Half-Life 2 Art Director Discusses Why he Left Valve to Work on Dishonored

July 24, 2012Written by Alex Osborn

Viktor Antonov, the famed art director behind Half-Life 2’s harrowing City 17, has spoken out on why he left Valve a while back before joining up with Arkane Studios to make Dishonored.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Antonov explained that he worked at Valve for the sole purpose of creating Half-Life 2 and when he was finished he felt like he should move on. “I left precisely when they stopped making epic, triple-As, which was Half-Life 2. Since then, they were episodes,” he said. “Valve is a great place, but I’m interested in projects, not in companies. I went to Valve specifically for Half-Life 2. I went and I collaborated with Arkane to do The Crossing and Dishonored. I put the project above everything else.”

Interestingly enough, Antonov is far more interested in working for smaller, riskier companies, so when Valve grew, he naturally lost interest and wanted to work with Arkane.

Valve has grown into a much bigger company, and what I really enjoy about the philosophy of Arkane is that it’s a small, core team that does risky creative projects. And when I went to Valve, they were a small company. They’ve grown now, they’re much bigger, and I’m interested in a certain level of creative risk taking and a certain energy that can be compared to jazz, jamming or rock n’ roll, where it’s small, it’s intense and it’s about making revolutions in the media.

We’ll find out if his hard work and risk-taking paid off when Dishonored hits store shelves this October.