Half-Life 3 Will Probably Never Happen, Says Valve Insider

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Half-Life 3 Will Probably Never Happen, Says Valve Insider

half-life-2-320

According to an alleged Valve insider, the true unicorn of PC games - Half-Life 3 - may never see the light of day.

If there's one game that PC gamers everywhere still dream about playing, it Half-Life 3. It shows up on lists of most wanted games with regularity, and it's mentioned every time what Valve might be working on comes up. If you're a regular listener to our Escapist live podcast (shameless plug - every Friday afternoon on our Twitch channel), you know that we've discussed it a couple of times of late and come to the conclusion that Valve probably won't release it, because the game can never live up to expectations at this point.

Valve may have the same attitude toward Half-Life 3 at this point, if a new interview posted on Game Informer is any indication. The interview was actually conducted in 2015, but Game Informer's Andrew Reiner has spent quite a bit of time since trying to confirm the information he was given with another source. After being unable to do so, he shelved the interview until now, when it was published with a warning to take everything within with a grain of salt.

In the interview an unnamed Valve insider says of the Half-Life series, "I don't think there will be any more," and then goes on to say, "The idea of delivering a third episode of Half-Life 2, that's dead. There's no universe where that will happen. I think there is a universe where a standalone thing could come together to fill in that hole, but that's tough."

More important, the unnamed insider says, Half-Life 3 was never a thing that existed at Valve. "There is no such thing as Half-Life 3. Valve has never announced a Half-Life 3. The closest they've come is after Half-Life 2, they said there would be three episodes."

So why not do a sequel now? The risk of disappointment and the difficulty of deciding on a direction are both factors, the source says.

"What they don't want to do, in a George Lucas type of situation, is deliver something like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. There may be no avoiding that. It's so tempting. So f---ing tempting. The reality, though, expectations are everywhere. Where is the bar? If you don't reach that, people will be disappointed. That will be the legacy.

All we know is we love what we had before, but everyone has a different idea of what Half-Life 3 should be. The best thing they could do is give up on Half-Life 3, avoid it entirely, and do Half-Life experiences instead. Experiences that connect, but aren't the flagship sequel."

It's an interesting interview, and it offers some insights not only into the Half-Life series, but into how the flat, leaderless structure at Valve can both help and hinder projects, and how relationships work inside the company. The big takeaway, though is why Valve doesn't discuss Half-Life anymore.

"That's why they won't talk about it anymore. Every time they talk about it, the hunger comes back. That's why they ignore it. The pain subsides with time."

You can read the full interview over at Game Informer

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The interview was actually conducted in 2015, but Game Informer's Andrew Reiner has spent quite a bit of time since trying to confirm the information he was given with another source. After being unable to do so, he shelved the interview until now, when it was published with a warning to take everything within with a grain of salt.

Then don't publish it. If it can't be confirmed, it's not news.

I still have faith.

Ezekiel:

The interview was actually conducted in 2015, but Game Informer's Andrew Reiner has spent quite a bit of time since trying to confirm the information he was given with another source. After being unable to do so, he shelved the interview until now, when it was published with a warning to take everything within with a grain of salt.

Then don't publish it. If it can't be confirmed, it's not news.

I still have faith.

And I have faith that Buzzfeed knew what they were talking about when they reported the unconfirmed, alleged leaks from pseudo-anonymous sources that Donald Trump hired Russian hookers to pee on Obama's bed.

It's not irresponsible and unjournalistic if you amend such statements with "no evidence currently exists to actually support any of this, and we are publishing this purely to share other peoples' speculation about unsubstantiated events so that everyone else can fill in the details and determine the accuracy for themselves based solely on their own prejudices and confirmation bias."

That Episode 3 was never going to happen anymore is no surprise.
Let's be honest, a DECADE between Episode 2 and Episode 3 would be silly. Episode 2 was a bit pushing it already with its wait time, but at least it could be still considered an episode of a larger game (which, strangely, would have the same name as the previous and complete one, but whatever).
Now if Half-Life 3 would fall short of expectation, that's also no surprise. But I rather blame people on that as they always think the longer something takes, the closer to perfection it must be. Ignoring that there can be simply changes, delays and the fact that "perfect" is highly subjective.

