It's been 10 years since Valve announced Half-Life 2: Episode 3, but will it ever become a reality?

midian182

Posts: 6,560   +58
Staff member

Gamers have been waiting for Half-life 2: Episode Three since it was officially announced by Valve ten years ago this week. The seemingly never-ending speculation and anticipation surrounding the project has led to its own catchphrase and series of memes, but right now the game looks less likely to happen than ever before.

It was May 24, 2006, when Valve said the third Half-Life 2 episode was in development. The company promised it would be the “last in a trilogy” that would “conclude by Christmas of 2007.”

As everyone knows, that date passed with no sign of the game. From that point on Valve and Newell mentioned it less and less. As noted by Polygon, the last time Newell spoke about people actually working on the project was in 2009, when he said it was still in development.

There has been very little talk of Half-Life from Valve and Newell in the last seven years. In 2013, excitement briefly grew after the company seemingly registered a Half-Life 3 trademark in Europe, but this turned out to be a hoax.

Hopes were raised again in March last year when HTC CEO Cher Wang told the BBC - during an interview about the Vive VR headset – that the company was “co-operating with Half-Life.” She later said she had “misspoke,” and apologized for any confusion.

The last time Newell commented on the Half-Life 2: Episode 3/Half-Life 3 saga was a few days after the Wang interview. In a podcast posted by Geoff Keighley, the Valve CEO said: "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."

The chances of the game ever becoming a reality are looking slimmer all the time, especially after Marc Laidlaw, the man responsible for writing Half-Life and Half-Life 2, retired from Valve after 18 years in January. And after a decade of hype and speculation, Half-Life 3 would probably be considered a flop if it was anything other than the best game ever made – that’s a lot of pressure for developers.

It’s likely that the next time we’ll see any Half-Life-related content will be in a movie form. Star-Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams confirmed that a motion picture based on the franchise was in development, along with that other Valve series that is missing a part three: Portal.

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Peter Farkas

Posts: 527   +374
How could this project have died? I remember how crazy we were about episode 3 and yet nothing has happened and Valve has been keeping us in the dark ever since.
I'm sure it is not because of the high expectations, because even after Half-Life 1 we had high expectations and they were successful in exceeding those. Honestly, even a mediocre finishing for the story would make this game a huge success. It does not have to be revolutionary, but the fans are dying to figure out the end of the story and to have those cool characters back in a final chapter...

I have never seen any satisfying explanation for the delay, but this could be my fault.

Anyway, Valve please let us buy episode 3 and enjoy being Gordon again!!!
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
Poor Valve. They must have serious designer problems to not be able to knock out a sequel in 10 years.....they are starting to sound like Mr. Musk!
 
It might, or it might not. But RIGHT NOW the Valve is not interested in developing single-player, story-driven games - they get more than enough income from their Steam store (that's what their primary focus is on) and they got a couple of games such as CS:GO and Dota2 which cover the most relevant "competitive gaming" genres and which continue generating a sizable income with minimal effort.

GabeN has made plenty of hints about stopped HL development and they even let their primary HL storyline writer (Marc Laidlaw) go and do his own thing, all because they are NOT interested in developing any story-driven games anymore.
 

Ziffel

Posts: 75   +62
Seems to me like HL3 would be a license to print money, but apparently Valve disagrees. It might actually be better to leave it alone. Gearbox tried to force the ultimate vaporware, Duke Nukem 4 Ever, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

I would like to hear Valve officially comment on it one way or another, though.
 

jauffins

Posts: 85   +24
Seems to me like HL3 would be a license to print money, but apparently Valve disagrees. It might actually be better to leave it alone. Gearbox tried to force the ultimate vaporware, Duke Nukem 4 Ever, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

I would like to hear Valve officially comment on it one way or another, though.

It's not like Valve needs money. See: Steam sales figures.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,791   +1,030
How could this project have died? I remember how crazy we were about episode 3 and yet nothing has happened and Valve has been keeping us in the dark ever since.
I'm sure it is not because of the high expectations, because even after Half-Life 1 we had high expectations and they were successful in exceeding those. Honestly, even a mediocre finishing for the story would make this game a huge success. It does not have to be revolutionary, but the fans are dying to figure out the end of the story and to have those cool characters back in a final chapter...

