Valve didn't want to make another Half-Life game before Source 2 was ready

Valve Level Designer and veteran developer Dario Casali recently went into detail on what kept the studio from launching Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or working on a new sequel.


When Valve began work on Half-Life 2, they simultaneously began work on Source 2. The plan was to produce a new and powerful engine alongside a benchmark of gaming. By this point you know the story. Half-Life 2 is one of the most celebrated games of all time, but the stress of creating Source 2 created issues as the studio tried to move on to new projects, and Valve Level Designer Dario Casali recently revealed that was a big part of why a new Half-Life game didn’t happen for a long time after Half-Life 2: Episode 2 was done.

Casali recently opened up in an interview with IGN posted on March 23, 2020. Following the launch of Half-Life: Alyx, Casali spoke to a number of factors regarding the delay of any and all Half-Life games for years on end following the launch of Half-Life 2: Episode 2. While various reasons such as “scope creep” forced the team to take longer and longer on episodes that were supposed to take a year to make a piece, Casali also spoke to the factor of working on Source 2 at the same time as Half-Life 2 as definite issue.

“We [didn’t] want to make that same Half-Life 2 mistake again of working on Source 2 and the next Half-Life game at the same time, because that created a lot of pain the first time we tried to do that,” Casali explained.

Source 2 was in development alongside Half-Life 2 and HL2 Episodes 1 and 2. After Half-Life 2, according to Casali and IGN, Valve knew they were invested in the development of Source 2 and couldn’t go really go back to Half-Life until the engine was complete. It didn’t help that various concepts were made that never really captured the depth of what the team wanted out of a sequel.

“We were never really that happy with what we came up with,” Casali admitted.

And so, when it came to 2016 and work began on Half-Life: Alyx, the Source 2 engine was in a nearly complete form. Casali reportedly believes it’s a turning point for Valve and the Half-Life series, and we've heard from others at Valve that this is hopefully a return to Half-Life, but not the end of it. Many, including us here at Shacknews in our review of Half-Life: Alyx, would agree.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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