No shit, says everybody else.

The thing half life games did so well were showcasing large jumps in gaming technology, it just so happened to be within a very intriguing world. Any new half life title would have to be part of something new and wonderous to show players the future possibilities of gaming, anything less would not reach expectations.

Somehow I'm not surprised. Considering how long it's been, should we really keep holding out for the next game?

There's hope, and then there's being unrealistic, that's all I'm saying.

Valve insider says Half-Life 3 isn't going to happen.

Half-Life 3 confirmed.

The reality, though, expectations are everywhere. Where is the bar? If you don't reach that, people will be disappointed. That will be the legacy.

Because ending a game franchise with such a ridiculous cliffhanger is good for your legacy... If anything the series is tarnished by how it's been treated after Episode 2.

Fine, then let telltale have a crack at it. Let them finish the story you refuse to.

irish286:
Fine, then let telltale have a crack at it. Let them finish the story you refuse to.

I've had that exact thought recently. And would be totally up for it, even if it may piss off more "hardcore" gamers. Tales from the borderlands is an excellent example of handling characters, narrative and ridiculous settings. They could handle it respectfully I believe.

I'm curious about what will happen with Valve in general once all the old guard aren't there anymore. Will outlooks like this maintain when all the people that were a part of it retire?

It'd be kinda funny if part of the legal forms that have to be signed when hired at Valve is, "will not make Half Life 3".

Xsjadoblayde:

irish286:
Fine, then let telltale have a crack at it. Let them finish the story you refuse to.

I've had that exact thought recently. And would be totally up for it, even if it may piss off more "hardcore" gamers. Tales from the borderlands is an excellent example of handling characters, narrative and ridiculous settings. They could handle it respectfully I believe.

Except they would just make it a Telltales game - a lot of story, barely any gameplay and the gameplay that's there is point-and-click.
Doesn't sound ANYTHING like a Half-Life game, which is about shooting people and applying physics (usually involving crowbars and faces - or crowbars and crates)
So, no, Telltales would not be the right guys to finish Half-Life.

Thinking back to when HL2 was originally released, I remember what a big deal Gabe Newell made about how great the episodic format would be for gamers. Thanks, Gabe, for all the bullshit over the years. No one doubts that you're a great developer, but maybe you should leave the planning and organization to someone who actually can get things done. And leave the talking to someone who isn't made of lies.

Xsjadoblayde:

I've had that exact thought recently. And would be totally up for it, even if it may piss off more "hardcore" gamers. Tales from the borderlands is an excellent example of handling characters, narrative and ridiculous settings. They could handle it respectfully I believe.

Telltale has a lot of excellent writers. I do think they messed up in the Batman series by making Thomas Wayne out to be a bad guy. In my mind it messed with the symbolism of batman. Changes him from a kid who dedicated himself to preventing what happened to him from happening to anyone else to someone trying to redeem his family by saving the world. I've always preferred selfless heroes to redemption heroes. Well, except Spiderman... But, now that I think about it his really isn't redemption so much as taking responsibility. Sadly a concept lost today...

I've been saying this for years. If Valve wanted to make a new Half Life they'd have done so and their absolute refusal to talk about it is just proof that they're afraid to admit they're not working on it at all. They have all that steam money rolling in, so they have more than enough financial clout to make anything they wanted. They just don't want to try it when they can just sit back and keep raking in that steam money.

Mortuorum:
Thinking back to when HL2 was originally released, I remember what a big deal Gabe Newell made about how great the episodic format would be for gamers. Thanks, Gabe, for all the bullshit over the years. No one doubts that you're a great developer, but maybe you should leave the planning and organization to someone who actually can get things done. And leave the talking to someone who isn't made of lies.

