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Future of the Half-Life series

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HL3 logo

Fan-made Half-Life 3 logo.

Since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode Two in October 2007, there has been very little news from Valve on the next Half-Life game.

Half-Life 2: Episode Three, the third and final installment of the Half-Life 2 episodes, was expected to follow soon after Episode Two, as Valve had stated that they aimed to release a new episode every six to eight months.[1] However, as of November 2015, three pieces of concept art are all Valve have shown of the next game. Since then, Valve has released eight other games.

Some fans believe Valve has scrapped the episodic model and is now working on a full sequel entitled Half-Life 3, but Valve employees have consistently refused to comment on the status or nature of the next Half-Life game, much to the displeasure of their fanbase.[2][3] Despite general satisfaction with the games Valve has made since Episode Two, the next Half-Life game continues to be their most anticipated title, and since the long-awaited release of Duke Nukem Forever in 2011, it has become gaming's most infamous case of continuing vaporware.

Timeline of released information

Half Life 2 Episode Three concept 2

Combine Advisors around the Borealis in the first Episode Three concept art image, released in 2007.

Advisor Intothepixel

Gordon Freeman face to face with an Advisor in the second Episode Three concept art image, created and released in 2008.

Borealis Advisors

Combine Advisors around the Borealis in the third and last Episode Three concept art image, released in 2008.

What follows are the facts that have been revealed by Valve or found by gamers over the years about anything relating to the future of the Half-Life franchise.

Before 2006

In 1999, the domain is registered under the same details as, with Valve cited as the contact.[4] The URL used to redirect to The Orange Box website, but now returns a blank page.


  • In May, Episode Three is announced for a Christmas 2007 release.[5]
  • The same month, it is revealed that a new Episode will be released every six to eight months, and will take four to six hours to complete. An Episode Four, developed outside of Valve and with a stand-alone plot, is also mentioned.[1][6]


  • In a May interview given by David Speyrer and Doug Lombardi about the development of Episode Three, it is stated that a lot of work has gone into creating a natural progress of topography and climate between Two and Three, and that the player will not head back to City 17, at least not in this game. Furthermore, Speyrer does not want to comment about speculation started by PC Gamer UK on the game's climax being a battle set at an Arctic research station.[8]
  • In October, Episode Two is released. At the end of the game, Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance are about to leave to Arctic locations, in search of Judith Mossman and the newly recovered Borealis, the Aperture Science icebreaker, suggesting this is what the sequel to Episode Two will be about.
  • In a November interview, David Speyrer explains that an Episode Three teaser at the end of Episode Two was deliberately omitted to avoid ruining the mood the player would have been in after the final scene by having it followed by a high action trailer. Another reason was to give them more creative freedom, and avoid being committed to anything seen in the potential trailer, stating they are trying to do "something pretty ambitious". He also states they did not want to make the same mistake as with the Episode Two trailer featured at the end of Episode One, as it is radically different from the finished game.[9]
  • In November as well, the first concept art for Episode Three is released by GamesRadar.[10]
  • In December, Episode Three is said to be only the end of the current Half-Life 2 story arc, not the end of the overall Half-Life franchise, nor the episodic releases, with even more episodic games unconnected to the current story arc to be made.[11] This hints at the Episode Four mentioned in 2006.


  • In April, source code for three entities is released in the Source SDK in a folder named "Episode3", before being removed shortly after. They include "npc_combine_armored" (a heavily armored Combine soldier with separate shields for each part of its body), "npc_wpnscanner" (a scanner shooting bolts), and "weapon_proto1" (appearing in the Source Particle Benchmark and Episode Two as a test weapon). However, it is later stated by Valve's Tony Sergi that the code is a leftover of old material.[12]
  • In an October interview, Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi states that news or an announcement of Episode Three might be revealed near the end of the year.[14] In that interview, Lombardi also states that the distance between Episode Two and its sequel will be longer than the distance between the three current Half-Life 2 games.[14]
  • In December, video footage of what is presented as an Alpha version of Episode Three is released. It is later revealed to be a fan-made set of maps.[15][16]
  • Below is leaked Episode Three concept art from mid-2008.


