Instead of listing every rumour, leak and faked screenshot from the last 13 years, we’re going to focus on the main and most interesting pieces of news – starting with the most recent and going all the way back to 1999 without creating a thesis length article.
See also: Nintendo Switch hands-on review.
Half Life 3 release date rumours
The most recent piece of Half Life 3 news is one of the most positive, although don’t get too excited because it’s not like the game has been confirmed.
During an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit, Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell was asked about Half Life 3 – naturally. In reply he said “The number 3 must not be said.” but later on he responded to a question about the possibility of a new game in the Half Life and Portal universe.
Newell said: "Yep."
Well that’s pretty positive but doesn’t means it’s Half Life 3 and although he said his favourite Valve game is Portal 2 he added "There's no information in my response about what we'll do in the future." He also said that movies about Half Life and Portal in collaboration between Valve and JJ Abrams are coming.
It’s also worth noting that Newell commented on why Valve doesn’t make regular announcements to keep fans up to date explaining: "Because our decision making is way more conditional than most other companies. The one thing we won't do is waste our customers time and money, which means we will cancel or change stuff much later in development. Tracking our choices would be annoying and frustrating."
Although Newell’s comments are some of the most interesting pieces of news around Half Life 3, it can be frustrating for fans as they neither confirm nor deny the existence of the game. Here’s what he said a back in 2015.
"I'm a fan of games, and I certainly understand why people are like, 'Hey, I remember this awesome experience and I'm starting to get worried that I'm never gonna get to have it again.' [...] so we understand it, and we feel that, and we think at the end of the day customers are gonna be really happy with where we spent our time and how we've turned that into entertainment for them."
"The only reason we'd go back and do a super-classic kind of product is if a whole bunch of people internally at Valve said that they wanted to do it and had a reasonable explanation for why [they did], but if you wanna do another Half-Life game, and you wanna ignore everything we've learned, [...] that seems like a bad choice, so we'll keep moving forward, but that doesn't necessarily always mean what people are worried that it might mean."
In an interview with Gabe Newell, he explains: "When we started out we were a single-player video game company that could have been really successful just doing Half-Life sequel after Half-Life sequel, but we collectively said let's try to make multi-player games even though there's never been a commercial successful multiplayer game."
Many fans got excited in 2013 because trademarks for "HALF-LIFE 3" and "PORTAL 3" are filed; supposedly both filed by Valve, but later disappear.
Before that, the Half Life 3 group is leaked apparently consisting of 46 people with a core group from that number made up of 10.
A Half Life 3 T-Shirt went viral thanks to social media back in 2011 as it was supposedly worn by a Valve employee who was happy to have the T-Shirt photographed but not his face at a ‘local game development event’.
April fools jokes can get the better of anyone and this one had many news sites reporting Half Life 3 as a suddenly available on Steam. They didn’t check the date or the additional ‘p’ in the URL - http://store.steamppowered.com/
Just a few months after The Orange Box was released, fake Half Life 3 screenshots and like started circulating. The below image did the rounds and although it might appear to be pretty good, it is, of course, a fake.
In 2006 an episode scheme was revealed confirming Episode Three would arrive Christmas 2007. It was also announced that new episodes would be released every six to eight months and would take around four hours to complete.
Long story short is that Valve never released Episode Three despite confirming things like Gordon Freeman being the main protagonist and being asked about the subject on numerous occasions.
The website domain half-life3.com is registered under the same details as half-life2.com, with Valve as the contact. The URL previously redirected to The Orange Box website, but is now nothing.