Half-Life studio presses ahead with 'entertainment as a service' model

Valve building ‘Photoshop-like editor’ for Portal 2

Valve is working on a second DLC package for Portal 2 that will feature an ‘easy to use in game map editor’, the studio has announced.

Valve said: “This major update will feature an easy-to-use in-game map editor that will let users design, build and share their own single-player and co-op test chambers with the community”

“Users will be able to view, play and vote on them with a simple click.”

The announcement follows journalist Geoff Keighley’s reveal of the level editor in his Final Hours of Portal 2 app, an inside look at the game’s development.

In the update he said that writers are also discussing the idea of adding a personality to the editor, with GLaDOS potentially berating users for mistakes.

Valve’s dedication to updating Portal 2 is further evidence of Gabe Newell’s vision of the so-called ‘entertainment as a service’ model.

In May he told Develop: “We constantly ask ourselves the question, how can we make our fans happy every day, and what are the different ways we can do that.

“The internet enables a really efficient delivery of… stuff, to your customers. But we have to do this because audiences are really mobile, no one is going to sit around for five years waiting for you to get something done, they have too many other things to do these days.”

Newell added that the Team Fortress 2 model is the best way to provide new content to users over a long period, rather than using an episodic model as with Half Life 2.

“We went through the episodes phase, and now we’re going towards shorter and even shorter cycles,” he said.

“Left 4 Dead is starting to approach the Team Fortress 2 cycle. Portal 2? We’ll have to see how much our customers want us to push in that direction. In general, our approach is to come into work and ask ‘what can we do for our customers today’?

“We get a huge amount of value in releasing things. Every decision you see our Team Fortress 2 team make is a direct result of feedback they’re getting from customers.


Valve recently released the Portal 2 DLC ‘Peer Review’, which provides new test chambers and a Challenge mode for single and co-op play.

The new level editor is expected to release early next year.

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