Back in ’98 Valve scratched their first mark into the gaming industry with the release of the first Half-Life, a first-person shooter which had players take the role of Gordon Freeman as he battled through Black Mesa fighting off the aliens who attacked from another realm.
Over ten years later and we’ve had three expansions for the original, a sequel, two episodes, a HD re-make and a giant handful of mods, tweaks and maps made by the Steam community.
What was the biggest and longest running joke of the gaming world may have become void in the past few days as the joking term “Half-Life 3 confirmed” could now be a reality. Valve kept tight lipped about anything regarding another episode, expansion or game in the Half-Life series and haven’t said anything about it in years, which is fairly common of Valve.
However, now we may have a spark that could ignite the entire industry into an explosion of buzz about the newly trademarked “Half-Life 3”, because on September 29th 2013 Valve filed for a trade mark for the third part in the Half-Life series. There has been a lot of speculation about what this could mean, but to put it plain and simple: We could be getting the long awaited Half-Life 3 sometime in the next few years.
Of course, with every situation we the more cynical of people, and those people believe Valve is trademarking the title for different reasons, could it be a huge prank? With six months away from April 1st, it’s possible. Or is Valve just covering their bases from third-party companies?
Anything could happen, but I prefer to think of it like this, if any other company filed for a trademark, gamers would assume the company were on their way to making that game. Perhaps this would be the best way to approach the situation, a title is trademarked, so we could happily go on and assume they are making it. This is a lot better than facing the possibility that Half-Life 3 is never coming
As well as the speculated reasoning behind the trademark, it’s been theorized that Half-Life 3 may be released as a Steam Box exclusive. This type of action could go two ways, giving Valve a massive boost in sales due to the incredible hype around the game, or pushing people away from the console feeling neglected that Valve aren’t releasing the title on other platforms.
One thing is confirmed though, Half-Life 3 is trademarked, is it as simple as Valve making Half-Life 3? Or will it be cast as bait when April 1st comes around? We’ll just have to wait and see in the following months for Valve to release an official statement regarding their plans for the future.
In addition to this trademark filed a few days ago, today October 2nd, Valve “Accidentally” released an internal User Picker tool which showed that at least 45 people are working on Half-Life 3 as we speak. This seems like a hefty weight towards the confirmation of production on Half-Life 3. As they may have released the asset as a method of announcing the game unofficially, Or, like so many other times in the past, a fellow gamer could have jumped on the bandwagon and conjured up something that makes it seem like the game is in development. Personally, I’d wait for an official announcement from Gabe or some of the others at Valve before getting too excited.