Gabe Newell Acknowledges Frustrations With Half-Life 3

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Gabe Newell Acknowledges Frustrations With Half-Life 3

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Valve boss Gabe Newell knows gamers are frustrated by the lack of news on the Half-Life front but says he doesn't want to make promises until he's ready to keep them.

Half-Life - the original - came out in 1998. Think about that for a second. There are high school students today who weren't born when Half-Life hit the shelves. Half-Life 2 came out in 2004, followed by two "episodic" releases in 2006 and 2007. Since then, nothing, not even a peep from Valve that any sort of continuation is in the works.

For most games that'd be the end of the story, as gamers would assume the series was dead and move on to other things. But Half-Life is not most games, which is how we end up with things like 13,000 people playing an eight year old shooter on a Saturday afternoon just to get Valve's attention. Yet Valve is well aware of the situation, according to Newell, and it's doing its best to keep everyone happy.

"We're acutely aware of how much we annoy our fans and it's pretty frustrating to us when we put them into that situation," he told Penny Arcade. "We try to go as fast as we can and we try to pick the things that we think are going to be most valuable to our customers and if there's some magic way we can get more work done in a day then we'd love to hear about it, but we recognize that it's been a long time whereas we have so many games that people really love - Counterstrike, Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, not a whole lot of Ricochet enthusiasts out there, and at the same time we want to be making sure that those games and those stories and those characters are moving forward while also making sure that we don't just get into terminal sequelitis."

"But we've always somehow, you know, part of the reason that we backed off talking so much about what was happening in the future is that when we've done that in the past, you know, with Half-Life 1 it was a year after we originally said it would be, Half-Life 2 basically if you go and read the forum posts apparently took us fifty or sixty years to get done so we're trying to be careful not to get people too excited and then have to go and disappoint them," he continued. "So we're sort of reacting in the other direction and saying 'Okay, well let's have things a little more baked before we start getting people all excited about it.'"

I think there's a bit of a disconnect between turning down the hype machine and going radio silent for half a decade, and that's really where the problem lies - not that we don't have Half-Life 3 (or Episode 3) in our hot little hands at this very moment, but that we don't even know if we ever will. On the other hand, we're still talking about it, which I suppose speaks well of Valve's ability to keep the conversation going while simultaneously staying out of it, so if the game is actually in development, I suppose kudos of some sort are in order.

As to whether or not Valve is currently at work on a new Half-Life title, Newell didn't say.

Permalink

I wish people would give Valve a break. Half-Life 3 would be awesome, yes, but Valve is gonna make it when they're ready to make it. It reminds me of when people always used to pester me to draw them stuff when they heard that I liked to draw -_-

making sure that we don't just get into terminal sequelitis

Gotta really respect Valve for this - whilst they clearly do do sequels it would be easy to churn out a new HL every year or so like some franchises but Valve would rather strive for quality over quantity.

A rare thing in today's industry.

Well Valve are very good at keeping schtum about the game. They can take as long as they want developing it as long as it doesn't turn into a DNF mishap and it's development cycle doesn't outlive me. That would be annoying.

Clicked on the Penny Arcade link. Saw Gabe's epic beard.


Or rather the start of one. Maybe that is whats taking up all of Valve's time!

Gabe Quest: The Epic Beard! Announcing at an E3 near you!

we don't just get into terminal sequelitis.

That's why we left everything unanswered and the last game ended with a nutcracking cliffhanger. Come on, Valve, you're better than making excuses this stupid. And this isn't coming from someone who particularly loves you. Just say you can't come up with a satisfying way to conclude the story. Say you got bored of it. Something that makes sense.

Edit: By the way, remember your last year's artistic endeavor? That sequel that certainly had plenty of reason to exist to a game with a completely non-definite ending? Remember that?

Just like the previous poster, my first thought was "beware the DNF syndrome"... People are bound to be disappointed.

The title on the home page:

Gabe Newell Acknowledges Half-Life 3

The title on the article page:

Gabe Newell Acknowledges Frustrations With Half-Life 3

Oh you dicks.

Dear god, that beard. And i gotta admit, he looks awesome with it.
And reading that Penny Arcade thingy, it made me think how awesome Valve is.
And hey, as long as HL3 comes out when Im still alive, Ill be happy. I think. Because Im pretty sure it`s gonna be worth the wait.

