Gabe Newell Acknowledges Frustrations With Half-Life 3

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Valve really is a shining bastion in the gaming industry, always focusing on staying innovative, keeping customer satisfaction high, and championing the philosophy that the most profitable product is the highest quality product. I totally respect that Gabe doesn't want to give out info on Half-Life 3 before they know exactly where they're going with it, and that he doesn't want the company to disappoint fans or fall into sequelitis.

That said, it doesn't change how goddamn annoying Episode's cliffhanger was. Dammit Valve, you can take all the time in the world to make HL3 or whatever project you're working on next, but please never end another game on a cliffhanger again!

I've never played halflife, played a bit of HL2, and i'm a bit confused on the episodes i thought they were just HL2 in two parts

I could of sworn he said they have not given up on the franchise, quit your whining people, there are plenty of other good games out there for the mean time.

To some point Valve's fans should feel some sense of entitlement to a new game. Who drives Valve's sales? Its customers. It's a simple fact.
Now, I'll say that Valve shouldn't be crapping out a new sequel every six months to appease rabid fan boys, but some things gotta give.
If you have enough fans that clearly want the game(which you do), why not just work on it and deliver?
No more half assed answers (if you can call them that). Even if you tell fans "There will be a Half-Life 3 in 2014" your fans will flip out and be super excited.

I feel like the fans have a right to voice their opinion and demand a new game from their beloved developer after years without a new game.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Vigormortis:

I don't know. Seems the story could go in a lot of directions. They've said before the next chapter in the saga would be more survival/horror like, but that's not to say it's still the case. Then again, maybe that's the actual issue. It's not so much as not having an idea of where to go with the story but rather having too many options. Reverse-writers-block if you will.

Bingo. Hundreds of directions to go, and all of them will piss some of the people off.

Personally, L4D's "Last Stand" really got on my nerves. The whole Bill/Zoey thing, especially the comic, seemed to undermine the entirety of L4D just to make it like L4D2 - and I considered L4D to be the far superior story. L4D2 just left me cold about the characters.

Looking at L4D2, the Hunter is essentially useless, and should have been an evoloution of the Jockey - or the other way around. Equally, what should have been crescendo events were just turned into bottlenecking because the Infected were given too much strength.

Now, with HL3, what are they going to give Gordon that's going to beat the weapons he already has? What enemies are going to be bigger than the Dropships or Striders? What makes it a sequel more than just a new set of guns and weapons?

If it was me, it wouldn't be "Can I do HL3?", it'd be "Can I do an HL3 that won't suck?"; because being presented with Dai Katana or Duke Nukem Forever would be far worse than just saying "No".

See The Matrix etc.

[edit] Oh, also. It's partly a good thing Breen is gone. Not only would his presence be a liability for the story (considering the events thus far) but the voice actor who played him passed away some years ago. I don't think the character would have the same impact with someone else's voice.

Robert Culp. Aye, that's what I was getting at.

I'm inclined to believe the next iteration of Half-Life will be an evolution of the last not because they give the player bigger, better weapons or bigger, tougher versions of the enemies we've already seen, but rather because of the story progression and (hopefully) a host of new, exciting, never-seen-before set pieces. It's the set pieces that make Half-Life what it is.

And, of course some people will be "pissed" off because the story didn't pan out exactly as they hoped. There is always someone who gripes about a story not being exactly what they wanted. These same people would also likely whine if the story turned out exactly as they thought. Saying, "Pff. Too predictable."

I don't care if they piss some people off with the direction they take the finale. I just want to see them create the best ending they can as they see fit. I want to see how Laidlaw would end the story. Not how part of the fan-base wants it to end.

On a side note, I feel I have to refute your claims on L4D2. The hunter is anything but useless in L4D2. It's still the best special infected in versus. Hands down.

Also, I felt the greater variety in the crescendo events added a good bit to the game.

As for the infected buff, that was purposeful. They were too easily conquered in the first game, making most versus and even campaign matches a breeze for the survivors.

However, I do agree with you in terms of preferring the story of the first game over the second. The first had a darker, more bleak tone whereas the sequel had a campier, tongue-in-cheek vibe. (though I felt there was just as much characterization)

Basically, L4D1 was 28 Days Later. L4D2 was Shaun of the Dead.

TheNaut131:
...not bothered in the slightest. I kinda wish people would just let Valve move on at this point.

You don't want to make sequels? Don't end games on cliffhangers. Seems a pretty simple thing.

Vigormortis:

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'.

Okay, you have a point there. I was mainly asking, who still worries about when it'll be released? I was also kinda addressing how hype is bound to screw this game over.