  • While the community is expecting an announcement on the future of the Half-Life franchise on June 1, Left 4 Dead 2 is announced instead,[17] instantly leading to the creation of the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott Steam group. Following that pattern, on June 4, a petition named Message to Valve is created on the Steam forums by user Surfrock22, requesting more communication between Valve and the Half-Life fanbase (referred to in the thread as Valve's "oldest and longest running fanbase"), thus publicly release some information about the future of the Half-Life franchise.[18][19]
  • In an August video involving Gabe Newell and two interpreters discussing deafness and video games with a small audience of hearing-impaired people, the inclusion of an unidentified deaf character in a future game set in the Half-Life and Portal universe is said to be tested by Valve, as a new gameplay and Source engine feature aimed at providing better support for hearing-impaired players. Newell suggests that before Alyx met Gordon, she had a crush on a hearing impaired Resistance member, so she programmed Dog with knowledge of sign language so she could practice and easily communicate with him. Then this person went away from Alyx to fight the Combine someplace else, and Alyx and Dog started signing with each other when they wanted to communicate without making noise or without other people knowing.[20]
  • The same month, Newell explains in an interview that Valve is experimenting many techniques on their games, including Episode Three. He adds he has currently nothing to say about the game, and that the community will be notified as soon as they have material they are ready to share.[21]



List of the hint nodes found in the Alien Swarm SDK.

  • In a March interview, Newell hints that Valve intends to return the Half-Life franchise to its psychological horror roots by exploiting the fans' deepest fears, which he sums up as "the death of their children" and "the fading of their own abilities".[22]
  • The same month, the Portal ARG is launched. At the beginning, the community starts to speculate it is related to Episode Three,[23] until it is revealed the ARG is promoting the upcoming Portal 2.
  • In an April interview, Gabe Newell states that Gordon Freeman will go unchanged in the next Half-Life game - he wants him to "largely remain an arm and a crowbar." There also are no plans to make him a talking character, as Newell considers making the player's companions more interesting and compelling seems a more fruitful avenue to explore.[24]
  • Shortly after Alien Swarm is released in July, unused hint nodes are found in its SDK, under the names "Ep3 Blob Shake Position", "Ep3 Fire Cover Position", "Ep3 Brain Cover Position", "Ep3 Brain Regenerate Position", "Ep3 Spit Position", "Ep3 Spawn Generator Position", and "Aperture: Nest". Given the prefix "Ep3" and the use of the name "Aperture", these may be leftovers of the sequel to Episode Two.[25]
  • In an August interview, Doug Lombardi states they hate to make the community wait, but that they have no announcements regarding Gordon Freeman or his ongoing adventures at this time.[26]


Fan pickets HL3 gabe

The two Half-Life fans picketing outside of Valve met by Gabe Newell in August 2011.

HL3 t-shirt

The Half-Life 3 T-shirt as photographed by Chandana Ekanayake on December 1, 2011.

