Valve has broken its long-standing silence on the matter of the Half-Life series to debunk claims that Half-Life 3 would be due for release in late 2014.
Valve's Half-Life franchise is possibly the company's most iconic creation, arguably only behind the Steam digital distribution platform in terms of impact on the gaming world. The title was praised for its engaging storytelling - despite a mute lead character and the use of in-game exposition rather than immersion-destroying cutscenes to progress the plot. Its sequel, Half-Life 2, spawned the Source engine which has underpinned Valve's games since - along with a set of episodic semi-sequels, Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Episode 2.
Since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 in 2007, however, the franchise has gone worryingly quiet and the plot - revolving around the alien invasion unwittingly triggered by the player as Gordon Freeman back in the original Half-Life - left on a cliffhanger ending. Since Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Valve has released a total of eight games - only two of which, Portal and its sequel, arguably take place in the Half-Life universe but which do not continue the storyline of the original series.
Fans, as you might imagine, have been somewhat displeased by the six-year hiatus. Even the most scant of evidence - such as the posting of a supposed Half-Life 3 promotional T-shirt
- is taken as evidence that the game is just over the horizon, and some gamers have even held digital sit-in protests
in an attempt to get Valve to talk publicly on the subject.
So far, however, all efforts to push Valve into commenting on the franchise have been for naught - until a little-known WordPress blog dedicated to gaming, the somewhat distastefully titled No Shit Shurlock
, claimed to have official confirmation that not only was Half-Life 3 in active production but that it would be released on PC and console platforms by the end of next year.
The confirmation, site founder Niels Bosch claimed, came from level designer John Guthrie. Speaking to the site, Guthrie is claimed to have stated outright that Half-Life 3 is in the works. 'I can’t confirm all too much since the development is still in early stages, but for now I can confirm that we are going to release [Half-Life 3] on both current and next generation consoles and we will also release the game on our own platform exclusively for Pc and Mac,
' Guthrie is quoted as stating. 'We hope to have the first trailer ready for E3 2014, which we will finally come back to.
All in all, exciting times for Half-Life 3 fans - and a major scoop for Bosch. That is, if the story were true. Sadly, it appear to be anything but the case - with Valve going so far as to break its long-standing silence to denounce the claims as absolute claptrap. Speaking to CVG
, an unnamed spokesperson for the company had simply one thing to say about the site's story: 'Bogus.
' Guthrie, meanwhile, could not be contacted for comment.
Fans of Half-Life, it seems, are going to be kept in suspense by Valve for a little longer yet.