Image: Valve

Could Valve be joining the ray tracing revolution? That may be the case, as the last beta for the company’s digital collectible card game, Artifact, has received updates alluding to RTX support for the Source 2 engine. This is the engine that has powered Valve titles since 2013’s Dota 2, as well as the company’s most recent release, Half-Life: Alyx.

While the discovery may not be much to go on, it does open up the possibility of older Valve games getting ray tracing updates. It has also stirred the dreams of Half-Life fans who haven’t given up hope on a third installment, which, if it ever does materialize, might feature ray-traced environments.

That said, Artifact seems like a strange way to debut ray tracing if that’s what Valve is really planning. Aside from the relatively undemanding graphics, the game has also prompted a lot of negative reviews.

“A collaboration between legendary card game designer Richard Garfield and Valve, Artifact is a digital card game that combines deeply-strategic, competitive gameplay with the rich setting of Dota 2,” a game description reads. “The result is an immersive and visually-stunning trading card game unlike any other.”

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  1. I thought source was all but dead

    In terms of new customers, absolutely, but it still powers some of the most popular and profitable games played today.

    Separately, Valve is in a unique position to push ray tracing forward; their games are now pretty low-rent, but could absolutely benefit from a tasteful application of RT (and HDR), to the point that I’d be interested in a remaster of their catalog that included implementations of both.

    And since Valve is heavily involved in Linux gaming, they’d be primed to push RT there too!

  2. Since valve has done a new half life to act as the demo for their new tech I could see a new half life for pc gaming coming. I hope…
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