  • In February, Chet Faliszek states that Valve is "not prepared to talk about [Episode Three] at the moment".[27]
  • When asked about the future of the Half-Life series in a March interview, Doug Lombardi states that they are not done with Gordon Freeman's adventures, and advises the community to "hang in there" with them, without further detail.[28]
  • On April 19, Portal 2 is released. The same day, The Final Hours of Portal 2 is released. In it, author Geoff Keighley states that Portal 2 is probably Valve's last game with an isolated single-player experience. This is misunderstood by many members of the community as the simple end of single-player games made by Valve, which is negated by Gabe Newell in a May interview, in which he states that Valve is not done with single-player games, but rather done with single-player games as we know them today, and that they will transform into "single-player plus" games, thus single-player games with social components added to them. He reckons that entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, letting people play with their friends, and recognizing that they are connected with other people, and that they have to work on adding this to their single-player games.[29]
  • In another May interview, Newell states that Valve is done with the episodic model as we know it, now rather updating the same game as much as they want through Steam, which was introduced with Team Fortress 2.[30] This suggests that the next Half-Life game will not be in the vein of its two predecessors, leading the community to speculate that Valve has moved to a larger project.
  • The same month, the Portal 2 SDK is released. In the files, code for an NPC named "Combine Advisor - Roaming" is found by users, and is shortly removed in a subsequent update.[31]
  • In May again, several .vcd choreography files labeled "magnuss" are found in Portal 2's VPK cache. They are named "magnuss_get_going.vcd", "magnuss_idle.vcd", "magnuss_nopoint.vcd", "magnuss_shakehead.vcd", and "magnuss_wave.vcd", and appear to be for the model "magnusson.mdl", Arne Magnusson's model. They don't exist in the Episode Two files, where Magnusson's animations are prefixed "mag", suggesting they may be either old discarded animations, or animations set to appear in the next Half-Life game.[32][33]
  • In June, at the Games for Change festival in New York, Gabe Newell delivers a keynote focusing largely on the educational benefits of games. When Newell asks the audience for any questions, someone asks when Episode Three is going to be released. Newell's answers "If you know enough to ask the question, you know enough what the answer is."[34]
  • On August 11 and 12, three fans picket outside of the Valve headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, requesting information about Episode Three / Half-Life 3. Gabe Newell in person comes out to speak with them, they go for lunch together, and are also given a tour of the offices by Erik Johnson, as well as pizza, playtesting of Dota 2, and some goodies. However upon being asked when a new Half-Life was coming out, Newell merely answered "I can't tell you.". The first day counts two fans only, and they are joined with a third one on the second day. The texts on their signs include "CANADA 4 THE RELEASE OF HALF LIFE 3", "HALF LIFE 3... IS IT LEFT 4 DEAD?", "HOW DID JUDITH GET TO THE ARCTIC SO QUICKLY? (rest unseen)" "I COULDN'T THINK OF A NEW SIGN... BUT YOU KNOW WHAT WE WANT (HL 3)", among others. As a Microsoft building is located nearby, presumably a Valve employee gave the picketers four humorous small signs to show, such as one asking Microsoft to bring back the former MS Office mascot "Clippy". The protesters claim that their picketing is not meant to be a serious protest but rather a joke; they just had free time on their hands, and felt like "chillin', maxin' relaxin' all cool" outside of Valve. Following the "protest", Kotaku also asked Newell if he had anything to say about a new game, to which he simply replied "I got nothing for you.".[35][36][37][38][39]
  • Around September 19th, a Vietnamese beta tester leaks Dota 2’s entire game client, as well as all of its files, to the Internet. Among the various files can be found code referring to a folder named "ep3", pointing at what appears to be weapons: "weapon_icegun", "weaponizer_concrete", "weaponizer_liquid", "weaponizer_metal", and "weapon_flamethrower".[40] However, around September 23 Chet Faliszek states that the code doesn't mean anything and shouldn't be taken as fact.[41]
  • December 2011 sees several rumors about a Half-Life ARG, and that Gabe Newell has given the go-ahead to those in the know to drop Half-Life hints. Fans see what may be hints in Wheatley's "Character of the Year" award acceptance video for the Spike TV 2011 Video Game Awards, several fake official e-mails are shared, cryptic information is revealed through an unofficial Twitter account for Doug Rattmann, and an unofficial website,, reveals other cryptic messages. All is debunked by Valve through Gabe Newell, Marc Laidlaw and Chet Faliszek.[42][43][44][45]
  • On December 1, Chandana Ekanayake, part of Seattle-based game developer Uber Entertainment, sees what he believes to be a Valve employee wearing what appears to be a Half-Life 3 T-shirt at a local developer event, and asks his permission to take a photo of the T-shirt as he is a huge fan of the series. Upon being asked if he knows anything about Half-Life 3, he appears to know nothing.[46][47] On December 1, a fan named Alexei asks series' writer Marc Laidlaw about the validity of the T-shirt; he confirms its existence but has nothing else to elaborate on.[48]
  • On December 9, an anonymous US-based voice actor reveals that Valve has recorded lines for "Half Life: Episode 3" (sic). This leads to rumors that the next Half-Life game will be unveiled at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards on December 10.[49] However, this doesn't occur.
  • During the Steam Holiday Sale, Valve drops several Half-Life references in their sale artwork. In the comic Randolph the Red-Nosed Turret released December 22, 3 socks are hung on the mantelpiece, for Gordon, Alyx and Dog. Above is the landscape seen by Chell when she reaches the outside at the end of Portal 2, with 3 clouds in the sky. Furthermore, in the image placed at the end of the slideshow of day 5 of the Holiday Sale (December 23) showing the Steam mascots riding with Santa Claus in his sleigh,[50] one of the mascots is holding a golden Lambda necklace with 3 specks of light on it, among other things. This further fed rumors and speculation among the fanbase about imminent news about a new Half-Life game.[51]
  • On December 23, voice actor John Patrick Lowrie debunks on his personal blog the words of the anonymous voice actor from December 9 by stating in the comments on a post about his wife Ellen McLain being nominated for a VGA award that he hasn't heard anything yet about a new Half-Life game, and thus has not recorded anything yet. He states, among other things: "No Half Life 3 stuff yet. Haven’t heard anything." and "Ellen and I haven’t heard anything about a new Half Life episode.[52] He later repeats this lack of knowledge on March 23rd, 2012
  • On December 26, the petition launched in 2009 on the Steam Users' Forums (more than 1,600 signatures as of February 2012)[18][19] evolves to a Steam group named "A Call for Communication (Half-Life)" (more than 50,000 members as of February 2012).[2]


