304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
There’s a running joke that Valve, the owner of Steam and developer of franchises like Half-Life and Team Fortress, can’t make a game with the number three in the title. Add Dota to the list, because we might get a spinoff with a completely different setting.
Valve game dataminer Tyler McVicker took to Twitter to share some thoughts on the studio’s current game in development. McVicker states that Neon Prime (the project’s codename) is “probably a Dota-adjacent sci-fi game,” one that will see players battling factions like The Continuum on Ultoria and elsewhere in outer space. Furthermore, original developer Icefrog is said to be part of the development team. Icefrog is the still-anonymous creator of the Defense of the Ancients Warcraft III scenario – an idea that eventually led them to turn the scenario into the full-fledged game we know today as Dota 2.
In the tweet, McVicker also mentions Citadel, a Half-Life spinoff said to combine elements of RTS and FPS gameplay, pitting Combine soldiers against rebels. McVicker revealed Citadel earlier this year by datamining the Aperture Desk Job, the tech demo that launched alongside the Steam Deck. Citadel has not been officially announced by Valve, and McVicker was unsure if it was still in active development at the time.
Prior to that finding, McVicker noted that Half-Life 2 had been stealthily getting its biggest update in 17 years. Bugs that are more than ten years old were finally ironed out, the FOV cap was increased, and ultra-wide screen support was added. All this was done in preparation for the launch of Steam Deck, which led to a similar discovery to the Aperture Desk Job data mine.
This trend continued with the release of Portal: Companion Collection on Nintendo Switch over the summer. Half-Life 2 and Portal 2 beta content was found in its files by multiple people, and the discoveries included unused levels and developer tools.