I have never seen any satisfying explanation for the delay, but this could be my fault.

Anyway, Valve please let us buy episode 3 and enjoy being Gordon again!!!

Valve isn't a video game developer anymore. They haven't really been one since Portal 2. Instead, Valve has been a video game publisher - or that is the best way to describe them. They provide a trustworthy platform for indie developers to release their games, and don't gouge them as much as other publishers would. Of course, calling them a publisher isn't really accurate either. They support the release, protection, and maintenance of hundreds of games from dozens of other publishers.

Right now, Valve has no motivation to complete the series. They can either sit on their butts and let Steam continue to print money for them for as long as they can, or they can pay a small army of devs, graphic designers, UX/UI designers, and writers to create Half-Life 3. Even if HL3/HL2:EP3 is received as the greatest game to ever be developed, it won't have as high of profit margins for Valve as simply doing nothing - especially once you consider they would need to make a 'source 2' engine or seriously overhaul the Source engine to bring it up with today's FPS graphical standards.

If they never release HL3, it will be the game that everyone agree would be awesome and worth the wait. If they make it and release it, some will inevitably be disappointed.
 

Loaded Glove

Posts: 14   +2
I would have loved to play another episode, but I'd say it's almost certain there will never be another game in the series. At least not true cannon developed by Valve.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 190   +106
I played HL2 when it first came out. I didn't have the requisite gfx specs for the Lost Coast expansion at the time, and forgot all about it until earlier this year when I played Lost Coast for the first time. It's still got the magic. Very fun, but disappointingly short. I wish Valve released Episode 3 as a killer app to sell more HMDs. I believe that one title would prompt HTC and Oculus to get up off their fat arses and build more facilities to keep up with demand.
 

Stupido

Posts: 66   +5
If doom gets rebooted and quake is trying to reboot... well, I guess it is time for half-life to do so!

'comn Valve! just listen to Nike - just do it!!
 

Tanstar

Posts: 659   +201
It is still in the works, but George R. R. Martin is writing the story and HE'LL GET TO IT! HE WON"T DIE BEFORE IT'S DONE! Stupid, impatient customers.
 

money

Posts: 71   +17
Then why are you here, commenting on an article about a game you don't like?

Because I can? Btw I never said I don't like it, but to me it's just a good FPS with gravi gun and disgusting alien slime spiders. I'm sure Ep3 was never released because they had no idea what to do with it.
 

SuperVeloce

Posts: 133   +34
Poor Valve. They must have serious designer problems to not be able to knock out a sequel in 10 years.....they are starting to sound like Mr. Musk!
What? Are you saying companies under Musk are having a hard time executing and producing great results? On what planet are you?
 

pambaboy

Posts: 9   +2
HL2 one of the most overrated games tbh, never understood the hype around it and ep3
You must be joking, let me remind you that without Half-Life, Valve wouldn't have been THE company it is right now. And for the whole underrated statement, more than 81 people can't be wrong.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/half-life-2

And again it's the best reviewed PC game of all-time

http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/score/metascore/all/pc?sort=desc

from what I can tell, you must've been young when Half-Life 2 was released.
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
What? Are you saying companies under Musk are having a hard time executing and producing great results? On what planet are you?

The one that can read a balance sheet, quality reports, and knows a few folks inside that organization ..... from the planet "well informed" ........ LOL
 
It might, or it might not. But RIGHT NOW the Valve is not interested in developing single-player, story-driven games - they get more than enough income from their Steam store (that's what their primary focus is on) and they got a couple of games such as CS:GO and Dota2 which cover the most relevant "competitive gaming" genres and which continue generating a sizable income with minimal effort.

GabeN has made plenty of hints about stopped HL development and they even let their primary HL storyline writer (Marc Laidlaw) go and do his own thing, all because they are NOT interested in developing any story-driven games anymore.
That's unacceptable really. It's like making a movie and leaving the last 10 minutes missing cause you don't want to film any more. People invested time and money playing these games. Finish the damn game valve. If you can do portal 2......you can do hl2 episode 3. 10 years really is taking the mick.