  • On January 9, several references to the Half-Life series are found in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta files, namely being several whiteboard texture files for the map "Office", containing the names of several Half-Life 2 main characters, among other things.[53]
  • On January 5, "Operation Crowbar" is launched on the Steam Users' Forums, as another form of protest against Valve's silence on the future of the Half-Life franchise (the operation also has its dedicated Steam group). It involves buying crowbars and mailing them to Valve, or, as a cheaper alternative, spam Valve's e-mail accounts and Facebook page with pictures of crowbars or crowbar-related puns.[3]
  • On January 10, IGN's editor Charles Onyett speculates that, based on industry trends, 2012 will be the year Valve finally starts talking about Half-Life 3, and believes Valve might be waiting for details from Sony and Microsoft on their next-generation consoles before announcing anything.[54]
  • Following Ekanayake's information about the Half-Life 3 T-shirt, Garry Newman, creator of Garry's Mod, trolls the community on January 12 by showing a fake Half-Life 3 T-shirt on his Twitter, claiming it was sent by Valve.[56]
  • On February 4, the Steam group "A Call for Communication" organizes "A Red Letter Day", a group event which involves playing Half-Life 2, aimed at putting the franchise back in the spotlight, drawing more people to their cause and simply "be a huge group of Half-Life fans playing one of the best games ever made". Though hopes also are that Half-Life 2 would reach the top ten games played for that day, it only reaches #11, with a maximum of 13,216 concurrent players.[58][58][59] A website is also launched the previous day to mark the event and coordinate the future ones.
  • In April, Gabe Newell is interviewed by the Seven Day Cooldown podcast. His interviewer asked, "My final question and the question in the back of all your fans' minds and everyone has been waiting to ask you for a long time: When can we expect the release of Ricochet 2?" An audibly amused Newell responded, "In terms of Ricochet 2, we always have this problem that when we talk about things too far in advance, we end up changing our minds as we're going through and developing stuff, so as we're thinking through the giant story arc which is Ricochet 2, you might get to a point where you're saying something is surprising us in a positive way and something is surprising us in a negative way, and, you know, we'd like to be super-transparent about the future of Ricochet 2. The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we're going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what's happening next." It seems more than likely that the term "Ricochet 2" is a code-name for "Half-Life 3" as Ricochet itself was a multiplayer mod for the original Half-Life that is considered one of the worst games Valve has released (and more importantly, does not even have a plot). When asked if those working on the project have moved on to other games, he responds, "No, everybody who has worked on Ricochet 2 continues to work on Ricochet 2."[60]
  • On June 9, Gabe Newell makes an appearance in the Kickstarter video for the indie game CLANG by Subutai Corporation. In the clip, Newell is welding a crowbar. Subutai member Neal Stephenson asks, "Hey, is that about ready?" Newell replies, "These things, they take time."[61]
  • On June 27, a handful of concept art is leaked. While Valve has not commented on this, several forum moderators confirmed the art.[62]
  • A PDF file listing game announcements for Gamescom 2012 has been found to highlight the game Half-Life 3, however, Gamescom reps later reported that it was "a mistake". Valve have confirmed its falseness with stating "We're not showing any games in Cologne this year."[63] The list have later been updated and Half-Life 3 removed.[64]
  • In August 2012, Spike TV had interviewed Gabe Newell about Counter Strike: Global Offensive. When Gabe was asked about Half-Life 3, He replied "I hate sharks". He added "You'll never get Half-Life 3 if you eat me" in reference to a joke that sharks are fans of the series, too. This implies that the game, if it were to ever be released, would be called "Half-Life 3".[65]
  • The Mad Catz's S.T.R.I.K.E Keyboard trailer has a Half-Life 3 icon visible on the desktop, likely a joke thrown in by the creators of the trailer.[66]
  • On September 17, while not official, a French website reported that they have gotten some information regarding Half-Life 3 from an anonymous source stating that the game will be featuring RPG elements. It also stated that the development for the game has been very chaotic, stating further that the project was revived several times and that its release date will be sometime after 2013.[67]
  • On September 27, Ashley Johnson, better known as the voice of Ellie on the video game The Last of Us, tweeted a photo of Merle Dandridge (the voice of Alyx Vance) in a motion capture suit, and accompanied the photo with the words ""Alyx Vance" #HL3 #insidescoop", which caused a stir amongst Half-Life fans. Johnson later admitted she was trolling the community, saying, "Yes. I'm a jerk. But God I wish it were true. #makeitsovalve #yesimatroll".[68]


