Valve is really testing the patience of Half-Life fans. Or are they? Not many game developers have hit the level of free publicity through rumors and speculation as Valve has for the unannounced Half-Life 3.
While hiding the franchise under the radar, Valve had focused work on Steam as well as their other brands, including Portal, Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2. But while they're bringing back another one of their most popular series with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, there's still no official movement on the long-awaited Half-Life 3.
It's gotten to the point where some fans are sick of waiting, not sick of waiting for the game to release, but sick of waiting to hear whether or not it's even coming. From developers sporting Half-Life 3 shirts and Gabe Newell potentially teasing a release window to an all-out denial and a questionable photo, fans just don't know what to think anymore and some have rallied together to demand better communication.
Three weeks ago, a Steam community group was created by loyal fans in an effort to catch Valve's attention, something they're certainly doing now, having reached 10,000 members over the weekend and now making headlines with their goals.
It's rather interesting and they're taking a good approach to their desires as fans, not trolling or attempting to rush development, so take a look at their mission statement:
The lack of communication between Valve and the Half-Life community has been a frustrating experience. While continued support for current and future products is greatly appreciated, fans of the Half-Life series have waited years for a word on when the franchise will return.
So, Instead of focusing efforts in a negative and disrespectful way, we have decided to gain Valve's attention by delivering a basic message:
Your oldest and longest running fanbase would like better communication.
Waiting patiently for over four years is a daunting task, especially when E3 comes and goes without any beat of a Half-Life pulse, time and time again. Valve had stated that information was scheduled to be released towards the end of 2008, and we believe that if they have chosen, for whatever reason, to withhold this information, fans should at least be acknowledged in some way, regardless of developmental plans for the next Half-Life project. The entire trilogy of episodes was supposed to be completed and released by 2007, and if Valve have decided to do other things for the time being, that is fine; all that we ask for is a basic response on the matter, and to let fans know whether or not the current story arc is scheduled to conclude at another point in time.
In addition: This message is in no way, shape or form attempting to rush the development of the Half-Life series; in fact, most members agree that Valve should take the time needed to deliver a complete and polished product.
If you agree with the above message and statements, please join this group and share your support constructively.
Hopefully such attention will be recognized by Valve, and the community's voice will be heard.
We totally understand the frustration as fans of Half-Life ourselves, but how long did StarCraft fans have to wait for word on a sequel to their beloved strategy game?
Valve has played coy with the franchise, but we know there's good reason behind it. There's no way they're not working on another Half-Life and if it's taking this long, we can hope that it's going to push boundaries like its predecessor did.
What will Valve think of this we wonder? Having such passionate fans somewhat disappointed can be a little disconcerting but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Why announce something that could be so far away, that could be next-gen?
Either way, Valve should be proud to have a fanbase who care this much and hopefully we'll hear something about it at E3 2012.
[January 31, 2012 Update: The group sits at over 30,000 fans and are planning a Half-Life 2 event on Steam to earn more attention from Valve.]
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Source: Message to Valve Steam Group