See the art from Valve's canceled space pirate game that's going round the internet

Image for See the art from Valve's canceled space pirate game that's going round the internet
(Image credit: Valve)

In 2012, Valve's Gabe Newell mentioned a canceled game called Stars of Blood, saying only that, "We kind of had an internal project that was called Stars of Blood, which was a space pirate game and it never saw the light of day." Concept art by a couple of ex-Valve artists had previously leaked, and more was unearthed later—some from photos taken on tours of the studio. The fans at Valve Archive put together a repository of Stars of Blood art, where it's been sitting ever since.

Over the weekend, the Obscure Game Aesthetics Twitter account, which posts screenshots and artwork from old or forgotten videogames, posted four concepts for environments from Stars of Blood. It followed with a tech demo of swarm AI from one of the ex-Valve employees who worked on Stars of Blood, theorizing that this too might be from the canceled game. It's since been posted to r/LeaksAndRumors, r/GamingLeaksAndRumours, r/pcgaming, r/Games, r/GamePreservationists, and r/UnreleasedGames, as well as doing the rounds of various websites, forums, and social media.

The character designs are a bit Moebius (there's even one called mumbiusSM.jpg), and rumor had it that Stars of Blood would involve the Combine, and be part of the Half-Life universe. Not much else about it was known, but "Valve space pirate game" is all you really need to be intrigued. Now it's just another game that will never be, alongside the various Half-Life projects that were canceled before Alyx, Arkane's spin-off Ravenholm, Prospero, and all the rest.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.