  • J.J. Abrams (of Bad Robot Productions) and Gabe Newell were part of a keynote presentation at the DICE summit on February 6, titled "Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, the Audience or the Player?" At the end of the presentation, Abrams said "There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on." Newell then countered, "We're going to figure out if we can make a 'Portal' movie or 'Half-Life' movie together. But it's really time for us and for industries to stop talking about potentials and try to execute on them." (possibly referring to Half-Life 3's long development time) The two then proceeded to exit the stage. This was the first official announcement from Valve related to the Half-Life series since 2011.[69]
  • Gabe Newell won the Academy Fellowship at the BAFTA Awards on March 5, 2013. Jonathan Ross asked him if he had any news about Half-Life 3, to which Newell said, "We don't have anything to say about it."[70]
  • On March 28, 2013, David Goldfarb, a video game designer, tweeted "Saw Valve today. They have very nice things." Markus Persson (the creator of Minecraft) asked in another tweet "hl3 confirmed?" to which Goldfarb said "my silence must be interpreted as silence." Persson then said, "Reply to this tweet if hl3 is confirmed." Goldfarb responded with, "I will show my answer with some interpretative dance. Look closely."[71]
  • On April 1, 2013, Half-Life 2: Episode Three was available on "Stteam", but when trying to pre-order the game, it is revealed to be an April Fool's prank from CheapShark.[72]
  • Doug Lombardi confirmed in an email to Valve Time that Valve was not showing any games at E3 in 2013.[73]
  • On May 22, 2013, Marc Laidlaw admits that the "BreenGrub" account on Twitter is him "writing Dr. Breen fanfic." He explained in another tweet, "I personally cannot give the world a Half-Life game. All I can personally do, at least for now, is stuff like this."[74]
  • Valve's project tracker is leaked to the public in June and includes mailing lists such as "Half-Life 3", "Left 4 Dead 3" and "Source 2." Valve Time notes that the lists appear to be legitimate given the employee names on the lists.[75]
  • Surgeon Simulator 2013 was updated with a Team Fortress 2 DLC. Upon completing the TF2 mission, a Medic statue appears on Nigel's desk. Looking at the bottom of the statue, a strange code is seen along with some Korean text that translate to "The Time is" leading to think that an ARG may be going on.[76]
  • Half-Life 2 is updated, which seemingly has broken a few files, and has caused all characters to speak Korean. The game was patched shortly after with this tweet posted by Steam Support: "WARNING: The most recent HL2 update has some issues. We're working to fix this, you can pause the update for now. 예측하지 못한 결과에 대비하라..." The Korean translates to "Prepare for unforeseen consequences..."
    • Valve denies any sort of ARG going on, but the designers behind Surgeon Simulator confirmed it to be just an ARG for Surgeon Simulator itself.[77][78]
  • July: The website "Noshitshurlock" reports that Half-Life level designer John Guthrie has confirmed Half-Life 3 will be released in late 2014, with a demo and a trailer to be played at E3 next year.[79] Valve responds the next day, announcing the claim is bogus.[80]
  • On August 15, John Patrick Lowrie, a prominent voice actor in Valve games, claims in the comments section on his blog that Half-Life 3 hasn't been released yet because Valve is waiting for a better motion capture technology which would allow in-game characters to adjust their movements depending on player's actions.[81] Lowrie later admitted that as a voice actor he wasn't well-qualified to be up-to-date on the game's development, and that he himself was just as in the dark as the fans.[82]
  • On August 19, a news item showed up on Steam announcing the Half-Life 3 Internal Beta 3 had been released, with details such as bug fixes and enhanced texture quality. This was later revealed to have been a mistake by a developer, who was apparently using Half-Life and its characters as a placeholder for a test.[83]
  • On August 25, a Reddit user who had recently toured Valve headquarters held an AMA. When asked about Half-Life 3, he explained he had asked their tour guide, who said, "We only have elements. Bits and pieces of game. No structure. No story."[84]
  • On September 1, 2013, Valve's Jira database is momentarily made available to the general public. It indicates that Valve is working on Source 2, Left 4 Dead 3, and Half-Life 3.[85]
  • Valve announces some mysterious things involving Steam in the player's living room.[86]
    • The first item announced was both the SteamOS and the Family Sharing system. Some users now believe the final item to be announced could indeed be a new Half-Life game and/or a next generation Source engine.
    • The second item announced was Steam Machines, which is Valve's new line of consoles.
    • The third announcement was for Steam Controller. No more countdowns appear to be ongoing after this announcement, so it may be safe to assume that there will be no more announcements from the Living Room pages.
    • The image in the center of the screen seemed to be getting more intense as items were revealed. Some fans speculate this is a Steam logo, but others think it may be Half-Life related. it is now revealed to be not a logo for anything at the moment
  • On September 29, 2013, Valve files a trademark for "Half-Life 3."[87] It was reported to be a "use it or lose it"-type of trademark.[88]
  • On October 4, 2013, Valve removes the trademark. ValveTime reports that it is likely a hoax, prompted by a sneak peek into Valve's Jira account. Valve itself refuses to comment.[89]
  • On October 5, 2013, it is reported that a trademark for "Portal 3" has appeared.[90]


