God, but isn’t Valve busy at the moment? Between the Steam Deck, VR stuff, and even a review of the long-neglected Steam mobile app (opens in a new tab), you would be forgiven for thinking that the company would last long enough that it would not feel the need to create new projects. And you’d be wrong, because a new trademark that Valve requested (opens in a new tab) on October 10th inadvertently announced the existence of something called Neon Prime.
The application, which is still being processed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, identifies Neon Prime as belonging to “Computer game software, electronic game software, video game software, computer game programs downloadable over the internet”. My remarkable deductive powers tell me that means it has something to do with video games and video game software, and the internet seems to agree: there are already rumors. (opens in a new tab) that Neon Prime could be a new game—or even a series—from Valve.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As tempting as it is to make bold predictions about what Valve is up to, the number of things that could fall under the umbrella of “PC game software” is enormous. It could just be a new tool, some kind of anti-cheat or new software for the Steam Deck. But look, you can believe it’s Half-Life 3 if that’s what makes you happy. I won’t stop you.
It’s also worth remembering that trademarks are filed all the time and then don’t end up being used. Even if it’s an embryonic idea for a new game, whatever plans Valve has for Neon Prime may be years in the future, or may never see the light of day. It could even be that Valve thinks Neon Prime is a really cool name and wants to fix it before someone else does. The possibilities of being underpowered are endless.
Still, it’s fun to speculate, isn’t it? And Valve has been incredibly active lately. Heck, we got our first Half-Life game in 13 years when Half-Life: Alyx (opens in a new tab) released in 2020. It doesn’t leave the realms of possibility that we could see a new game from Valve in its currently energized state. Maybe a game made first and foremost for the Steam Deck? Hey, now that I think about it, ‘Neon Prime’ has the same number of characters as ‘Half-Life 3’. Let the rumors spin.