Steam developer Valve Corporation, to give it its full title, is behind some of the biggest names in PC gaming. CS:GO, Dota 2, Portal, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat (I see you out there, DoD fans) – not forgetting the Steam Deck and recent strides taken into the world of VR games with the Valve Index. From classic games to pushing modern boundaries forward, there are few studios with a name that carries as much weight in the PC space as Valve. Now, a mysterious new Valve trademark is the latest development causing fans to wonder what’s next.
As reported by Valve specialist Gabe Follower, Valve successfully registered a new trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office on October 14 for the intriguingly named ‘Neon Prime.’ While there are obviously no details yet about what this actually entails, we do get a helpful description from the USPTO saying that the trademark “is intended to cover the categories of computer game software, electronic game software, computer game programs downloadable via the internet.”
Given Valve’s general workspace, that doesn’t narrow things down an awful lot – though it does mean we aren’t dealing with any new hardware here. However, it could be a completely new property, it could be a continuation of an existing series, or it could even be an update or event for a currently active game. Gabe Follower suggests that “this might be a new game” but of course this is purely speculation at this point.
Fans are of course having plenty of fun playing a guessing game at what Neon Prime could be. Some are crudely photoshopping the name into something resembling the Half-Life 3 log. Others are joking that it will be a Counter-Strike or Team Fortress card game in the wake of Valve’s failed Dota card game project, Artifact.
Others are expressing their hope that it is a brand-new project, such as one commenter on the Valve subreddit who says, “Let’s pray for it to be a game and not some f***ing CS operation.” One response notes that Valve doesn’t usually trademark their Counter-Strike operations, but speculation is still rife that it could be an additional service for an existing game rather than something all-new.
Whatever it is, chances are that it’s not the conclusion to the long-running Half-Life 3 story. However, you can now play Half-Life 2: VR thanks to a fully fledged mod on Steam with Oculus Quest 2 support. Meanwhile, another fan team has built their own take on CS:GO in Source 2. In other Valve news, Dota 2’s The International 2022 is now underway, marking the apex in the MOBA game’s now-yearly cycle.