Valve teases 'something with a three in it'

Valve boss Gabe Newell has teased "something with a three in it," but various hints over the weekend suggest a new Valve ARG is in the works.

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In what may be the most unhelpful tease ever, Valve boss Gabe Newell has assured fans that the company will announce "something with a three in it" at E3 2012. While this could be chalked up to Valve's adorable tendency to mess with its fans, it could also be part of another alternate reality game (ARG) that the company seems to be cooking up.

PC Gamer reports that Gabe Newell reportedly replied to a 4chan e-mail with, "I don't suppose it would ease your wrath if I told you we're announcing all of your favorite things at E3 2012?" Deciding that wording was "confusing," he then said, "Yes, we are announcing something with a three in it."

We're sure the cheeky comment recognized that nearly all of Valve's big franchises are set for a third installment, but it could be a bit more than mere trolling. PC Gamer suggests that various Valve activities lately are part of a new ARG. Wheatley's appearance this weekend on the Spike VGAs had visual information in the background, and the Doug_Rattmann Twitter account began streaming long strings of numbers on December 11. The crack hive mind known as the Internet will likely unearth any messages contained.

Newell's tease and the recent Half-Life 3 shirt could be hints at the ARG, misdirections, or just a bit of fun with an easily-riled fanbase. Valve previously released Portal 2 early through the Potato Sack ARG, which hid clues in various indie games.

If this is an ARG setting the stage for Valve's reveal, it will have to be an extremely slow burn to last all the way to June of 2012.

Editor-In-Chief
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From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 12, 2011 9:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Valve teases 'something with a three in it'.

    Valve boss Gabe Newell has teased "something with a three in it," but various hints over the weekend suggest a new Valve ARG is in the works.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:31 AM

      Oh Gabe ... you tease

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:32 AM

      Wait, I thought those emails were fake.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:32 AM

      Left 4 Dead 3 unfffff

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 9:33 AM

        If this is it I will fucking punch something.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 10:18 AM

          a picture of GabeN?

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 4:46 PM

          Oh. I was like, "Who punches stuff when they're happy?" But now I get it.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 9:38 AM

        please no

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 9:40 AM

        Left 3 Dead 1

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 9:49 AM

        Would love for this to be announced. It'd be ridiculous if Valve wasn't working on multiple projects at once, and having L4D3 would make the wait for HL3 a little easier.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 10:17 AM

          They aren't really staffed enough for multiple projects I thought?

          • reply
            December 12, 2011 10:22 AM

            Well they've got DotA2 and CS:GO going at the same time, and those aren't even "the big ones". I'd be baffled if they just shelved projects like L4D3 and HL3 entirely in favor of pushing out the smaller stuff like TF2 going free to play and DotA2.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 4:44 PM

          L4D3 would be awesome. My 200 hours of Skyrim are nothing compared to my cumulative 440 hours spent between L4D and L4D2.

          • reply
            December 12, 2011 5:33 PM

            Actually it sounds perfectly comparable taking the games individually, 200 vs ~220 vs ~220.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 4:45 PM

        I almost hope they do this just to troll everyone.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 4:52 PM

        I would be almost as excited for L4D3 as i would be for HL3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:32 AM

      HL3 was inevitable. Of course, it COULD be L4D3. But probably not; Valve knows what we want!

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 9:33 AM

        Actually, I'd take an Orange Box combo of HL3 with L4D3. Best deal ever, aside from the first OB.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 1:58 PM

        prepare to be disappointed

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:33 AM

      Fuck yeah, Team Fortress 3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:34 AM

      I'll believe it when it's released Gabe, and not a moment earlier.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:35 AM

      Half-Life 3 release in Spring 2013 Fall 2015 Summer 2018.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:37 AM

      If it's anything other than HL 3, I fear for that mans life

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:39 AM

      They're skipping Ricochet 2?

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:43 AM

      Steve - no offense, but to state that Portal 2 was released "early" is a little disingenuous. It was early, but if anything it was practically a midnight release.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:44 AM

      Three new TF2 hats!!! EFF YEAH!!!!!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:45 AM

      if it's not Half Life 3 that would be a real dick move and an insult

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 9:53 AM

        It was in reply to a terrible 4chan email, he should insult them.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:10 AM

        insult, LOL. entitlement much?

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 10:13 AM

          ok maybe not the proper word, but still, principle of business, you don't jerk around with your customer base. Everyone is expecting half-life 3, and to announce the announcement of "something with a 3" and not being half-life 3 would be a huge let down, unless they publish diablo 3 or something

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:29 AM

        Maybe Diablo 3 or Battlefield 3 on Steam. Regardless, a lot a people are about to get trolled so very hard.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 11:05 AM

        What if it's System Shock 3?

