ByKatie Granger, writer at
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

I know, I know. It's the game everybody wants, one that has come to embody the very definition of vaporware. But let's be honest, at this point is there any game that could live up to the expectations set for [Half-Life 3](tag:2684202)?

Released eight years ago now Half-Life 2: Episode 2, the last installment in the series, left us on yet another cliffhanger in the story of Gordon Freeman and since then fans have scoured the Internet and constantly harangued Valve CEO Gabe Newell for any information about the next installment in the Half-Life franchise, despite the Valve Managing Director's constant side-stepping of the question.

Gabe Newell
Gabe Newell

In fact it's been nearly a year since the game was last mentioned in the Valve circuit; in a March 2015 interview the billion-dollar Newell was again asked the million-dollar question regarding the proposed sequel to Half-Life 2: Episode 2. His response to the most recent round of questioning was again less than optimistic:

"The only reason we'd go back and do like a super classic kind of product is if a whole bunch of people just internally at Valve said they wanted to do it and had a reasonable explanation for why...
But you know if you want to do another Half-Life game and you want to ignore everything we've learned in shipping Portal 2 and in shipping all the updates on the multiplayer side, that seems like a bad choice. So we'll keep moving forward. But that doesn't necessarily always mean what people are worried that it might mean."

Okay, so he didn't deny that Half-Life 3 will ever see the light of day, but he doesn't sound particularly enthused about it either, right? We're not holding our breath either way.

It's been widely speculated that the reason there's little news on the Half-Life 3 front is because Valve is too busy making huge profits from their massively successful Steam distribution platform (which boasts more than 125 million active users and corners about 75% of the digital games market) and their other popular franchises such as DOTA 2. This is a feeling that Newell's comments regarding Portal 2 and multi-player updates certainly seem to chime with, making it less likely that we'll ever see Half-Life 3 making it through to the light of day.

So maybe it's time we let the franchise go; finally shipping Half-Life 3 would be pretty high risk for Valve who are currently doing more than incredibly well with their MMO and online based services. It's almost understandable that they're hesitant to commit to a release date for the third installment in the well loved Half-Life series. It's incredibly high risk for them, delivering anything short of a gaming masterpiece would be pretty disastrous at this juncture (though their wallets could probably handle the brunt of it).

And - worse still - The original writer and co-creator of the series Marc Laidlaw has recently retired, claiming to be "too old" for the video games industry now and wishing for a return to "self-directed writing projects." Say it ain't so!

Though Half-Life 2: Episode Three was announced as the third and final expansion and the end of the narrative up until then; Valve reportedly stated at the time of the Episode Three announcement that the series would continue on after that narrative arc ended, yet here we are twiddling our thumbs eight years later with no Half-Life 2: Episode Three or Half-Life 3 to show for it.

At the moment it pretty much boils down to one of two things, either Valve are stoking the hype flames in the run up to making a huge announcement regarding the future of the series or they're just teasing fans. Either way it's time to cut the rope.

In the end, at least we still have Portal...


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