Last week, Game Informer published an interview with a Valve insider about the status of Half-Life 3. The writer, Andrew Reiner, actually shelved the interview in 2015 because he couldn’t verify his sources. He decided to publish it anyway, telling readers in bold font to “take what is said with a grain of salt.” However, the interviewee pretty much confirmed what we suspected: Half-Life 3 likely isn’t happening soon.
“I don't think there will be any more,” he said about the series, but again, Game Informer warns you to take everything with a grain of salt. At least it’s not an outright cancellation, right? Well, the insider has some more bad news: “There is no such thing as Half-Life 3. Valve has never announced a Half-Life 3.” But wait, what about Half-Life 2: Episode 3? We haven’t heard of that game since, like, 2006. Surely that can stand in for Half-Life 3, right? Well, according to the insider, it’s “dead.” I guess that’s one less thing we have to worry about.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up that, as of writing, Gabe Newell is planning an AMA tomorrow. I’m certain that some of you will pester him on the status of Half-Life 3, but I just don’t want you to get your hopes up. On the off-chance that he confirms the game’s existence and reveals its release date, it will never live up to the hype, and that’s exactly what the insider claims the company fears. Granted, Final Fantasy XV came out a decade after its announcement (with a different title) and that turned out fine, but I understand the fear.
Fans or trolls often claim that Valve must not want their money, but I doubt the investment would be worth it for Valve. Valve is not the same company it was when it developed Half-Life in the Nineties. It experimented with the episodic format to reduce development time and then scrapped that to focus on continuous updates. This is a company that now specializes in digital distribution. Why would it care about investing time (potentially years) and money into bringing closure to fans of one series when it makes so much money from Steam?
In the interview, the insider explained that Valve has accepted that fans will continue to bug them for a third installment. “It’s why they won’t talk about it anymore,” he explains. And if that’s true, then I’m all the more eager to verify his claim in tomorrow’s AMA. Regardless, I think it’s time for the last battalion of fans who still hope for a third installment to accept that it’s not happening. They’re torturing themselves over it, which makes me wish all the more that Valve had been more upfront and resisted the urge to tease us. Those who perpetuate the “Half-Life 3 confirmed” meme picked up on that desperation, and if anything, we should stop clamoring for the game because I’m sick of that meme.