In an interview with IGN, developers at Valve have spoken about the company's lack of new game releases over the past several years, and acknowledged that they're not oblivious to the comments and jokes online about the company's reputation for being opaque.
This is the second time in recent months Valve has made it clear it has new games projects in the works, and not just its card game Artifact. In March, Valve's Gabe Newell said "Artifact is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us. So that's sort of good news. Hooray! Valve's going to start shipping games again."
Newell referred to Valve's work over the past several years as "an investment in the future," language echoed by Artifact programmer Brandon Reinhart in IGN's interview. "We spent a lot of time improving customer service on Steam," Reinhart said. "That was a hard problem, and it took a bunch of people a bunch of time to work on."
Reinhart went on to confirm that, yep, there's more cooking at Valve than Artifact:
"Now we're in a place where we're able to, as a company, invest and focus a lot more on games again... The answer to 'you're just sitting on your butts, sitting on a pile of money, swimming around the gold vault,' is to not actually do that. To deliver a bunch of high quality games that show we're actually working really hard."
The first of those games after Artifact will likely be In the Valley of Gods, from Firewatch developers Campo Santo. Valve purchased the studio and took over publishing duties back in April.