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:46 AM

      http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/12/12/gabe-newell-opens-up-possibility-of-a-three-musketeers-game-valve-arg-begins/

      Update: Commenter TheGreatCaligula sensibly points out that the Doug Rattman account is considered by many in the experienced Valve ARG community to be fake, so we may have been duped by interweb hoaxmasters :( We have assumed the position:

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:47 AM

      If they do another ARG, I hope they get Indie devs back in on it again. They must have LOVED the attention during the Portal 2 release frenzy.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:47 AM

      DOTA 3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:48 AM

      Where is Gabe, I want to chew on his hair and kneed his belly

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:50 AM

      it better be KOTOR 3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:52 AM

      Team Fortress 3, the first Millinery Simulation game.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:54 AM

      http://i.imgur.com/wRJ1V.png

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:54 AM

      tie fighter 3 SKeEEeeeeeeeerruuuugggghghghghghghgghh. BBLAAAMppoKKKKKooooowwwwwww!!!!!!!!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:55 AM

      It will be Half-Life 2 Episode 3 and it will take seven hours to complete in one sitting.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:06 AM

        lol, I'm pretty sure Valve's HQ would burn.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:13 AM

        You say that like it's a bad thing. I'd totally fucking take that.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:56 AM

      neat, i love valve...

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 9:59 AM

      Is there anything they have done that wouldn't be a 3 if they did a sequel?

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:07 AM

      TF3/L4D3/Portal 3/HL3 jumbo pack

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:08 AM

      Options include:
      1. Left 4 Dead 3
      2. Half-Life 2 - Episode 3
      3. Half-Life 3
      4. Portal 3
      5. Team Fortress 3
      6. Dota 3
      7. Something to be released in 2013

      I'm skeptical at best.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:15 AM

        Please don't be:
        Dota 3 (not a knock on Dota, but don't L4D2 up Dota plz)
        Something in 2013

        And I think I'll be okay.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 10:37 AM

          dota 3 is the least likely, unless they made it significantly different from the yet-to-be-released dota 2

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:08 AM

      TF2 crate series #37

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:13 AM

      HL3 is to me what DNF is to dognose. If it ever comes out, and I play it... I won't know what to do with myself afterwards. The only major difference is that it wont suck donkey balls like DNF did. someone please flag this, so that when HL3 does release and it blows, you can all make fun of me

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 11:31 AM

        How can people even make that comparison? DNF took over 14 years to make. It's only been 4 years since HL2 Ep2. That's not even close.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 11:37 AM

          Additionally, there was a plethora of official media released for DNF over the 14 years. For EP3... there's been only loose speculation and 2-3 concept images released.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:14 AM

      S.T.A.L.K.3.R.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 11:13 AM

        fuck yeah!

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 11:16 AM

          Could you guys freaking imagine if they absorbed the crew and helped out and carried the IP on at Valve, OMG.

          • reply
            December 12, 2011 2:29 PM

            Wouldn't be out until 2020. This is Valve time.

          • reply
            December 13, 2011 2:20 AM

            Not sure Valve would be the right studio to keep STALKER true to what it is.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:24 AM

      its gonna be either left 4 dead 3 or portal 3, watch.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:25 AM

      Men In Black 3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:26 AM

      Another e-mail saying it's fake: http://i.imgur.com/XTZ3S.png

      A lot of people were suspicious if it was real, shacknews is not.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:29 AM

        Who knows what's real - I'm surprised that shacknews posted a whole article based on a post from 4chan

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:30 AM

        What if that image is fake?

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 10:36 AM

          What if Kingdepork is fake, CrustaR?

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 10:48 AM

          Will the real CrustaR please stand up

          • reply
            December 12, 2011 11:01 AM

            ateam, what if dognose isn't real?

            • reply
              December 12, 2011 11:05 AM

              Nobody likes popcorn that much.

              • reply
                December 12, 2011 11:07 AM

                MercFox, what if I'm not real?

            • reply
              December 12, 2011 3:24 PM

              If dognose isn't real then the entire shack is just bots!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:36 AM

      funny how this could apply to all their franchises except counterstrike!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:44 AM

      Left 4 Dead 3!!!! lol

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:48 AM

      Valve takes over NOLF franchise, is releasing NOLF 3.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:51 AM

        Thread carefully, my heart won't take this kind of disappointment.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:54 AM

        i want to go to there

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 10:59 AM

        they're also reviving Bullfrog and releasing Dungeon Keeper 3 too.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 11:15 AM

          Bring back Bizarre, give me Geometry Wars 3 (PLAY SCOREGASM, PEOPLE)

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 11:04 AM

        Hell yes.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 10:54 AM

      Please be Day of Defeat 3! :D

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:01 AM

      Oh for Christ sake

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:06 AM

      I wonder if the recent Defense Grid DLC has anything to do with it, - although it's Portal-based, some of GLaDOS's comments towards the end are a bit cryptic..