Hearing that Half-Life 2 came out 8 years ago is mind-boggling to me. It's the FPS I've played most recently and it's by far the one that feels the most recent to me.

You would think that in a generation full of 90% shooting games that one developer besides Valve would get a bit of a handle on it.

I wish I could feign non-chalance and say who cares if it ever comes out, but that would be a lie. I do care, and any hipsters who tries to say they're over it are lying too.

"Tell Me Mr Newel if you can,
You have destroyed so much (time)
What is it exactly that you have created?
Can you name even one thing?
...
I thought not."

This man is politician material.

He just managed to say quit a bit without saying a damn thing.

Sgt Pepper:

making sure that we don't just get into terminal sequelitis

Gotta really respect Valve for this - whilst they clearly do do sequels it would be easy to churn out a new HL every year or so like some franchises but Valve would rather strive for quality over quantity.

A rare thing in today's industry.

The devilry here is that they TRIED to make Half-Life 2 an episodic thing by design, and quit only a couple of episodes in due to the crushing time requirements for their level of quality (as indicated by their commentary tracks; a lot of work goes into the simplest things).

So, in a twist of fate, HL2 was intended to be "sequelized" by design, and it ultimately moved away from that.

Akin to politicians, Valve is going the "never answer yes or no" approach to any questions about Half Life sequels. To say that this is frustrating is the understatement of the century.

Seriously, wtf? Just say "no, we're not working on it right now and we don't know if or when we will". It's super easy, and would certainly satisfy me.
You can only feed the hype so far with these DISRESPECTFUL tactics. There is a reason there is so much politician hate in the world nowadays. Eventually, people will have had enough and your reputation will suffer from it.

Please, Valve. You're one of the few "good" game devs in the business right now. Don't make people want to hate you, or worse, start to feel apathy for you.

I don't know what he's so worried about. People will still buy the game no matter how long it takes for it to come out. Look at Duke Nukem Forever.

And he's in a tight spot. He says anything, and the die-hard fans will run over it with a fine tooth comb looking for hidden information. "GUYZ if you turn the first letter of each of his sentences into their ASCII value, add them together, multiply by the coeffecient of pi, you get 11252016 which means the game will definitely be released on Nov 25, 2016. DUUUUUUUUUDE."

I'm so tired of hearing other people whine about 3 that I've long since stopped caring if it ever sees the light of day.

Eri:
I'm so tired of hearing other people whine about 3 that I've long since stopped caring if it ever sees the light of day.

I'm so tired of hearing other people who are supposedly tired of something and feel so superior about it they have to tell about it to everyone they can. If this is something you don't care about anymore, just say that. Don't imply that no-one should care.

That's almost a BRIAN BLESSED beard.

Here's an idea Gabe, find yourself a science fiction writer, preferably one with a good background in horror; and let him write you a script.

I'm sure there's a few authors out there who would write you something truly stunning. Then all you have to do is program it. :)

Viridian:
The title on the home page:

Gabe Newell Acknowledges Half-Life 3

The title on the article page:

Gabe Newell Acknowledges Frustrations With Half-Life 3

Oh you dicks.

Thank you. I noticed the same thing. Misleading much?

That's a good way to approach it. Although in this time of social media where people want their information, while they're not yet set in stone and all the interaction with developers that they can get, it's not the most common way yet. It's not that many years ago when you probably found out a release date by it's "<"-value for a game, when you saw it on a shelf of a store.

Frankly, I'm not at all enthusiastic about the future of Half-Life 3 right now. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a completely different story then again, whilst talking about Valve. Civilization V's expansion pack is my most anticipated one.

And just casually mentioning Diablo III... That's what you get when giving out "too much" information. I've yet to seen a place about Diablo III where the majority of responses weren't about begging and raging about the game's continually postponed release. Without revealing that I'm between pre-ordering the normal and collector's edition and read a wall o' text about the new rune system yesterday set out for the 13th beta patch, that I'm running for on contest on four different newlyfounded community sites that Blizzard intelligently helps to grow with things like that.

Because lord knows that keeping tight lips with Half Life 2 ended so well. Oh wait no it didn't! Someone ended up hacking Valve and releasing the source code about a year before the game hit store shelves. Man it sure would be a "pity" if something like that happened again. Those who don't learn from history I suppose . . .

