Half Life 3 Is Never Coming, Here’s Why Joshua Mobley October 1, 2013 Featured, Opinion 47 Comments UPDATE: The alleged Half-Life 3 copyright turned out to be fake. So this article still has a valid argument. I’m not saying I don’t want Half-Life 3 to ever happen, I just don’t see it happening. Please refrain from negative comments, disagreeing is fine as long as it’s polite. – Joshua Mobley Last week Valve announced its SteamOS software and Steam Machines console. Many hoped that during the week, Valve would announce a killer app for its new console. Theories and expectations pointed to either Left 4 Dead 3 or the long awaited Half Life 3. However, all of the announcements were Steam Machine related and no new software was announced. It’s getting to the point where people are starting to lose hope that Half Life 3 will ever be developed and honestly I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime. When Half Life was first released it was hailed as a revolutionary shooter experience; then Half Life 2 was released and pushed the bar even further. However, in this day and age, Half Life 2 is starting to look and feel dated. Its revolutionary ideas have been done over and over again to the point that Half Life 2 doesn’t feel as special as it did when it was first released. If Half Life 3 were to be released it would have to do something completely different and stick to the series-long tradition of innovating the shooter genre. If Valve released Half Life 3 it would be met with much love and hate. Many would love that they finally got a conclusion to a story they’ve been waiting years to wrap up. However, many would have certain expectations, and if those weren’t met people would be incredibly upset. The pressure of trying to please all of their fans might be a crucial part of why the team at Valve isn’t developing, or talking, about Half Life 3 at all. Valve CEO Gabe Newell has been talking about the free-to-play genre for years. The last game Valve released was Dota 2, a free-to-play MOBA title. Valve also re-released its highly popular shooter Team Fortress 2 as a free-to-play title. If the trend continues it would seem that Valve is only interested in making free-to-play titles as opposed to full fledged games. Valve makes more money off of community created items than they ever did selling $60 games. In fact Valve has even stopped making content for its free-to-play games. Instead Valve steps aside and lets the community create the premium content for the games. Valve also takes a cut of the fund generated by community item purchases ensuring a large cash flow from titles like Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2. With this business model making Valve money hand over fist why would the company ever go back to making $60 premium titles? I feel like the only way Valve would consider making Half-Life 3 is if it could somehow give it to you for free and offer optional content for a price. However, Half Life would not fit into this model well since it’s built as a full title. Continued on Next Page… Cristian Jilca “…another Half Life would take a tool on the company’s resources. Instead…” it’s “toll”, not “tool”. pacpunk thank you for pointing out my error Cristian Jilca you made such a good case that i now believe HL3 won’t come anytime soon; i had to punish you somehow for it pacpunk haha, no I like it when I can fix errors, makes the article better. Also thanks for reading OIOIOI F*ck HL3. We want Portal 3. Avi Bernshaw No we really don’t. Portal 1 was amazing because the game mechanic had never been done before and the dark humour was interesting. Portal 2 was milked for merchandise and frankly annoying as the jokes were trite and forced making them not nearly as enjoyable as the first time around, and the game mechanic had been done to death by everyone else by then. Brendan Rogers Thanks for speaking for us all, Avi. We really appreciate it. (just kidding, you should probably speak for yourself) Mike Lee I’m as annoyed as anyone that idiots picked up portal humor and ran with it, but it doesn’t make portal 2′s use of their own story conventions trite because a bunch of meme jockeys hammered them into the ground until they weren’t funny anymore. Portal 2 continued the legacy of Portal by giving us more of what we enjoyed in the original. Interesting physics puzzles and cheeky geek humor. They didn’t just stick with the cake joke, they created new characters, made more jokes, which themselves have been adopte as memes, explained the back story of other characters, invented new and interesting game mechanics to enhance the complexity of the problem solving, I think they did an amazing job. I doubt they’ll make a third, they kinda slammed the door, reopened it, tossed a companion cube out, and slammed it again on the franchise, seemed like as good a place as any to end it, but I would play Portal 3 if they made it. pacpunk I kind of doubt Portal 3 would happen as well. They have a map creator, you can basically play Portal 2 forever, and the story felt over at the end of 2. Mike Lee I’m as annoyed as anyone that idiots picked up portal humor and ran with it, but it doesn’t make portal 2′s use of their own story conventions trite because a bunch of meme jockeys hammered them into the ground until they weren’t funny anymore. Portal 2 continued the legacy of Portal by giving us more of what we enjoyed in the original. Interesting physics puzzles and cheeky geek humor. They didn’t just stick with the cake joke, they created new characters, made more jokes, which themselves have been adopte as memes, explained the back story of other characters, invented new and interesting game mechanics to enhance the complexity of the problem solving, I think they did an amazing job. I doubt they’ll make a third, they kinda slammed the door, reopened it, tossed a companion cube