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:15 AM

      [ HL3 ] I is ready!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:21 AM

      The Three Box

      Half-Life 3
      Left 4 Dead 3
      Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

      A man can dream. :(

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 11:27 AM

        DAMN! This would even out sell MW3 numbers in a day.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 11:52 AM

          It should but no it wouldn't.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 11:54 AM

          I want it to be real so bad.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:23 AM

      I saw a pic with a Valve Employee with a Half-Life 3 shirt.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:30 AM

      <3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:54 AM

      At least after whatever it is that's announced, we'll only have to wait 2 or so years till release. Hooray I love waiting!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:57 AM

      OH MY GOD ASHERON'S CALL 3 YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSONMYFAECNAO

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 11:58 AM

      Half Life 1 and 2 in 3D

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:00 PM

      What if Kurt Kobain never actually killed himself and it was all a ruse for the upcoming BEST NIRVANA GIG EVER BROUGHT TO YOU BY GABEN

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:00 PM

      Valve bought Homeworld from Relic and is releasing HOMEWORLD 3: The Revenge of Karan

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:02 PM

      Oh baby. I really really want HL3! I am guessing its going to be bundled with L4D3 or TF3. Since new content is still being dumped in TF2, I am guessing L4D3 or maybe even Portal 3? They're at 3's with all the franchises ATM. Damn teasing bastards!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:23 PM

      "Earlier today Software studio Valve's head quarters was attacked and burned to the ground by an angry mob of "fans" in an apparent frenzied riot after the studio failed to release details of the highly anticipated new instalment in it's Half Life series. The studio had hinted late in 2011 that it would "make an announcement with a 3 in it" at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo known as E3.
      The attack on the Washington based studio is the latest in a string of incidents after Gabe Newell of Valve announced their new counter strike title would be renamed "CS:3" in a keynote speech given at the event.
      So far all charges linked to the reported incidents, including two assault and a lynching, have been dismissed with local Police labelling the violence as "totally justifiable" with one officer adding "Where the fuck is Half Life 3?!".
      At the time of going to press Gabe Newell was still listed as missing"

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 4:46 PM

        Well, at least the mob didn't steal their source code for it!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:26 PM

      Portal 3!

      On thw heels of winning many awards on the SPIKE VGAs, Valve has announced another entry in the critically-acclaimed Portal series. Portal 3 has a planned release in Q2 2012.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:31 PM

      Shacknews, isn't this a proven fake rumor off 4chan? Why are you posting this garbage?

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:32 PM

      Oh God I hope it's Caramgeddon 3 with Steamworks multiplayer and hat car DLC.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:33 PM

      3 new hats - FUCK YOU TOO VALVE!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:48 PM

      Valve bought the rights to Freespace 3, also included in the box: a true Star Control 3.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 12:53 PM

      the tease can only mean it's not HL3.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 1:04 PM

        They have so many 3's next it could be anything. L4D3, HL3, Portal 3, TF3.

        Please only HL3 or Ep 3 :(

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 1:03 PM

      Yeah, we know Valve plan to continue whatever it is with the Half-Life series. But very little in this article, or any of the other articles on other sites regarding this, is correct.

      This is all just hearsay. This article's source is a PC Gamer article... which itself sources an image of an e-mail "sent" to Newell, its contents written by 4chan's /v/.

      Every news site rushes to post the latest thing without actually reaching out themselves to confirm. They're reporting on other reports in a circlejerk to gain pagehits and are only misinforming their readers.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 1:09 PM

      I don't think I'd put my money on it being HL3 because that's almost too good to be true.. However it could be, it has been 6 years since HL2 was released. My bet would be either L4D3 or Portal 3. Please be Half-Life related though :D

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 1:20 PM

      Know what has 3 in it?

      http://i.imgur.com/asEZU.gif

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 1:24 PM

      Dungeon Keeper 3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 1:31 PM

      I want to buy Left 4 Dead 3 please :)

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 1:36 PM

      I looked at that screenshot, and thought to myself, who in their right mind would take that seriously at all... even for a rumor.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:16 PM

      The Three Amigo's!!!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:17 PM

      System Shock 3 :)

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 2:19 PM

        preparing to fap

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 2:30 PM

        oh em gee.

        I believe Irrational still owns the IP for System Shock, that is one game that is WELL overdue for a sequel/prequel.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 2:34 PM

          Irrational never owned System Shock, that shit went to Eidos along with Thief and Deus Ex and everything else at Ion Storm/Looking Glass.