  • In an interview in January, Gabe Newell explained in an interview with the Washington Post why Valve doesn't "crank out new Half-Life sequels": "When we started out we were a single-player video game company that could have been really successful just doing Half-Life sequel after Half-Life sequel, but we collectively said let's try to make multi-player games even though there's never been a commercial successful multi-player game."[91]
  • On January 27, a leaked image of the Source 2.0 engine for Left 4 Dead 2 is posted on a forum on NeoGAF by a user well-known for leaking confidential information to the public. This indicates that Valve is progressing with the Source 2 engine.[92]
  • On May 23, it is reported that Counter-Strike co-creator and former Valve employee, Minh Le, said that he had seen artwork of the next Half-Life game, as well as Left 4 Dead 3, and confirmed that the next Half-Life game is being worked on. Le did not know when the games would come out but he stated, "I think it’s kind of public knowledge, that people know that it is being worked on. And so if I were to say that yeah, I’ve seen some images – like some concept art of it – that wouldn’t be big news to be honest. Minh Le left Valve years ago and as such the concept art he saw may have been outdated."[93]


  • On March 3, Valve officially announced Source 2 engine.[94]
  • On March 19, Gabe Newell, when asked about Half-Life 3, replied: "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 [they did]."[95] This, like all of Valve's other statements regarding Half-Life 3, neither confirms nor denies the possibility that the game will eventually be made.
  • On June 17, Valve released a Beta for Dota 2 with the new Source 2 engine.[96]
  • On July 24, The Know released a YouTube video called Half-Life 3 Will Never Release, Here's Why where they claim to have received information from a source within Valve.[97] The source stated three reasons: First, that the game is in development, but only by a team of about 10 people. Second, that Valve is not very keen on releasing the game, due to fear of a bad reaction like Mass Effect 3 got, and third: That Valve already earns a lot of money through Steam and may have little financial incentives to develop the game. It also states that the full game story is already completed.
  • On July 25, Marc Laidlaw answers an email from a fan regarding the video from The Know and comments about the bad reaction fear rumor. Laidlaw says that "it sounds like someone is trolling" and that in his experience at Valve, "fear is the last thing that would ever drive a decision about what to work on".[98]
  • On July 27, The Know releases a follow-up video where they present some additional e-mail correspondence with Marc Laidlaw.[99] They conclude that both their original source and Laidlaw are probably telling the truth, they are just seeing the situation from two different perspectives.
  • On October 10, an update for Dota 2 revealed four files called "hl3.txt", "rpg.txt", "lights.txt" and "ai_basenpc.txt" describing possible features like VR support, quests and NPC squads.[100]