out, and slammed it again on the franchise, seemed like as good a place as any to end it, but I would play Portal 3 if they made it. TheRealTimewarp Actually I’d say with the way FPS Games are going these days, the industry needs a game like Half Life 3 that’ll break the mold for the FPS Genre. I mean I can’t see the likes of Call of Duty or even Battlefield setting the standard and to be honest apart from Bioshock, Half Life is the only game I can see doing that. Not just in the way of gameplay but also storytelling which if you look at the industry at the moment, that’s something a lot of people fall short on. A lot of the next-gen games look good but what about their stories? The only next-gen game I can see having an interesting story is The Order and that’s got an entire year to show how bland and boring it actually is (Seriously guys, remember back when Watch Dogs looked like it might have an interesting premise). We don’t need Half Life to finish some storyline but to show the others how you make a game with brilliant gameplay and an amazing storyline where the main character doesn’t even speak a line of dialogue. pacpunk I agree, it’s not like I don’t want Half-Life 3. I would love to play it, especially with todays technology, it could be incredible. The article is about why I don’t think they will take to time to make it at all, Valve seems to have a different focus these days. Never the less I would love to see it happen, I just don’t think it will. TheRealTimewarp I know, I just think given how important Half Life is to the games industry and the gaming culture I think we’ll see Half Life in some shape or form even if it isn’t Half Life 3. It’s true that one game can’t shape the industry but for a genre like FPS that’s constantly used, it’s amazing how many games stick to the status quo instead of attempting something new. Even with Bioshock Infinite, Ken Levine made a comment on the gameplay that amounted to “It’s how everyone else does combat in FPS games so it’s how we have to do it” as if because other FPS Games handle combat in a certain way, Bioshock has to do the same. For a game that attempts to explore new methods of storytelling in gaming it’s a shame that even Irrational are too afraid to try something new, personally I’d have liked Bioshock Infinite if it had more in the way of puzzle solving. pacpunk I can agree with that. I gave Infinite an A, but in hind sight it was more of a B. There were some problems with it. It is a shame that companies don’t want to try new things, which is where indies come in. Indie developers get to try new things, and the really good ideas take off. TheRealTimewarp Yeah. I’ve found recently that I’m not excited for the indie games then the Triple A. AC: Black Flag, Watch Dogs and so on don’t get me that excited but I’m really interested in The Stanley Parable, Outlast, The Witness and so on. So hopefully the PS4 being so involved with the indie scene can only be good for the industry, Lately Microsoft reversed their policy with self-publishing so maybe in this next generation we’ll see a lot more indie titles. Avi Bernshaw While even more likely to never EVER happen, if they handed it over to Bethesda to make the single player game, you know you’d be guaranteed an amazing story driven event with insane amounts of replay value… and a way to monetize micro-transactions for community made items even. TheRealTimewarp If Bethesda did handle Half Life I’d rather the team behind Dishonored make the game then the guys behind The Elder Scrolls Jared Jeanquart This is all true, except I think you’re leaving out an important element: Valve is a GAME company, and it employs people who want to make GAMES. This isn’t EA, where all the higher-ups are Money Men who could be making microwaves for all the shits they give. Most of the people at valve are/SHOULD BE creative types, not mercenary code-monkeys. And if Valve has ALL the money, then they can afford to take risks and maybe lose a bit of short-term revinue by creating a masterpiece that their fans will love. Its the equivalent of giving money away to charity; something that astronomically rich people do all the time. You seem to think that Gabe Newell has been turned into some sort of soulless ghoul who only cares about making money. But Valve’s a small company with one of those fancy unconventional structures; being incredibly rich doesn’t CONSTRAIN them to only do things to make even more money, it FREES them to do shit that other companies wouldn’t be able to do. Valaska Averia Yeah but then what about a lot of the developers from the Half Life franchise leaving to other studio’s, one of them outright stating “Valve is no longer interested in developing AAA games.” http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-07-30-half-life-2-art-director-left-when-valve-stopped-making-aaa-games Many multiple others left, Valve isn’t a game company, its a money company just like EA, only EA still produces and in a few of its products, develops actual games, which in its own way is far more admirable to what Valve is doing now… Valve is the real money monger in the gaming industry now adays, for quite awhile really. pacpunk That and Valve is a business, businesses exist to make money. Scase Businesses exist to make money and please customers. PUBLICLY traded businesses exist solely to make money. “All [companies that float] end up getting their customers changed,” Valve’s Erik Johnson told the latest issue of PC Gamer. “Any bad decision I ever see out there is because somebody created this different customer that was whoever funds them, and not the consumer of the product.” That’s a quote from Erik Johnson when he was asked why Valve isn’t publicly traded. They are a very customer oriented business, I find it hard to believe that it’s changed so drastically that they will no longer make games