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Steam Deck won’t get exclusives that leave other PC gamers out in the cold

Steam Deck on sparkly background
(Image credit: Future / Valve)
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If you were wondering whether Valve might consider having exclusive games for its incoming Steam Deck handheld, the answer is no.

The clarification comes from Valve’s Steam Deck FAQ (opens in new tab) for game developers, in the wrap-up section at the end, where one question is: “Would Valve be interested in having any Steam Deck exclusive titles?”

The answer is a simple: “No, that doesn’t make much sense to us. It’s a PC and it should just play games like a PC.”

What’s interesting here is this nugget of info from the FAQ viewed in light of what we heard from the rumor mill (specifically YouTuber Tyler McVicker) about Valve making a Half-Life-based co-op game codenamed ‘Citadel’ designed to showcase the Steam Deck – which might have got folks thinking about some kind of ‘exclusive’ for the handheld.


Analysis: Paranoia around the next Half-Life outing?

The message, then, for PC gamers at large, is not to worry that somehow the next outing in the Half-Life franchise could be for Steam Deck owners only. Of course, that’s never going to happen realistically – there’s no way Valve would run the risk of annoying mainstream desktop PC gamers, or muddying the idea that the Steam Deck is a PC through-and-through, as observed in the FAQ statement. But maybe after Half-Life: Alyx being made for VR, some folks out there are a bit paranoid.

If the aforementioned Citadel (purportedly a shooter and RTS hybrid) is indeed real, it’ll be for mouse and keyboard-toting PC gamers as well as Steam Deck – although it could still be built to take advantage of the abilities of the handheld PC such as gyro controls. As Valve notes elsewhere in the FAQ, the gyro offers “finer precision for people that are used to gamepad inputs, but also take[s] the mouse paradigm from the desktop into a portable form factor”.

Furthermore, regarding McVicker’s rumor about Citadel, Valve told PC Gamer (opens in new tab): “We think it’s important to reiterate that while Tyler is a passionate gamer, he has no inside information about what goes on at Valve. Any important announcements on projects that we are or aren’t working on will come directly from us.”

Via GamesRadar (opens in new tab)

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).