the gaming spectrum. Both attracted many new players in the process.”
Retailers didn’t like the idea of combining three products under one roof. “They felt we should target specific products to specific demographics,” Walker continued, “and that combining them into one was going to torpedo the whole affair.”
Despite this, Valve pushed forward. Valve thought of it as an “an experiment in work psychology.”
Walker continued: “In our prior history, we’d never shipped more than a single product at a time, and we’d never shipped multiple platforms simultaneously.”
This wouldn’t be the first time retailers were wrong. Despite Valve not making much in the past few years, we can all be thankful for The Orange Box and it impacted gaming.
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