Valve insider: 'There is no such thing as Half-Life 3'

An anonymous source says that Half-Life 3 could have gone through several iterations across multiple genres, but no idea has progressed very far.


Game Informer's Andrew Reiner has been sitting on a lengthy interview with an anonymous source from Valve that confirms fans' worst fear: Half-Life 3 does not exist... at least, not right now.

Reiner opened by asking the question on every fan's mind: what's the likelihood of wrapping up the Half-Life franchise, either with an third episode for Half-Life 2 or a full-fledged sequel?

"I don’t think there will be any more. But at any given moment, they make decisions as they come. If some people within Valve make something that they collectively feel is exciting, then it will happen. That’s going to be hard for that to happen now," said Reiner's source.

The problem, according to the insider, is that Half-Life has attracted bad mojo. Every time an internal project gains traction only to fail, everybody grows discouraged, and hesitates to try again. "People are going to harass them for more Half-Life. The idea of delivering a third episode of Half-Life 2, that’s dead. There’s no universe where that will happen. I think there is a universe where a standalone thing could come together to fill in that hole, but that’s tough."

Constant fluctuations of industry business models also dampen the odds of getting a Half-Life sequel. "There is no such thing as Half-Life 3," the source said. "Valve has never announced a Half-Life 3. The closest they’ve come is after Half-Life 2, they said there would be three episodes. We only got two of those. That is arguably an unfulfilled promise. Anything else that we might think about as a full game or sequel has never been promised."

Some internal discussions went so far as to pitch taking a sequel out of its FPS roots and into another genre. "They’ve had some different thoughts about what it should be. Some are all over the place, from one end of the spectrum being what you would expect – a single-player narrative-focused game – to completely different entertainment ideas that are as wild as they are weird. They were thinking about using the Half-Life characters as a brand for entirely different purposes. Some were bizarre, like turning Half-Life into an RTS, or a live-action, choice-driven game."

None of those conversations progressed far enough for The Powers That Be at Valve to give a nod of approval.

If Valve can't or won't do it, why not license Half-Life to a third party interested in putting a bow on the series? The answer is that Valve worries any team other than an internal one would deliver a product that fell short of player expectations.

Reiner decided to publish the interview after renewed interest from readers, albeit with a few caveats: that only one source agreed to speak with him; that the source insisted on anonymity; and that, although this individual spoke candidly, Reiner was unable to corroborate the information because no one else agreed to chime in.

Still, Reiner's a pro at reporting, and felt confident enough in his source to go ahead and publish the interview, although he does ask readers to take everything with a grain of salt.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 12, 2017 1:06 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Valve insider: 'There is no such thing as Half-Life 3'

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      January 12, 2017 1:25 PM

      So you're saying... HL3 confirmed?

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      January 12, 2017 1:25 PM

      ...all I'm hearing is Half-life it must exist.

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      January 12, 2017 1:26 PM


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        January 12, 2017 1:41 PM

        Haha. Andrew Reiner did the interview, and that dude is an old hand at this stuff. I deemed it substantial enough to share.

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      January 12, 2017 1:46 PM

      Fucking BS. They need to at least do something to wrap up the episodes story.

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        January 12, 2017 3:30 PM

        They need to at least do something to wrap up the episodes story.

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          January 12, 2017 4:28 PM

          Yea, it wouldn't piss me off if they were struggling, but I kind of feel like they screwed all their fans over with it.

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      January 12, 2017 3:21 PM

      Valve is making absurd amounts of money from the Steam store so why bother making games themselves?

      If Steam ever crashed, like say from the massive flood of garbage games that populate Steam these days, then Valve would very likely get HL3 started up.

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        January 12, 2017 3:26 PM

        Because making money isn't everything. You would think that a bunch of creatives would want to do something new.

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          January 12, 2017 3:29 PM

          Maybe something new is something fresher or different than more Half-Life? I mean, they worked on that franchise for 12 years straight, and it felt like they were running out of steam (haha) by the end of Episode 2.

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            January 12, 2017 3:31 PM

            Sure. Besides hats (being a jerk on purpose) what have they done new creatively in the past 5 years? Portal 2 was the last 'creative' thing I believe. That's a long time ago in gaming terms.

            I'd be ok with new IP. New L4D. Portal. Anything. Besides CS and Dota changes.

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            January 12, 2017 4:27 PM

            How do you figure they were running out of steam on Episode 2? I thought it was a high point for the series.

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          January 12, 2017 4:40 PM

          Give me all the money and let me decide for myself.

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            January 12, 2017 7:47 PM

            hes got a good point, theyve been losing a number of high profile creatives over the years due to their shift.

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        January 12, 2017 5:55 PM

        at some point, you have to actually make the fans of your games happy and give them something.

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          January 12, 2017 6:05 PM

          No you don't.

          I mean yeah it would be awesome but it's not like anyone is going to say "fuck this shit, I'm never buying anything from Steam again until they make HL3"

          They've been slowly migrating out of the game development business and into dominating digital distribution and other channels and that's just how it is.

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      January 12, 2017 4:15 PM

      ...So you're saying there's a chance Valve employees talk about Half Life 3!

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      January 12, 2017 4:46 PM

      It won't have a number, it'll be Half-life: Resurgence.

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      January 12, 2017 7:26 PM

      In absence of HL3, I will also accept a Telltale adventure game set in the Half-life universe. It should be called Half-life: The Lost Episodes: Chronicles of Gordon: A Telltale Game Series.

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      January 12, 2017 7:28 PM

      I never finished Episode 2. I got sidetracked at some point and never got back. So for me, the franchise is still not over yet.

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