It’s been almost 10 years since Valve released Half-Life 2, a game which is still considered to be one of the best first-person shooters of all-time. The Half-Life franchise has maintained its strong fan base over the last decade, with gamers continuing to make way too many “Half-Life 3 Confirmed!” jokes every time another rumor pops up about an unreleased game.
When Valve released the last content update (Episode Two) for Half-Life 2 in 2007, most gamers just assumed that the developer would naturally begin to work on the next major installment of its key franchise. But a look at the current gaming landscape shows that Valve may have other priorities. Its Steam platform is now an industry leader for purchasing PC games and Valve’s most successful piece of software is DotA 2, a free-to-play MOBA that handed out more than $10 million in tournament money last summer.
Still, these developments have not deterred Half-Life fans from clamoring for Half-Life 3. But while most of the campaign has been waged so far through the use of memes and comments on Internet message boards, two marketing firm employees are trying to increase the pressure by taking their pleas to a crowdfunding website.
Chris Salem and Kyle Mazzei are working in conjunction with their firm, McKee Wallwork & Co, on an IndieGoGo campaign that seeks to use advertising to get Valve’s attention.
Their plan is as follows:
- At $3,000, they will target all 300 employees of Valve with a Google AdWord campaign so that when anyone types their name into Google, they’ll see an ad pop up that says “we want Half-Life 3.”
- At $9,000, Salem and Mazzei will send a truck with a giant Half-Life 3 billboard to drive around Valve’s headquarters.
- At $45,000, numerous look-a-likes of Valve co-founder Gabe Newell will be dispatched to Valve headquarters, all wearing “we want Half-Life 3” t-shirts.
- And at $150,000, Salem and Mazzei will put on a concert in Seattle that will be themed around Half-Life and will invite all Valve employees and fans.
At press time, the campaign, which has 31 days left, had raised only $500.
While it’s admirable that the duo is passionate about the franchise, it’s highly doubtful that Valve is going to fast-track its next Half-Life game just because of this campaign. Valve is a privately held company, and as such, has no stockholders to appease. The company also has a history of not releasing a game until it’s 100 percent fully polished and ready to go.
The fact that this campaign has only raised $500 so far despite getting attention in the gaming media over the last couple of days may imply that many other Half-Life 3 fans don’t see the point. In fact, many of the comments on the campaign video’s YouTube channel are actually yelling at Salem and Mazzei to stop pressuring Valve. “You think Valve doesn’t know that fans want HL3?”, user Dukefrukeum posted. “Waste of time this is.”
Moreover, the marketers allegations that there has been no news on Half-Life 3 are also untrue; the creator of Counter-Strike claimed Valve was working on the game just a few months ago.
At the very least, Salem and Mazzei seem to have succeeded at getting some attention for their marketing firm. McKee Wallwork & Co has been mentioned numerous times on popular gaming sites.
Follow Jason Gallagher on Twitter @MuckrakerJG