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- Half-Life 2: Episode Two
It's now 2017. It's been 10 years since the last installment of Half-Life was released. Although back in 2007 the prospect of a sequel seemed like complete certainty, at this point it's as elusive as it is desirable.
Countless rumors have surfaced over the years, some more believable than others. Ultimately, nobody seems to know where the next release is, or why one of the most prized franchises in gaming history has disappeared from sight. Well, except for a few employees at Valve, and they've been adept at keeping silence no matter the circumstance.
After contacting nearly 100 ex and former employees of Valve, GameInformer managed to get someone to talk about Half-Life 3. Or at least what the anonymous source knew about it.
Valve has apparently tried developing Half-Life 3 at one point or another. However, there are unexplained issues that were encountered that resulted in a short life-span for the project. "Some teams may have gotten up to 30 or 40 people [working on it] before it was scrapped". Multiple attempts were made to get something going, all to no avail.
There was once a time when a new Half-Life project was possible. The problem is that this was at a time when "a lot of things were changing for Valve", explained the source. Orange Box, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and huge innovations with the Steam platform were noted as distractors that ultimately kept a Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 from being given more development attention.
The source explained that Half-Life 3 isn't even on Valve's radar at this point. It's effectively shelved for the time being.
The thing to remember is that "There is no such thing as Half-Life 3". Valve has never announced it, or teased it intentionally for that matter. The only cause for speculation that it exists or should exist is that the franchise is immensely valuable, and Half-Life 2: Episode 2's cliffhanger ending. The source called the betrayal of the latter as an "unfulfilled promise".
Recently, Valve ignored tens of thousands of fan-selected "Game That Deserves a Sequel" requests during its first ever The Steam Awards. Effectively serving as a petition for Half-Life 3, it was cast aside similar to news of a Left 4 Dead 3 leak. At this point it appears Valve is tired of hearing about it.
And thus we're right back where we left off, in a world where Half-Life 3 doesn't exist yet everyone wants it. It's not the worst thing in the world. No, that would be Half-Life 3 releasing to disappointment, and we don't want that.