Dota 2 is one of the most popular games around, with the Valve-developed title sitting pretty as one of the standout examples of a successful MOBA game. Unfortunately, the game does not quite gel with the type of projects that Valve had historically created, and recently Half-Life fans in particular have taken to the game’s Steam review pages to vent their frustration over the lack of movement when it comes to the shooter franchise.
Although Dota 2 may well not be responsible for the failure to release Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or Half-Life 3, fans of the FPS series certainly seem to be using the MOBA title as a scapegoat at this moment in time. Over the last few days, the Dota 2 Steam page has been hit with a wave of bad reviews, with the focus of many being Valve’s apparent abandonment of Half-Life as a whole.
Among the reviews are those that claim that Dota 2 is “the game that killed HL3,” as well as various references to the Half-Life series, such as one review that succinctly puts “wake up and smell the ashes.” One review in particular cut to the root of the issue that these fans are taking, stating that “the fans of Valve deserve Valve’s respect, just stop with the silence and tell us what your plans about HL3 are.”
This spate of poor reviews seems to have been kicked off by the fact that former Half-Life series developer Mark Laidlaw shared a potential story for Half-Life 2: Episode 3 this week. Unfortunately, the fact that Laidlaw revealed it at all was taken by many as proof that Valve had abandoned the Half-Life franchise altogether. Mixed in with other sources of dissatisfaction, such as the announcement of Dota 2-themed card game Artifact, and Valve is certainly getting a sense for the unhappiness that some gamers have.
Valve has remained steadfast in its silence when it comes to the Half-Life series, and it has now been over eleven years since the announcement of Half Life 2: Episode 3. The episode was initially meant to release in winter 2007, meaning that by the end of this year it will have been a full decade since the game was supposed to be available. With Half-Life 3 still nowhere to be seen at all, and Valve tight-lipped about Episode 3, it’s no wonder some fans have grown impatient.
Even so, some might be struggling to see a correlation between Dota 2 and the future of the Half-Life series, and it wasn’t long ago that Dota 2 was seen as a beacon of hope for Half-Life 3. Other games such as Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 have released since Episode 3‘s announcement, after all, and perhaps a larger reason for Half-Life‘s status in stasis could be the growth of Steam as a distribution platform. Nonetheless, the MOBA title is definitely the punching bag of Half-Life fans for the moment.