And alright, I guess the only option is win or lose. Hmm, I was just feeling lazy and dickish there. Now, what was that about wearable computers and his opinions of F2P?

Vigormortis:
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.

...and out of all the stories, they pick the one that just has Gabe briefly addressing the frustration with the lack of of HL3?

Hmm, perhaps I should stop by Penny Arcade for more gaming news. It's also been forever since I last checked their comic, now that I think about it.

Spencer Petersen:
All these assholes who feel like they are somehow "owed" a new Half Life need to remove their craniums from their rectums. A game company has no obligation to bend to your will and make any game you wish. Until you have payed for the product you are not entitled to shit. Game design should never be led by public opinion, and those who feel like they somehow know better than the developers need to step back and reevaluate their standing.

Then game designers shouldn't promise an episodic trilogy , then end the second episode on a cliffhanger, never release the third one and not expect fan backlash.

It's pretty indefensible.

Frostbite3789:

Spencer Petersen:
All these assholes who feel like they are somehow "owed" a new Half Life need to remove their craniums from their rectums. A game company has no obligation to bend to your will and make any game you wish. Until you have payed for the product you are not entitled to shit. Game design should never be led by public opinion, and those who feel like they somehow know better than the developers need to step back and reevaluate their standing.

Then game designers shouldn't promise an episodic trilogy , then end the second episode on a cliffhanger, never release the third one and not expect fan backlash.

It's pretty indefensible.

It might be indefensible if you somehow payed for or pre-ordered a complete trilogy pack and are out the money for third, but that's not the case. You have to remember that the only currency in this market is money. Fandom and consumer goodwill are only as useful as the money they generate. Its seems like undeserved entitlement to expect a company to act out of its own interest for the sake of the consumer's goodwill.

Bottom Line: Consumers got exactly what they payed for. The payed for Eps 1 and 2, and they got Eps 1 and 2. No one was promised Ep 3, because no one payed for Ep 3. Announcing that you have plans to make a game is not some sort of blood oath.

...The fuck?
Is it a project that you want to make, or not?
Seriously, it's not a hard question. Stop with this "well we're not going to talk about that topic, and here's about a paragraph of filler saying why we don't talk about that topic so you can report that we talked about the topic."

I'm actually pretty sure they are working on it,
Though i think they want to "avoid" the thing that happened with episode 2, where they showed a trailer and new footage in the finale of EP1 and then had nothing of that be actually true in the EP2 that came out years later.

Also one of the devs at valve once slipped up in a very subtle way,
As he was talking about how he loved the L4D2 production since it went very fast and organised.
After wich i sarcastically commented that i would then love HL3's development.
On wich he replied that he isn't involved in that.

My conclusion being, if he is "not" involved then there is also a way to be involved.
Explaining there is a game in the making...

They can take all the time they want. It's their property, and frankly I'm grateful for the two masterpieces they have given us already.

Eddie Izzard, Glorious:
Not sure how long, might be a bit pressed, you know.
Too much pressure, seven days dead.
Do it like Microsoft - "lt'll be done by Saturday, Tuesday, next week. We'll bring it out when we're fucking ready, right?"

Half of me thinks they won't/don't want to do any more HL, but are afraid of the inevitable rabid fanboy backlash to make such a statement, hence the endless non-commital responses on the subject.

Woudl i like new half life- sure. would i rage if it wont be coming - nope. i completely understand Gabe. he does not want to speak about things hes not certain on. else we pull up a duke nukem again.

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.

Except that Half Life 2 has always been setup as a sequel and the last episode had a cliff hanger ending that the last title in the series, Episode 3 or whatever they will end up calling it, is supposed to wrap it all up.

Basically they said "hey, we'll do this whole episodic thing and you'll get smaller experiences but you'll get them sooner" then that got a little borked and then when it comes to the game that is supposed to wrap up the whole story, the whole arc, not only do years go by without a release but not even word on if they are working on it, or will EVER release it.

So in the case of Half-Life 2 "episode 3"(if that is what they end up calling it) it was a planned sequel the whole time. Not just a CoD style miking of $60 from gamer's wallets.

I think the whole thing is a big cop out from Gabe and Valve. I am a big fan of their work and loved the Half Life series and I own hundreds of games on Steam but they took the coward's way out on this one. The way to read this is "We have decided to put our resources into our other properties(L4D, TF2, CS, Portal, Hats) and have put episode 3 on the back burner. We don't want to cause nerd rage in our fans so we'll just not acknowledge that at best Episode 3 is in pre-production and likely won't see the light of day until the next generation of consoles are out, namely late 2013 or early 2014."

I'd respect them a lot more if they'd just come out and admit it that we are probably still two years away from EP3.