to please customers instead of roll around in beds of money. Avi Bernshaw Have you considered the idea that Valve might use it’s own Greenlight community, coupled with insane amounts of front page and banner advertising in the Steambrowser, as a Kickstarter type thing to test the waters? As you said, Gabe’s a good businessman, and he effectively runs the platform. If the Homestuck guys can raise a an 8 figure budget in less than a week, I’m 100% certain Valve could absolutely guarantee millions upon millions of dollars in presales with slightly discounted rates, and higher tier rewards like having people’s faces skinned onto backgrounds characters, or sending people crappy little plastic crowbars. pacpunk I bring that up in the article. ” If anything, the only way Half Life 3 would be developed is if it was a community-driven project, or could be converted into a free-to-play format.” I think the community should try to make it, Valve probably wouldn’t stop them. They let them make Black Mesa and even put that on Steam. STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM Valve used to be my favorite game developer, but now I pretty much hate them, I consider Portal 2 to be their swansong maybe they might make a comeback, but if all they care about is free-to-play garbage then fuck them pacpunk Dota 2 is great though, they made that as well. Bkid I disagree. If you want to look for anything resembling a balanced MOBA, look very far away from Dota 2. No doubt it’s fun to play, but I don’t understand how it can be competitive. pacpunk How so? I’ve got over 400 hours in Dota 2 and I feel like it’s the most balanced MOBA I’ve ever played, and I played a lot of LoL, HoME, and HoN. STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM MOBAs just aint my cup of tea pacpunk That’s fine, everybody has their own tastes. But you can’t deny MOBAs (especially DOTA) are a huge part of the PC market. red_greenlight1 You might be right about that. You can tell a company has hit rock bottom development wise when they push F2P. STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM I can’t call them greedy so much as lazy, why put the effort into a full 60$ game when you can just add a few new hats to TF2? I never would imagine that I could call Valve lazy, but here we are Ziggy Nobutz Forewe Honestly? No matter if or when they do make Half Life 3, it’s guaranteed not to do as well as they would hope. Remember Duke Nukem Forever? You can’t have a game delayed that long without it failing due to never being able to match expectations. HL3 is already doomed to fail because it’s been too long in coming out. red_greenlight1 Really? HL2 did quite well despite the delays. Scase DNF wasn’t bad because it took 10 years, it was bad because it was a crappy 2 weapon limit, cover based, health regen, every-other-god-damned-shooter-from-2000′s. There was nothing that set it apart from any other game other than the IP, even the humour was gone. Garrett In addition, it was sold to a new company who pushed it out as fast as possible. Danix Defcon 5 Agreed. When DNF finally came out, it had the same crap limitations and all the awful suckage “features” which plague Call of Halo Battlefield: Evolved Warfare. Duke3D had exploreable levels, much like Doom and Quake; DNF was just short of an on-rails shooter. The little humor they did manage to stick on the game would’ve been funnier if the game had been actually fun. usman muhammad Have you heard of Shadow Warrior? The reboot of the old shadow warrior? I wished they used the same voice actor but that game blew me away. So, your argument doesn’t count on all games released after years. Only the shitty ones Danix Defcon 5 Yet it isn’t the only game with a 10+ year gap between installments. HL2 was 6 years after 1; and I’d add up StarCraft 2 which didn’t just take 12 years to get released (the same as DNF’s delays), but the second episode took 3 years to get released as well! None of those games suck. Jonathan Justin Hard If there is no money in full 60 dollar games, tell me why GTA V made over a billion dollars in a weekend and has become the most successful entertainment launch in history. pacpunk I didn’t say there is no money in AAA games, it’s just harder to make a profit. Also Half-Life isn’t as well known as GTA believe it or not. No way in hell HL3 would make a billion dollars profit. It would probably sell 10 million copies max. You’re also forgetting that GTAV costs a quarter of a billion dollars to develop in the first place. Half Life in no way compares to the popularity of GTA. Garrett Even if half life also costs 250,000 to make, and it is sold for only 50 dollars, it would only take 5000 copies to turn a profit. It could easily make that. All of the money would go back to Valve if they sold it exclusively through Steam rather than retail. Breaking even would in reality cost more due to advertising costs, but the point is that it would not be very hard for it to make a profit. Brandon Ruiz it is not common anymore to make triple A games for 250,000. Honestly to compete with other triple a games I’d say it’d atleast take a mil. Chris Half-life 3 is coming; it’s a perfect storm: Steam OS comes out, Oculus Rift consumer version comes out, and Half-Life 3 pushes the envelope on shooters by being the first made-for-immersive VR video game, pushing both the VR/Oculus Rift experience and Steambox sales. Just my thoughts. pacpunk I wouldn’t count on it John McLoughlin A well thought out and reasoned argument. And kudos to you Joshua for replying to the comments. I’d love to see HL3 happening but I’m losing hope at this point. It’s been a long time. And my dream of a portal/half life crossover is never, ever going to happen. pacpunk No problem, love keeping the conversation going TheRealTimewarp Companies copyright things all the time to keep the IP protected.