Life-Less: No New Valve Game At E3

Look how she's frowning at you for your silly rumour-mongering. Don't you feel stupid now?

A bunch of folk seem to have become convinced that Valve would be revealing something at E3 next month. Each and every rumour about Valve does of course involve Half-Life 3/Episode 3, and this one was no different. The long-awaited next slice of Gordonery would finally be shown at E3, whispers claimed. People became excited, but they shouldn’t have done. Valve will not be revealing a Half-Like game at E3. They won’t be showing off their other known project, DOTA 2, either. They won’t be revealing any kind of anything, in fact, as a mass mail-out by Valve has just confirmed that “we are not showing any titles at this year’s show“. That doesn’t, of course, mean they won’t be showing something later in the year, but if there is anything to show it certainly won’t be then. So that’s that. Got it? Good.

Oh, I do regret writing this post now. “News: there won’t be any news.” HOT SCOOPS Y’ALL.


  1. Grinterloper says:

    HL2 E3 had better elevate my conciousness to a higher fucking plane, cure my herpes and eradicate reality TV.

    • kyrieee says:

      There is no HL2EP3 and there probably won’t be. If they were working on it all this time it would’ve been out by now. Whatever HL product they put out next won’t be EP3.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Valve actually did tell fans to hang on for future Half Life developments. But they’ve also said they’re not releasing any more episodic titles. So fingers crossed for Half Life 3.

      By the way Valve, where are the promised three surprises for this year, hmmm?

    • roryok says:

      well, not showing anything at E3 is kind of a surprise. so I guess that’s one. Add that with portal 2 being released slightly early and thats two. Maybe the third surprise is that there were only two, really lame surprises

    • Big Murray says:

      We’ve already had the three big surprises … the Portal 2 ARG, DotA2, and Steam on the PS3.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      @Big Murray: I really wouldn’t call Dota 2 a big surprise for this year, considering it was announced in October last year. Steam-integration with the PS3 was a surprise, but I wouldn’t count on a marketing campaign being considered one as well…

    • edit says:

      I tend to think.. no way is Valve about to walk away from Half-Life. If anything it makes sense for them to take their sweet time as that allows it to become great.

    • Acorino says:

      What he actually said was the following:”We have three pretty big surprises in the next 12 months at least”

      Soo…that means 3 big surprises within the duration of a year, not specifically in the year of 2011. Quite the difference. I guess DoTA2 counts then as one…

  2. Zwebbie says:

    Why would they be sending that e-mail if not because they’ll be revealing something days before or after the show? Oh Valve, you crafty bastards, you’ve got me excited!

    • pepper says:

      You see Valve, this is what happends when you play mind games!!

    • Lewis Denby says:

      I’m doubtful, to be honest. The email was pretty much “Dear press, stop nagging us about E3 appointments, we’re not there.”

  3. pakoito says:


  4. Basilicus says:

    Cue WASD in 5…4…3…2…

  5. Maykael says:

    Are you sure they’re not trolling, like they did with the lack of a Portal 2 event last year? That would be a nice surprise. Though not in Sony’s conference. The PC needs its own E3 conference!

  6. misterk says:


  7. djbriandamage says:

    Once upon a yesterday my heart would throb in anticipation of Valve’s coy suggestions. Alas, my poor ticker now lays in tatters on the floor, never to hope again.

    Or to put it another way, I ain’t giving a toss until Valve tells me precisely what the frig they’re up to.

  8. The_B says:

    Gabe does say in Portal 2: The Final Hours that something will be revealed within 5 years, so at least the wild mass guessing section of the internet can Nostradam the heck out of themselves…

  9. JonClaw says:


  10. SMiD says:

    Where the fuck is Left 4 Dead 3? It’s been over a year since L4D2!! OVER A YEAR

  11. Rii says:

    Half-Life 3 is about the least interesting thing Valve could possibly announce in any case, second only to Half-Life 2: Episode 3.

    • CMaster says:

      I think Valve produce fantastic games, brilliant tuned and polished.
      They’ve clearly got an awful lot of talent there.
      So I find it kind of depressing that they just churn out sequels and bought-up properties so much. I’d love to see them turn to something new and exciting that blows us away like the original Half Life did again (or like Portal did). Especially as HL2:Ep2 showed that while they’ve refined the craft of making great games, they’d also forgotten what it is that made Half Life so special in the first place.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Sadly, I feel like a lot of Half-Life fanboys (which I obviously am as well) spend their days saying things like “Pffft, so when are Activision and Microsoft going to churn out more Call of Halo games?” followed by “What the fuck Valve?! MOAR HALF LIFE!!!1!!!”