When Half-Life 2 came out, there were no talks about episodic releases. That came with Episode 1, which was supposed to be done to "speed up development". Turned out they needed even longer with that format.

Bindal:

Xsjadoblayde:

irish286:
Fine, then let telltale have a crack at it. Let them finish the story you refuse to.

I've had that exact thought recently. And would be totally up for it, even if it may piss off more "hardcore" gamers. Tales from the borderlands is an excellent example of handling characters, narrative and ridiculous settings. They could handle it respectfully I believe.

Except they would just make it a Telltales game - a lot of story, barely any gameplay and the gameplay that's there is point-and-click.
Doesn't sound ANYTHING like a Half-Life game, which is about shooting people and applying physics (usually involving crowbars and faces - or crowbars and crates)
So, no, Telltales would not be the right guys to finish Half-Life.

Sounds like a lot of other games have you covered with that aspect. They must be half life too if that's what makes half life. It's not like there's a story and world to explore that people are interested in, is there? Borderlands also had a genre that was all shoots physics death fun, but that didn't stop the IP being drastically improved to a bearable level by telltale. They wouldn't be right for you to enjoy half life. But I'm pretty sure the industry isn't trying to cater specifically to your narrow definitions.

Bindal:

Except they would just make it a Telltales game - a lot of story, barely any gameplay and the gameplay that's there is point-and-click.
Doesn't sound ANYTHING like a Half-Life game, which is about shooting people and applying physics (usually involving crowbars and faces - or crowbars and crates)
So, no, Telltales would not be the right guys to finish Half-Life.

I see you're point. But honestly any game steam would make now wouldn't be able to live up to the legend. If they said, "Yea, we know we can't live up to the hype so we're not even going to try. But we want the story finished, so we're going to give it to the best story tellers we know to finally finish that cliff hangar we left you with." I think people would be okay with that.

Xsjadoblayde:

Bindal:

Xsjadoblayde:

I've had that exact thought recently. And would be totally up for it, even if it may piss off more "hardcore" gamers. Tales from the borderlands is an excellent example of handling characters, narrative and ridiculous settings. They could handle it respectfully I believe.

Except they would just make it a Telltales game - a lot of story, barely any gameplay and the gameplay that's there is point-and-click.
Doesn't sound ANYTHING like a Half-Life game, which is about shooting people and applying physics (usually involving crowbars and faces - or crowbars and crates)
So, no, Telltales would not be the right guys to finish Half-Life.

Sounds like a lot of other games have you covered with that aspect. They must be half life too if that's what makes half life. It's not like there's a story and world to explore that people are interested in, is there? Borderlands also had a genre that was all shoots physics death fun, but that didn't stop the IP being drastically improved to a bearable level by telltale. They wouldn't be right for you to enjoy half life. But I'm pretty sure the industry isn't trying to cater specifically to your narrow definitions.

The difference with Tales of the Borderlands - it told it's own story set in the Borderlands Universe. It wasn't the final act of an unfinished part of Borderlands 2.
That's why Tales got away with it.

You can't just do that with an unfinished story that had now a total of 6 games in the same genre and then suddenly have the finale in a completely different one.
What Telltale could do would be capable of doing is like the above "Tales", a spinoff set in the same universe that may or may not have some characters of the main franchise. Valve themselves did that with Portal, after all.

Or would you like it when you got a series of games with an unfinished story that are all platformers - just to have the actual finale of the game in a real-time-strategy game just because someone else developed it that is good at making RTS? I don't think so.
And that's what you're proposing here: Have a developer that doesn't even make FPS finish the story of a pure FPS focused series in a complete different genre.

irish286:

Bindal:

Except they would just make it a Telltales game - a lot of story, barely any gameplay and the gameplay that's there is point-and-click.
Doesn't sound ANYTHING like a Half-Life game, which is about shooting people and applying physics (usually involving crowbars and faces - or crowbars and crates)
So, no, Telltales would not be the right guys to finish Half-Life.

