After 4chan stopped by Valve's offices with a surprise birthday gift, Gabe Newell hinted at what the company has planned next.
Valve is already well-recognized for Half-Life, Portal, and its extensive development times, but the developer also deserves some credit for its impressive code of silence. Ever since the Half-Life 2 source code leak, the vast majority of internal information that slips out early tends to be in the pre-development stage or is something Valve leaked on purpose anyway. So how could a person get some reliable, early information from the developer? As it turns out, the secret is to wish Gabe Newell a happy birthday. When members of 4chan stopped by Valve's offices to personally deliver a present, Valve's founder happily spent the next hour answering their questions, confirming the existence of a new Source engine in the process. (Sorry though folks, still no word on Half-Life 3.)
After Newell was given a Mann Co. Crate (containing, of course, a hat), he went into extensive detail on topics like Valve's bossless culture and projects that never saw the light of day. The most pertinent information came when Newell was asked about some hidden Source 2 references tucked away in Source Filmmaker's code. "We've been working on Valve's new engine stuff for a while," Newell responded, "we're probably just waiting for a game to roll it out with." When asked for confirmation that Source 2 would actually be a new engine and not an extension to previous iterations, Newell simply said "Yeah!"
Newell later referred to Ricochet 2 as the game Source 2 would launch with, although that could be a joke response to the question. Of course, it's entirely possible that Valve would use Ricochet 2 as a test run to put Source 2 through its paces, just like Counter-Strike: Source did for the original engine. As with all upcoming Valve projects however, we'll likely find out more "when it's ready".