According to Gabe Newell, Valve making games again comes from the studio finally having the expertise and hardware to be able to start developing games again, which was the reason behind them investing in hardware like the HTC Vive and the Steam VR headsets.
That's games, plural: Artifact isn't the only game Valve is working on. It's not clear if this latest announcement is related to those earlier titles, but either way, it's good to know that Valve is back in the game making business proper. Newell did confirm back in January 2017 during his Reddit AMA that the company is working on fully-fledged single-player games. He said his investments into Vive were an effort to "offset" the impact of Microsoft and Facebook looking into OS and VR concepts that the company considered less open. Steam is the go to gaming client for PC gamers and when the Steam application was put into hardware form with the consoles, well.it's safe to say that Newell and the team's focus shifted from software to a more hardware-centric bottom line.
Those investments, Newell said, meant they hadn't released a new game since Dota 2-but that work wasn't wasted time. Now there's pretty much no project in the hardware space that we wouldn't be comfortable taking on.
Said in classic Newell form (he's known to be a bit cheeky), his commentary definitely did little to dampen that fandom flame. "He can introduce new capabilities like motion input because he controls both of those things".
It should also be pointed out that there's now a Half-Life crossover with Final Fantasy XV in the form of a special outfit if you got the Windows Edition of the game through Steam. "So that is something we've been jealous of, and that's something that you'll see us taking advantage of subsequently". And he can make the hardware look as good as possible because he's designing the software at the same time that's really going to take advantage of it.