I see you're point. But honestly any game steam would make now wouldn't be able to live up to the legend. If they said, "Yea, we know we can't live up to the hype so we're not even going to try. But we want the story finished, so we're going to give it to the best story tellers we know to finally finish that cliff hangar we left you with." I think people would be okay with that.

Then they could also release a movie. Or even a book.
But they still wouldn't release a half-life game that way.

The Last Guardian was first shown in 2009 and finally came out a few months ago. Its production began in 2007, the year HL2 Episode Two came out. Half-Life 3's timeframe isn't that unusual. James Cameron wrote Avatar in 1994 and released the movie in 2009, because other things got in the way and the technology wasn't where he needed it to be. Half-Life 2 and its new engine pushed graphics beyond what other games were doing at the time, so it makes sense that HL3 would be another big experiment for them, maybe tying into their VR, controller and other projects. They probably started over at some point, if they're still working on it. They also have a pretty slack work atmosphere. What is the point of announcing a game years and years before it's ready? That's not good for expectations either. People grew bored of The Last Guardian before it was even out. Half-Life is special to Valve, and they probably wanna see the ending like everybody else.

This article isn't news. It's a rumor without a credible source.

Also, I think people are acting too entitled. Valve isn't obligated to make the game. Did they sell a season pass? No.

On the one hand...

MeatMachine:

Ezekiel:

The interview was actually conducted in 2015, but Game Informer's Andrew Reiner has spent quite a bit of time since trying to confirm the information he was given with another source. After being unable to do so, he shelved the interview until now, when it was published with a warning to take everything within with a grain of salt.

Then don't publish it. If it can't be confirmed, it's not news.

I still have faith.

And I have faith that Buzzfeed knew what they were talking about when they reported the unconfirmed, alleged leaks from pseudo-anonymous sources that Donald Trump hired Russian hookers to pee on Obama's bed.

It's not irresponsible and unjournalistic if you amend such statements with "no evidence currently exists to actually support any of this, and we are publishing this purely to share other peoples' speculation about unsubstantiated events so that everyone else can fill in the details and determine the accuracy for themselves based solely on their own prejudices and confirmation bias."

I agree with this statement. And I'd be taking this whole thing with a salt shaker. Not only is it an unnamed source, but it's from over a year ago and there's no telling what has changed since then, even if this is all true.

On the other hand, we're getting to the point where it's not inaccurate to start measuring the gap between the games in decades. Let's be honest, I think it's a little unreasonable to think it's taking them this long to do anything with the property.

And as others have pointed out before, Valve is allergic to the number "3".

That would be incredibly stupid, given how Valve is in a position where it wouldn't matter even if they wouldn't sell a single copy of Half-Life 3, except for that it would damage the Halfe-Life brand. Which doesn't matter if they don't even publish any sequel to it in the first place.

Non-existence is more damaging than inferiority, when nothing depends on the existence. What are they planning then? Selling the IP? Even if it would damage other brands by Valve like L4D, Portal and Team Fortress. They can compensate for that many times over with Steam alone.

Look how successful they are with Counter-Strike GO and Team Fortress. CS is on the top-selling list all the time for years and its item system as well as TF's makes no doubt an incredible amount of money. Those could compensate as well.

There will be a time when Valve will need a new engine, though, if they're not going to pull off the feat of exchanging the whole engine with a new one. They could implement the same item system of TF in the next L4D, so there is a big incentive to publish a completely new game. More than there is for Half-Life 3. That would mean though that L4D 3 has to convince visually.

And at some time in the future, CS:GO will fall behind, too. As well as Team Fortress 2. And that might be the best point to showcase the next Source Engine with a new Half-Life. Since the Source-Engine itself also was very popular and the next one could be made into cash as well.

Mortuorum:
Thinking back to when HL2 was originally released, I remember what a big deal Gabe Newell made about how great the episodic format would be for gamers. Thanks, Gabe, for all the bullshit over the years. No one doubts that you're a great developer, but maybe you should leave the planning and organization to someone who actually can get things done. And leave the talking to someone who isn't made of lies.