What is he talking about? Nobody is rushing them to make a sequel, people just want them to finish the Half Life 2 episodic series.
Now I get the feeling that if they're going to continue the series they might skip episode 3 and make a full sequel that would have Gordon wake up years after the events of Half Life 2.

I'm just going to throw this out there: Half Life 3 is the new Duke Nukem Forever. It'll take twelve years to develop, during which it'll be used as a metaphoric answer to "When will this thing that's never going to happen happen?" and the company developing it will declare bankruptcy. Several months after said bankruptcy, there will be a surprise announcement with a release date set in late December. The hype will then be renewed, with all sorts of titillating trailers featuring plenty of disconnected gameplay footage. The game will be released on time, will be a thorough disappointment, and will be almost completely forgotten by New Years.

See you all in December 2020.

I'm surprised fans are still taking this. It's been years since Episode 2 came out with about as big a cliff hanger as you can get and they won't tell their fans anything at all. I'm about ready to wash my hands of the Half-Life series at this point.

*I realize he's talking about HL3 here but seriously, how about you talk about Episode 3 at some point? I really don't care about HL3 until I know how HL2 ends.

I loved the half-life series and the episodes but at this point, I just don't care anymore and I can't imagine I'm the only one.

templar1138a:
I'm just going to throw this out there: Half Life 3 is the new Duke Nukem Forever. It'll take twelve years to develop, during which it'll be used as a metaphoric answer to "When will this thing that's never going to happen happen?" and the company developing it will declare bankruptcy. Several months after said bankruptcy, there will be a surprise announcement with a release date set in late December. The hype will then be renewed, with all sorts of titillating trailers featuring plenty of disconnected gameplay footage. The game will be released on time, will be a thorough disappointment, and will be almost completely forgotten by New Years.

See you all in December 2020.

Except that:
1) Valve is in no risk of bankruptcy any time soon;
2) We don't even know if the game is being developed.

...not bothered in the slightest. I kinda wish people would just let Valve move on at this point. It'd be a lot easier if Gabe just said, "no, we're kinda done with that" to solidify it, push fans along, and let Valve move onto other things. The ending for HL2 was kinda a kick in the groin, but still...

You know, who honestly cares at this point? Now, that I think about it, there are only a few ways for the Half Life series to end. Either Gordon figures out whats up with the whole G-Man thing and saves the universe, or he fails and the universe is screwed. It'd be interesting to see how he gets to that point, but at this rate, I doubt they'd satisfy people. Too many ideas and theories have formed in their heads for Valve to successfully reel them in. Which is why I plan to keep my hype at baseline levels and if the game is ever released, not that it really matters now. Either they release it or they don't.

lancar:
Akin to politicians, Valve is going the "never answer yes or no" approach to any questions about Half Life sequels. To say that this is frustrating is the understatement of the century.

Seriously, wtf? Just say "no, we're not working on it right now and we don't know if or when we will". It's super easy, and would certainly satisfy me.
You can only feed the hype so far with these DISRESPECTFUL tactics. There is a reason there is so much politician hate in the world nowadays. Eventually, people will have had enough and your reputation will suffer from it.

Please, Valve. You're one of the few "good" game devs in the business right now. Don't make people want to hate you, or worse, start to feel apathy for you.

Couldn't agree more. This is where the DNF analogy breaks down. DNF was ANNOUNCED and IN DEVELOPMENT for over a decade. Valve won't even say if a single line of code was written thus far. As far as I'm concerned Episode 3 and/or Half-Life 3 is NOT in development and a simple acknowledgment on Valve's part would provide much needed closure. Instead we get non-answers like this. Disrespectful is indeed a fitting description.

Captcha - "assHot Seventieth" LOL

Hammeroj:

1) Valve is in no risk of bankruptcy any time soon;
2) We don't even know if the game is being developed.

Both are fair points. In that case, make it 2040.

templar1138a:

Hammeroj:

1) Valve is in no risk of bankruptcy any time soon;
2) We don't even know if the game is being developed.

Both are fair points. In that case, make it 2040.

At the expense of sounding nice, you do realise that these two points invalidate your entire analogy to Duke Nukem Forever?

tl;dr: HL3 will be released in 50-60 years.

:D

Hammeroj:

Eri:
I'm so tired of hearing other people whine about 3 that I've long since stopped caring if it ever sees the light of day.