  1. 1.0 1.1 PC Gamer, May 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 LG favicon "A Call For Communication/Message To Valve" Movement Still Going, Now Has Its Own Steam Group at LambdaGeneration
  3. 3.0 3.1 LG favicon "Operation: Crowbar" – Crazy Fans Pay Money… To Send Valve Crowbars… To Get Across A Half-Life “Message” at LambdaGeneration
  4. Whois Record For
  5. Half-Life 2: Episode One gold, Two dated, Three announced on GameSpot
  6. LG favicon Concept Art Leaked For Cancelled HL2: Episode Four? at LambdaGeneration
  7. Opening the Valve - Interview at
  8. Valve comments on Episode Three progress at
  9. RPS Interview: Episode Two’s David Speyrer on Rock, Paper, Shotgun
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 The first concept art from Half-Life 2: Episode Three on GamesRadar
  11. Half-Life 3 on
  12. Tony Sergi answer on the Steam Users' Forums
  13. 2008 contest winners at Into the Pixel
  14. 14.0 14.1 Interview: Valve's Doug Lombardi on Video Games Daily
  15. YouTube favicon My HL2EP3 Trailer by MIXMEDiA on YouTube
  16. FAKE Episode 3 Maps for Half-Life2: Ep2 on Mod DB
  17. Left 4 Dead 2 Game Add-on #1 at the Steam News
  18. 18.0 18.1 LG favicon The Episode Two SPUF’s “Message to Valve” Petition Has Hit 1,000 Signatures! at LambdaGeneration
  19. 19.0 19.1 Message to Valve on the Steam Users' Forums
  20. YouTube favicon Gabe Newell w/ Deaf Character - Part Two on YouTube
  21. Steamcast Episode #9: "Exclusive interview with Gabe Newell"
  22. Gabe Newell: Next Half-Life needs to scare on
  23. Portal Patch Adds Morse Code, Achievement - Portal 2 Speculation Begins on Shacknews
  24. Gabe Newell: Next Half-Life won't change Gordon Freeman on
  25. Half Life 2: Episode 3 found in the Alien Swarm SDK! on the Steam Users' Forums
  26. How Valve will change PS3 on
  27. 'When is Half-Life 2: Episode 3 coming out?' 'What? Sorry, we can't hear you...' at
  28. Valve Software 2011 Video Interview at
  29. Newell: Valve to Replace Single-Player With "Single-Player Plus" at The Escapist
  30. The Valve manifesto at Develop
  31. LG favicon Half-Life Code Found Inside Portal 2 SDK at LambdaGeneration
  32. LG favicon New Half-Life Choreography Files For Doctor Magnusson, Found In Portal 2 at LambdaGeneration
  33. YouTube favicon Half-Life 2 EP3 - Magnusson animations on YouTube
  34. When is Half-Life Episode 3 Coming? You Know the Answer at 1UP
  35. LG favicon Fans Picket for HL3 Outside of Valve HQ, Are Greeted By Gabe Himself at LambdaGeneration
  36. Fans picketing outside of Valve’s office for HL3 at
  37. Day 2 of the Valve protest - Still holding strong. on Reddit
  38. LG favicon What Became Of The HL3 Protest? at LambdaGeneration
  39. What Did Gabe Newell Say to the Half-Life 3 Protesters? on Kotaku
  40. LG favicon Dota 2 Client Leaked – Including Actual HL2: Episode Three Code at LambdaGeneration
  41. Half Life 2: Episode 3 Same Old Story at Attack of the Fanboy
  42. LG favicon Informant Close To Valve Tells Valve ARG Network Admin, And Steamcast Co-Host: “Gabe Has Given The Go-Ahead For Half-Life Hints” at LambdaGeneration
  43. LG favicon Let’s Debunk Some Fake Half-Life 3 Rumors With Vic: Fake E-Mails, Fake Twitter Accounts, And More/ Future of the Half-Life series at LambdaGeneration
