It has been a long, winding road for the Half-Life faithful ever since Episode 2 released in 2007. Fans have rallied and the community has exploded, but there has been hardly a peep from famed developer Valve about their most precious property and its inevitable follow-up.
On an already revealing podcast appearance, Gabe Newell did not answer any questions about the long development time of Half-Life 3/Episode 3, but he was forced to face the music concerning a sequel to one of the less praised Valve titles – Ricochet (only not really).
In a clever attempt to avoid asking Newell directly about quite possibly the most requested sequel in the video game world, the hosts of SevenDayCooldown replaced any mention of Half-Life 3 with Ricochet 2. Newell was happy to play along, and provided the following quote when asked why the development of “Ricochet 2” was going so slowly with so little information being given to the fans:
“In terms of Ricochet 2, we always have this problem that when we talk about things too far in advance, we end up hinging our minds as we’re going through and developing stuff, so as we’re thinking through the giant story arc that is Ricochet 2, you might get to a point where you’re saying, “some thing is surprising us in a positive way and some thing is surprising us in a negative way.” We’d like to be super transparent about the future of Ricochet 2. The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we’re going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it until we can be very crisp about what’s happening next.”
The hosts then asked Newell if anyone had moved off the next iteration of Half-Life in order to work on other projects for the developer, and whether or not this was why development might have slowed down. His answer:
“Uh, no. Everybody who is working on Ricochet 2 continues to work on Ricochet 2.”
Although the Valve team has had to ward-off a constant stream of questioning about Half-Life‘s future for about five years now, there has never been much doubt that the developer is still hard at work continuing the adventures of Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance. As a huge fan of the series, it is a relief to finally hear at least a few details about… Ricochet 2‘s development. As Newell states, if Valve had been open with fans about development of Half-Life 3/Episode 3 since 2007, we might be as cross-eyed as the writers and developers themselves by now.
It is clear from this interview (although it was clear before) that Newell and the team at Valve care about their consumers and their employees far more than making a quick buck or stirring up controversy. The “when it’s done” approach has never failed Valve in the past, so do not expect to see that mentality change anytime soon. The Washington-based team wants to put out the best possible product, even if it means spending years debating the finer points of their most respected storyline.
Does Newell’s openness about the “positive” and “negative” surprises faced in development make the ongoing wait for a Half-Life follow-up a little easier to stomach, Ranters? Let us know in the comments below.