IckleMissMayhem:
Half of me thinks they won't/don't want to do any more HL, but are afraid of the inevitable rabid fanboy backlash to make such a statement, hence the endless non-commital responses on the subject.

We are pretty much guaranteed to see more Half Life, publishers NEVER let hugely popular franchises die except in extreme circumstances, case in point the Watchmen prequels.

Its just a matter of when and I think its far enough into the future that it will still piss off core fans.

Valve is rapidly becoming one of the few Devs to still have balls, and still have a good reputation. And this is why.

How many times have we been fed empty promises from other developers?

We may be impatient and demanding, But Valve are handling this the right way.

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

That's the line people are most upset about, most people arn't saying "give us Ep 3 now damn it" they just want to know, are you working on it, yes or no why all the secrecy? If you're not working on it, "No we are not working on Ep. 3 at the moment" if you are "Yes we are working on it" if you are but it's gonna be a while "yes, but it's still early stages, so don't expect much news yet"

One of those few sentences would make people a lot more comfortable that Valve isn't just screwing with people for the lulz

Didn't have time to read the whole article (but I did notice Gabe's awesome beard :)). Anyway, while I respect their decision not to give their fans false promises, this has gotten pretty ridiculous over the years. Episode 2 came out in October 2007. It was short and sweet, with cliffhanger ending. Fast forward four years and only thing we know (except that Valve doesn't get the point of episodic gaming) is that Episode 3 is....not dead? Damn, Gabe is really politician material. On a more serious note, ending to Half Life franchise is not something to be taken lightly, given it's significance in the gaming world.

Personally I think while Valve can allow keeping their fans in the dark for nearly half a decade, they can't really excuse it, no matter how pure their intentions were. Leaving us with little to no information on their game only creates bigger expectations and more pointless speculation which will eventually generate great hype (and possibly nation wide celebration :P) when proper info is actually revealed. I'm taking the "away from eyes, away from mind approach". I won't give a damn until I actually see it.

ELCTea:
I've never played halflife, played a bit of HL2, and i'm a bit confused on the episodes i thought they were just HL2 in two parts

The episodes were sequels to HL2, it goes HL1 > HL2 > HL2 Ep1 > HL2 Ep2 > HL2 Ep3 although we never got the episode 3

is it general consensus around these parts that Valve is waiting for the next generation of consoles or is it just me?

When a game comes out once every 3 years it's considered milking a franchise, but when it doesn't, people go in berserk mode and hate the company for not milking the franchise.

Internet logic, dafuq?

Me55enger:
How many times have we been fed empty promises from other developers?

Promised trilogy of episodes? No episode 3? Boy that sounds a lot like an empty promise to me.

BiH-Kira:
When a game comes out once every 3 years it's considered milking a franchise, but when it doesn't, people go in berserk mode and hate the company for not milking the franchise.

Internet logic, dafuq?

Mass Effect 1: 2007
Mass Effect 2: 2010
Mass Effect 3: 2012

That's a game once every three years and nobody has said they're milking it. At least nobody with a brain. Same with Uncharted. And Killzone. And many other series. Yearly release =/= every three years. I don't know where you got three, but that doesn't even apply here, it's been five.

Almost everyone is saying that Nintendo is milking the Zelda franchise. It comes out once very 2-4 years. A lot of people say that Uncharted is being milked, same goes with Gears of War.

If you haven't noticed that, than you obviously aren't long enough on the internet.

this gets me thinking, should this game ever be released? nothing can live up to all this excitement and anticipation.
half life is my favorite game series, and every installment is utter perfection and awesomeness in my opinion. but, assuming valve are working on the game, what if they mess up? what if they are taking their time to turn this much anticipated game into f**king skyrim?

valve, if you see this, quality over quantity. i don't care how short it is, just make sure not to screw up if you ever will make the game.

Strazdas:
Woudl i like new half life- sure. would i rage if it wont be coming - nope. i completely understand Gabe. he does not want to speak about things hes not certain on. else we pull up a duke nukem again.

something like that.

This is stupid. I love ricochet. God

Pfft Portal?, Counterstrike?, L4D? - these are games that we play while we wait for HL3. Gabe is deluded if he thinks that these franchises are moving forward, or would even be as popular without Half Life. I enjoy all those games, but I don't get excited about them...

Portal2 - Add in celebrity voiceover, 2 player mode, paint and stuff, but the character has not changed at all. What we got was more Portal, but to most people Portal is only interesting because of it's relation to Half Life. I'd say that relationship makes the Portal universe fascinating.

L4D2 - Add in different characters, different enemies, and different levels. It's a good game, but over rated, I'd certainly rather play Killing Floor or Dead Island than L4D.

