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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Gordian Freeman Knot of Half-Life 3



People want Half-Life 3. They've gone past hoping, past pleading. At this point they are ANGRY at Valve for not working on it. There isn't even a game made yet. There doesn't appear to be plans for one.

At first people just wanted Episode 3 -- a two hour add-on to conclude the story of Half-Life 2. Something to bring resolution to Eli Vance's sacrifice and tie up the loose ends. Maybe even throw in a few Portal references. But that ship has sailed, and now Half-Life 3 is the only way to satisfy the fans, in return for the time spent waiting. It's been nine years since it was released, but the desire hasn't died down, surprisingly. At this point I wonder if Half-Life 3 will ever be made.

The thing is, Half-Life 3 is a no-win situation for Valve. Even if they made the best game they could, the fans wouldn't be happy. There's been so much time sink in wishing and hoping and speculating that people's expectations have been raised so high.  Whatever they produce is guaranteed to fall short. Valve will end up sinking all those resources and money into a game no one's going to like.

So there's no reason for Valve to make Half-Life 3. They're better off with what they're doing now: Steam, Oculus Rift, improvements to online gaming, things peripheral to the gaming industry. Driving the direction the stream goes, rather than following on a raft.
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