In brief: The gaming niches of the internet have been ablaze with rumors of Left for Dead 3 recently, a suspected follow-up to 2009's epic zombie-filled co-op shooter. But Valve has shot-down the idea, confirming that it's "absolutely not" currently in development.

Everyone loves a rumor that involves “Valve” and the number three in the same sentence.

The beloved memes about you-know-what-3 have been quelled by the announcement of Half Life: Alyx, but another of Valve’s franchises – Left for Dead – has seen a flurry of speculation recently based on purported ‘leaks.’ These rumors have now been labelled by Valve as ‘misinformation’, as the company has confirmed the game is not in active development.

In a statement to IGN the legendary developers said, “We’ve seen rumors to this effect for the last couple of months. We did briefly explore some Left 4 Dead next gen opportunities a few years ago. But we are absolutely not working on anything L4D related now, and haven’t for years."

The rumor-mill started turning again after screenshots and some zombie-head renders resurfaced last year. The pace really picked up when regional HTC Vive executive Alvin Wang Graylin referenced Left for Dead 3 in a slideshow on “2020 VR Trends.”

Fans immediately jumped on the fact that a VR insider had all-but confirmed the game’s existence, though the confirmation was short-lived. In a follow-up tweet, Graylin added, “the #L4D3 mention is only a personal speculation, and all predictions are my own, and not official view of @HTC.”

But the embers of hope glowed still, until Valve’s own statement this week: “It’s clear some people are having fun creating misinformation to spin up the community and other outlets. Unfortunately, for now a new L4D game is not something we’re working on.” Once again, Valve’s allergy to the number after two, but before four, continues.