The Know recently released a video in which they claim to have been contacted by “an anonymous source from Valve” and were told Half-Life 3 was developed at some point in history, but was shelved and will never be released because Valve is richer than God thanks to their current business model.
Simply put, developing a video game is a monumental task and reaps relatively few rewards when compared to selling cosmetic items or, as CS:GO does it, encouraging gambling. Also, the source claims Valve saw how gamers reacted to Mass Effect 3’s endings and is too afraid of releasing a sub-par game.
All Valve employees refused to comment on this video, except one: Mark Laidlaw, senior writer and game designer at Valve, who has worked on all the Half-Life games. As a source of information, I will be using emails Mark sent to Bruce Greene at The Know when he was asked to comment:
Nobody would ever give out privileged information of this sort. It is possible that whoever the anonymous source is might be or have been a Valve employee, but nothing I’ve heard leads me to believe they know anything relevant
Mark says Valve is not afraid of negative reaction from gamers and also draws a parallel with his favorite book author, William T. Vollmann, saying it’s irrelevant whether he delays his Seven American Dreams or never finishes it:
Whether he abandons his project unfinished, or writes on it without stopping for a decade, makes no difference to me
In other words, get used to the idea of waiting a decade more for Half-Life 3 to come out. Finally, Mark makes a curious comment and implies that his responses are in themselves a game and that Valve is considering non-standard video game formats:
[Official information] wouldn’t emerge through a rambling series of personal emails, unless we thought that would make for some kind of cool ARG [alternate reality game]…hm…
So, where do we stand? Every game Valve created after the original Half-Life was an experiment in some sense. L4D had an AI director who calculated players’ stress levels and changed the gameplay accordingly. In Portal, you literally get to watch yourself play and even peek behind the scenery to see how the “game” functions.
Portal 2 literally deconstructs the game world in front of your eyes right at the start, while Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 were more of an experiment in a business sense and showed how lucrative microtransactions can be.
Based on this, my guess is Half-Life 3 will be a FPS that deconstructs all video game tropes, centers around microtransactions, psychologically profiles the player and uses Valve’s proprietary VR hardware. Whether any of this ends up being true, one thing is for sure: Half-Life 3 will break the Internet when it is finally released, one day far in the future.
Read More: Half-Life Remake Black Mesa Now Out On Steam