Now I am confused, did Half-Life 2, episode 3 ever get released, or am I just remembering incorrectly that you all were still waiting for it?

At one point I was planning on getting into the series because it was so popular on here, but I was planning on picking up the entire series at once, rather than just getting the first game and Chapter 1 & 2 separately from Chapter 3...

They said the same about Trump presidency.

Spade Lead:

Mortuorum:
Thinking back to when HL2 was originally released, I remember what a big deal Gabe Newell made about how great the episodic format would be for gamers. Thanks, Gabe, for all the bullshit over the years. No one doubts that you're a great developer, but maybe you should leave the planning and organization to someone who actually can get things done. And leave the talking to someone who isn't made of lies.

Now I am confused, did Half-Life 2, episode 3 ever get released, or am I just remembering incorrectly that you all were still waiting for it?

At one point I was planning on getting into the series because it was so popular on here, but I was planning on picking up the entire series at once, rather than just getting the first game and Chapter 1 & 2 separately from Chapter 3...

As written in the actual article - no, Half Life 2 Episode 3 is still not released. After one decade.
And if you only got Half Life 1, Half Life 2 Episode 1 and Half Life 2 Episode 2, you would still miss more than half of the franchise as there are a total of six games so far:
Half-Life
Half-Life: Opposing Force (First HL1 Expansion)
Half-Life: Blue Shift (Second HL1 Expansion)
Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 Episode 1
Half-Life 2 Episode 2

And no, we don't know why the Episodes have the same name as the base game despite all that three episodes are supposed to be one sequel...
And also, no, when Half-Life 2 was released, there was never a talk about any episodic released. That only happened after Episode 1 was announced about a year later.

Can we just finish the story here, guys? How about you just release the finished story online? This isn't hard.

Furthermore, Valve, you haven't been making games for YEARS, period. I don't think "disappointing gamers" is what you're thinking about. I just think you guys really don't care now.

Mortuorum:
No one doubts that you're a great developer

Oh really now; they've barely released anything original in recent years. That is a poor metric for greatness.

Arnoxthe1:
Can we just finish the story here, guys? How about you just release the finished story online? This isn't hard.

Furthermore, Valve, you haven't been making games for YEARS, period. I don't think "disappointing gamers" is what you're thinking about. I just think you guys really don't care now.

Nailed it. Nailed it so hard that you broke the whole damn house they were trying to build. Valve isn't a game company any more. They're a service company, and they're perfectly fine with. I gave up on anything regarding Half-Life (and Portal), a few years ago. Now I'm just bitter toward them, because the level of incompetence, cowardice, laziness, or WHATEVER it is that has caused them to fail this badly with their games baffles me.

Jorpho:

Mortuorum:
No one doubts that you're a great developer

Oh really now; they've barely released anything original in recent years. That is a poor metric for greatness.

The Lab?

There will be Half Life 3.

It will be named, 1.5 Life

Ezekiel:

The interview was actually conducted in 2015, but Game Informer's Andrew Reiner has spent quite a bit of time since trying to confirm the information he was given with another source. After being unable to do so, he shelved the interview until now, when it was published with a warning to take everything within with a grain of salt.

Then don't publish it. If it can't be confirmed, it's not news.

I still have faith.

]The source sounds spot on though. Truth be told. IT's a good reason why not. Cause the question is. WHere does HL3 Go. mechanically, thematically and narratively .

The episodic thing taught them that releasing more of the same.. isn't gonna cut it

Thanks to this topic, now I really want to see a dialogue-heavy Telltale Half-Life game where you play as Gordon Freeman, and every conversation option is just an ellipsis.

Considering they announced Half Life 2 Episode One like, maybe a month before it released, I don't expect to hear anything from Valve until any sequel is finished.

Im not particularly surprised by this. As the guy says, even if they did make it, it would NEVER meet the hype. I mean, this is a game that people have been talking about and hoping for, for TWELVE YEARS. That is just a recipe for disaster.

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