I'm so tired of hearing other people who are supposedly tired of something and feel so superior about it they have to tell about it to everyone they can. If this is something you don't care about anymore, just say that. Don't imply that no-one should care.

I'M so tired of hearing other people whine about 3 that I'VE long since stopped caring if it ever sees the light of day. No one implied anything about other people. Also this post is hypocritical.

Eri:

Hammeroj:

Eri:
I'm so tired of hearing other people whine about 3 that I've long since stopped caring if it ever sees the light of day.

I'm so tired of hearing other people who are supposedly tired of something and feel so superior about it they have to tell about it to everyone they can. If this is something you don't care about anymore, just say that. Don't imply that no-one should care.

I'M so tired of hearing other people whine about 3 that I'VE long since stopped caring if it ever sees the light of day. No one implied anything about other people. Also this post is hypocritical.

No, that post was sarcastic, and yes, you implied something, by saying this:

tired of hearing other people whine about 3

I've only ever heard the term "whine" being used in a pejorative fashion. Also, by saying this you imply that people's whining is what put you off from HL3, not the actual sweet time Valve is taking to make the damn thing.

Okay... so we have 2 choices here.

Either Valve releases Half Life 3 soon, and everyone complains that it's not awesome

or

Valve waits another 3 or 4 years and gives us an amazing sequel.

So pull your panties out of your asscrack and play something else you babies. Valve doesn't owe you jack shit, and gives us far more than any other company as far as service.

Why is it the only thing The Escapist takes away from that rather lengthy interview Penny Arcade had with Gaben is his rather short and info-light speech on Half-Life 3?

I mean, for Christ's sake, Newell talked about biometrics, the potentiality of them building their own hardware, Valve experimenting with wearable computers (some with virtual 100-inch displays), his views on free-to-play and future forms of content sharing and match making, and a host of other, FAR more interesting, topics.

I don't understand what's been going on with the Escapist news room lately. Come on people! Just give us good reporting, you don't need to sensationalize it.

Viridian:
The title on the home page:

Gabe Newell Acknowledges Half-Life 3

The title on the article page:

Gabe Newell Acknowledges Frustrations With Half-Life 3

Oh you dicks.

The Escapist has been doing this a LOT lately. Especially with Valve related news. The last one on the front page read "Valve's Portal 2 mod crashes Skyrim" while the actual article title was "Valve's Portal 2 mod "crashes down" into Skyrim."

I don't know, might just be me, but the Escapist news items seem to be wandering into sensationalist, even trollish, territory lately. I hope it's not on purpose, but considering the number of them popping up lately (especially in regards to Valve, Steam, or console news) I'm starting to wonder.

TheNaut131:
...not bothered in the slightest. I kinda wish people would just let Valve move on at this point. It'd be a lot easier if Gabe just said, "no, we're kinda done with that" to solidify it, push fans along, and let Valve move onto other things. The ending for HL2 was kinda a kick in the groin, but still...

You know, who honestly cares at this point? Now, that I think about it, there are only a few ways for the Half Life series to end. Either Gordon figures out whats up with the whole G-Man thing and saves the universe, or he fails and the universe is screwed. It'd be interesting to see how he gets to that point, but at this rate, I doubt they'd satisfy people. Too many ideas and theories have formed in their heads for Valve to successfully reel them in. Which is why I plan to keep my hype at baseline levels and if the game is ever released, not that it really matters now.

I care. I want to see another chapter in the saga. :(

Also, I always thought the only option for just about any story was either the protagonists win or the protagonists lose. Just sayin'.

The_root_of_all_evil:
That's almost a BRIAN BLESSED beard.

Here's an idea Gabe, find yourself a science fiction writer, preferably one with a good background in horror; and let him write you a script.

I'm sure there's a few authors out there who would write you something truly stunning. Then all you have to do is program it. :)

Laidlaw can write a good piece of horror, believe it or not. And I imagine it wouldn't be hard for Wolpaw and Faliszek to pen a frightening, if witty, bit of horror.

Still, the more (talented) writers, the better. Right?

Vigormortis:

Laidlaw can write a good piece of horror, believe it or not. And I imagine it wouldn't be hard for Wolpaw and Faliszek to pen a frightening, if witty, bit of horror.

*twitch* There's a minor difference between journalism and story telling - one doesn't necessarily imply the other.

Unless it's the Sun, of course.

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