It's hard to think of another video game franchise that can drum up such fanatical rumor-mongering and conspiracy theories as well as Half-Life. With the horizon seemingly clear of any announcements regarding Half-Life 3, online sleuths have dug up some fairly compelling details and what they call 'hints' from Valve directly over the past few months. But one employee at the developer has come forward to explain that the most popular theories and 'evidence' being discussed on the company's forums are completely false.
It's not hard to understand why so many people don't just want to believe that Half-Life 3 does exist, but is going to be announced in the immediate future. The franchise has had its position in the pantheon of great games solidified over the years, and the recent Valve releases of Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 have shown the world that just about anything they produce quickly turns to gold. So naturally, the time has never been better for the team to make good on their promise of bringing yet another Gordon Freeman adventure. Right?
Apparently not. Valve has become notoriously tight-lipped about whether or not HL3 is even being worked on at the moment, even skipping this past E3 altogether. So when September's beta of DOTA 2 was broken open and Half-Life 3 weapon details were found inside, hopes were once again kindled that production on the game was more than just a pipe dream.
Then December happened. First it was the Valve employee wearing a Half-Life 3 shirt, followed closely by the mysterious Steam achievements spotted for the still-unannounced title. The rumors surrounding an impending announcement were bolstered by emails sent by Valve's own Gabe Newell, which have since been confirmed to be complete fabrications. Even the lovable personality sphere Wheatley's VGA speeches were broken down to uncover dubious codes and embedded messages.
Until now Valve has remained their usual composed selves and not engaged with the rumor-mongers and message board detectives, but apparently Chet Faliszek - writer and co-writer of Portal, Half-Life and Left 4 Dead - has had enough. Faliszek took to the Steam forums to hopefully put an end to the constant suspicion:
"You are being trolled.
There is no ARG.
Wheatley's speech was set in Portal 2 fiction - that is all.
There has been no directive from Gabe to leak anything. That is all false.
I just want to say this so there is no confusion. This is the community trolling the community nothing more. While it is nice to see people excited about anything HL, I hate seeing people be trolled like this.
This clarification won't likely do much to quell the rise of speculation, since Faliszek stops short of confirming if and when the game may see the light of day. But considering how much Valve has on its plate, it's becoming more and more apparent that Half-Life 3 isn't as high on its list of priorities as fans would like.
What's your take on Faliszek's comments? Do you think this is a final word, or simply another side-step by the notoriously cloak and dagger developers? Think Half-Life 3 is still as much a certainty as previously assumed?
Whenever more details arise, we'll keep you up to date.
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