  44. LG favicon Marc Laidlaw Confirms That There Is No Half-Life 3 ARG at LambdaGeneration
  45. Chet Faliszek's reaction to the rumors and the ARG on the Steam Users' Forums
  46. Tweet on the T-shirt at Chandana Ekanayake's Twitter
  47. Half-Life 3 T-Shirt Confirmed, But That is All on Kotaku
  48. LG favicon Marc Laidlaw Confirms That There Is A Half-Life 3 Shirt Out There… With A Vague And Suspicious Non-Answer at LambdaGeneration
  49. Valve voice actor working on "Half Life: Episode 3" at Xbox 360 - The Official Magazine
  50. STEAM HOLIDAY SALE - DAY FIVE at the Steam News
  51. LG favicon Valve Teases Half-Life 3 Through Hidden Steam Store Image; And More Strange Half-Life Hints And Clues at LambdaGeneration
  52. Ellen gets nominated for a VGA award, Part 3: Into the belly of the beast. at John Patrick Lowrie's Blog
  53. LG favicon Bizarre In-Game CS: Global Offensive Whiteboard Surfaces: Indicates An August 2012 Release Date For CS:GO, And More Weird Half-Life And Number 3 References – Could Doctor Breen Still Be Alive?/ Future of the Half-Life series at LambdaGeneration
  54. Prediction: Half-Life 3 Will Be Unveiled in 2012 at IGN
  55. LG favicon Marc Laidlaw On The Canceled Half-Life Spin-offs: Return To Ravenholm And “Episode Four” at LambdaGeneration
  56. LG favicon Garry Newman Trolls Fans With Yet Another Half-Life 3 T-Shirt at LambdaGeneration
  57. Aftermath: Invite Party -- 17,500 current members at "A Call for Communication (Half-Life)" on Steam
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 LG favicon One Month Later, The Half-Life Call For Communication Group Is Starting To Ramp Up, Has Major Event Lined Up at LambdaGeneration
  59. Let's Play Half-Life 2! - Event at "A Call for Communication (Half-Life)" on Steam
  60. Newell Updates Interviewer On The Status of (Wink, Wink) 'Ricochet 2' on Kotaku
  61. YouTube favicon These things, they take time on YouTube
  62. LG favicon Future of the Half-Life series at LambdaGeneration
  63. Official Gamescom Listing Outs Half-Life 3? on GameSpy
  64. List of Releases on Gamescon
  65. Valve on GameTrailers
  66. YouTube favicon Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E Keyboard Trailer Teases Half-Life 3 on YouTube
  67. Half-Life 3: our first exclusive information! on Le Journal du Gamer
  68. Alyx Vance's voice actor caught mo-capping, probably not news for Half Life fans on NeoSeeker
  69. JJ Abrams and Gabe Newell show interest in partnership on
  70. Half Life 3 questions appear to be getting old for Gabe Newell on Attack of the Fanboy
  71. [1] David Goldfarb on Twitter
  72. April Fools from CheapShark
  73. Valve Time on Twitter
  74. Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw goes back to Breen with fanfiction Twitter account on PCGamesN
  77. Surgeon Simulator on Twitter
  78. [2] on Twitter
  92. l4d3? (Source 2 reveal) on NeoGAF
  96. Dota 2 - Reborn Beta
  97. YouTube favicon Half-Life 3 Will Never Release, Here's Why - The Know on YouTube
  99. YouTube favicon Half-Life 3 Follow-Up: Valve Writer Responds? - The Know on YouTube
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    • BenceBexio wrote: I just randomly saw this... o_O Half Life 3 shrekfirmed

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