Counterstrike - I can't fault it, it knows what it has to be, and concentrates on being that - just a fast paced military style shooter with some challenging elements to keep it fresh. But Valve have neglected it from what I can see - it got left off the console versions of Orange Box, personally I'd say it should be pretty awesome as a console shooter, it has that pace and drama that keeps people playing.

Anyhoo, it appears that we'll never get a straight answer from Gabe, maybe it's best to just forget Half Life, and maybe try and conjure up some enthusiasm in 5 years time, when HL3 is released... in the meantime - other companies are filling the heavy-story shooter genre (Mass Effect, Halo, Metro2033 etc etc), maybe it's later than Gabe thinks.

Read the first line already got beef.... Learn to count thats barely 14 years not to mention the actual release date November 19th is far from nearby this year meaning most people who were werent born when half life hit the shelf (the absolute oldest ones) are now 13. GO MATH!

Other than his opener being super week and a lie. Who cares it's going to come out 1 day in the mean time enjoy the many other great games that valve has brought out along with many other publishers.

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

That's the line people are most upset about, most people arn't saying "give us Ep 3 now damn it" they just want to know, are you working on it, yes or no why all the secrecy? If you're not working on it, "No we are not working on Ep. 3 at the moment" if you are "Yes we are working on it" if you are but it's gonna be a while "yes, but it's still early stages, so don't expect much news yet"

One of those few sentences would make people a lot more comfortable that Valve isn't just screwing with people for the lulz

THISTHISTHISTHISTHIS. Oh and THIS lol

I don't really care when it comes out, I just want to know that there is or isn't something in development. People complaining about people whining about HL3/HL2ep3 or whatever should be pissed at Valve too, because if thy just came out and said one of the 2, the internet will blow up for a day, and then fizz out and stop talking about it forever. I don't get why they have such radio silence on tthe subject, that's waht's pissing people off more.

Hammeroj:

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?

They don't invalidate it. Here's why.
1) Valve may not be at risk of bankruptcy any time soon, but who can say what will happen within the next ten years? Maybe they'll have a change of management and will make their service more aggravating for customers. Maybe Origin will become a more favorable platform. As Strong Bad once said, the plausibilities are endless.
2) Even if the game isn't being developed, that actually doesn't change anything about the validity of my comparison. Sure, it won't be an exact replica of the history of Duke Nukem forever, but there are still a lot of Half Life fans who want the game very badly and will continue to whine about it. And then, after Half Life 3 is finally released in the 29th century, there will be an "epic" sequel in the Angry Birds series supposedly in development for our Immersive Brain Implant Game Systems (otherwise known as iBigs) that we can play while driving our flying cars, and the cycle will begin again.

Being vague? Fine. And Valve still rocks. But it would be nice and completely safe to say something like, "It will happen, there's some programming work done, the new counterstrike is getting most of our attention, but we will probably make it a priority after that.". Even just saying whether it will be HL3 or episode 3, or if you don't know yet would be nice. At least tell us why you can't make promises. I'm not asking for a date, I'm asking for a general sense of what year it will be realeased, give or take maybe 3 years. And if your wrong, hey, I'm fine with you not promising a 6 year spread. This is how vauge I'm fine with you being. If you tell us vaugely the factual data, we will not be surprised when you go over. Valve is synonomous with extended dev cycles, and we love you for it. Your attempt to squash dissapointment with few promises is like squashing a housefly with a MOAB bomb.

Did Gaben just hinted Ricochet 2 in that interview?

Oh, Andy, I was just about to commend you for being relatively good about keeping your opinion out of this particular news piece (good journalism)... And then your last paragraph started with the words "I think" (bad journalism). For shame, Escapist. :(

Gabe Newell KNOWS gamers want next installment of Half Life... Are you sure we have only been talking about it since well HLep2.... And we haven't stopped talking about it... Now you say he knows that, how can we be sure he isn't just trolling...
But as said in article just tell us is just tell us if you are working on it or if it sits in a bin somewhere...

Mygaffer:

IckleMissMayhem:
Half of me thinks they won't/don't want to do any more HL, but are afraid of the inevitable rabid fanboy backlash to make such a statement, hence the endless non-commital responses on the subject.

We are pretty much guaranteed to see more Half Life, publishers NEVER let hugely popular franchises die except in extreme circumstances, case in point the Watchmen prequels.

Its just a matter of when and I think its far enough into the future that it will still piss off core fans.

I don't think any game is "guaranteed" until it hits the shelves, but then I've a reputation for being ever so slightly cynical about some things, especially when it comes for games that haven't even been announced. Especially potential sequels or remakes that the deelopers seem really unhappy giving solid information about.

Basically, I'm not holding my breath.

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