          And besides, Irrational aren't a "thing" anymore. They're a studio under 2k, they don't own anything.

          • reply
            December 12, 2011 2:35 PM

            No wait! EA owns System Shock I think.

            • reply
              December 12, 2011 2:36 PM

              I believe the reason we haven't seen another sequel is because the IP ownership is such a cluster fuck.

              • reply
                December 12, 2011 2:46 PM

                Maybe, but I don't think Eidos or anyone else has sent fan projects a C&D while EA has on multiple occasions, so there's that.

                I believe the reason you haven't seen a sequel is that the games were never a moneymaker and Bioshock already bastardised that exact style of rpg-shooter into console friendly form, so there's not much to do with the IP. You can't even use the name, like you can with XCom, for it just being a cool name cause again it would sound too much like Bioshock. So if someone made a System Shock game it would be purely cause they wanted to do something genuinely new and interesting with it, and at the same time didn't care about justifying it in market analysis terms.

                And Valve would be one of the few companies that could do such a project and do it well.

                No I don't actually believe they're working on System Shock 3 at all.

                • reply
                  December 12, 2011 3:05 PM

                  The IP would definitely be best served by a well funded private developer. Too bad Valve is the only one that comes to mind.

              • reply
                December 12, 2011 2:48 PM

                The GOG.com thread on Something Awful said an insurance company partially got rights to the series after Looking Glass went under. No idea how true that is but the rights to the series are a fucking mess anyway.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 2:36 PM

        That would be some kind of amazing.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 8:28 PM

        Actually one of the only titles Valve could announce other than HL3 that would keep me from raging.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:24 PM

      LBA3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:28 PM

      <3

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:34 PM

      They will announce that Max Payne 3 will be released on Steam.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:39 PM

      Episode 3 and Half-Life 3 on their new engine.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:43 PM

      Terra Nova 2! Fuck all that "3" noise!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 2:48 PM

      The 3 Amigos: Cornbread Enemas

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 3:02 PM

      Madden 13

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 3:08 PM

      If this contains ANYTHING other then Half-Life 3 I will fire Valve as my favorite Developer for eternity. They can bundle L4D3, Portal 3, Team Fortress 3 and Hello Kitty 3 in it for all I care, but HL3 on a new engine is an absolute must.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 3:13 PM

      3 Million new hats?

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 3:24 PM

      Doesn't all the info point towards the convergence of Portal and Half-Life franchises?

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 3:32 PM

        The Portal and Half-Life fictions have been intertwined since HL2 EP2, when Eli Vance mentions Aperture Science. Also, in Portal 2, in the 70's section, you can find the drydock of the ship Borealis (that's right, a ship drydock. In a cave.).

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 3:34 PM

          Portal itself had several references to Black Mesa throughout the game.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 4:05 PM

        Well it looks like aperture will play a big part in half life but seemed like they intentionally shifted the time of the setting in portal to be well after what happens in half life happens.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 4:43 PM

          Yeah probably moves her into the HL2 time period.

          • reply
            December 12, 2011 5:23 PM

            No.

            Portal 2 is thought to take place hundreds of years after Portal 1.
            Portal 1 is thought to take place roughly around the time of the resonance cascade.
            Half-Life 2 is thought to take place roughly twenty years after Half-Life 1.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 4:36 PM

      THREEVE!

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 5:50 PM

      Half Life 2: 3D edition

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 6:05 PM

      Steam API: v 013

      Duh...

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 6:09 PM

      weren't all these confirmed as fake?

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 6:17 PM

      Other than Half-Life 2, has Valve even BEEN to E3? They seem to just release press releases and videos, but not actually go to E3. They didn't go to E3 last year. They didn't show DOTA 2 at E3 because they weren't there this year.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 6:20 PM

        Gabe went on stage to announce Portal 2 for the PS3.

        • reply
          December 12, 2011 6:33 PM

          Ah, I forgot about that. There haven't been any game unveils at E3 though.

      • reply
        December 12, 2011 8:46 PM

        E3 is pretty much a joke these days. The Germans and the Japanese have the big conventions devs care about. The one good one they do love here is GDC. They seem to like it more than E3 anyway.

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 8:29 PM

      Clue: 3D?

    • reply
      December 12, 2011 8:32 PM

      Purple Box: HL3, TF3 and Portal 3

    • reply
      December 13, 2011 1:51 AM

      Doug Church joined Valve this year...

      System Shock... 3?

      I think I just ruined my underwear.

    • reply
      December 13, 2011 10:02 AM

      Hopefully it's L4D3!!!

    • reply
      December 14, 2011 6:34 PM

      definitely Left 4 Dead 3

      • reply
        December 14, 2011 8:00 PM

        too soon. if anything, Team Fortress 3.