      And yet they don’t seem to see why this attitude is hilarious.

    • skinlo says:

      Because Valve games are good?

    • Ravenholme says:

      And because Valve doesn’t churn out dross every year, there is a large (LAAAARGE! in the case of HL2E3/HL3) development cycle which ensures that the end product is quality.

      Not like the 1.5 year dev cycle of the Halos (And ugh, it showed) and the 1 a year CoD Diet.

      Valve make gaming gems, Bungie/Activision make games that make you go “Meh, was alright I guess.”

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Glad to see you guys still don’t get it. ;)

      Bungie fans do think Bungie games are very good. COD fans do think COD games are very good. And many HL fans want more and more HL, when frankly, Portal and L4D are much more innovative than anything in either HL episode.

      Half-Life 3 should be released, and I can wait until it’s good and fucking ready. But what I really want to see is Valve’s next original IP, because as amazing as HL is, I’ve played it before.

    • tomeoftom says:

      I completely disagree with the “less Half-life” sentiment. I’d normally completely agree with “no sequels”, but take a moment to consider Half-Life Fucking 2. It’s a sequel in only the most tangential way, but at the same time it’s absolutely a sequel, not to mention one of the most perfect linear games ever made. I think it’s more just a case of being worried about a /bad/ sequel, as Valve might have lost their touch just a bit – Portal 2 was very fun, but an ugly retcon, L4D2 was just what L4D1 should have been, and TF2’s beauty as a game has been washed away by a torrent of, basically, bullshit.

    • MultiVaC says:

      It’s probably because Valve doesn’t “churn out” Half-Life games, they take forever to finish them. There have been less than 3 Half-Life games (I’m not sure how to count the episodes, but given that there were supposed to be 3 of them before Valve became all secretive about it I’d say they count for about two thirds of a game) in 13 years, but there have been how many Call of Duty games since the series started in 2003? 7 of them? So yeah, people say “MORE HALF-LIFE!” because the series left us on a cliffhanger 4 years ago and then disappeared. That is a far cry from companies like Activison, who have been spitting out sequels almost ever year.

  12. hellojed says:

    A year ago during the runup to E3 valve promised a “surprise” announcement, which caused the internet to buzz incessantly. This annoyed me greatly, so I made a bunch of fake Valve news tweets which read like “Valve announcement to be based on the works of Andrew Loyd webber, titled ‘Hats’ ” and “Valve announces it will exit the PC gaming industry and focus on classic-rock covers.” and a few people got very angry at me. It surprises me how angry people can get over a company, this non announcement is almost a relief, because there won’t be any endless speculation about it.

    I still regret not making a “Boycott HL:3” website during the L4D2 boycott, but that would require actual effort, something I lack.

    • Ace Jon says:

      When L4D2 came out, I put a video on Youtube called “L4D1 characters in L4D2 hack”. The video was a drawing of a tiger. Even now, I get _really_ angry comments.

    • Urthman says:

      Videos claiming to be something they’re not is the worst thing about YouTube, including the comments. So that makes you a bad person who should feel very bad.

    • hellojed says:

      Maybe the drawing reminded people of the time they got mauled by a tiger. Lots of people get mauled by tigers every day, sometimes when they least expect it. I would be angry too.

    • Toyoch says:

      @ hellojed
      U mad bro?

    • stele says:

      I got mauled by a Tiger as I was writing this.

      Oh and a Møøse once bit my sister.

    • Jim Reaper says:

      @ stele Oh realli! Was she was Karving her initials on the moose with the sharpened end of an interspace toothbrush given her by Svenge – her brother-in-law – an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian movies: “The Hot Hands of an Oslo Dentist”, “Fillings of Passion”, “The Huge Molars of Horst Nordfink”…

    • Berzee says:

      “This annoyed me greatly…It surprises me how angry people can get over a company…”

      annoyance is of course not equivalent to anger but this still amused me

    • stele says:

      @Jim Reaper – YEAH! How did you know?

    • Jim Reaper says:

      It’s Monty Python. ‘Nuff said. :-D

  13. Dune says:


  14. fishmitten says:

    Valve have borderline personality disorder

  15. Temple to Tei says:

    This site has gone downhill since you’ve started reporting less not-news.
    We demand more not-news.

  16. golden_worm says:

    Well Alec, a funny thing about regret is, it’s better to regret posting something Valve have done than to regret posting something they haven’t done. And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend, be sure and tell her ….

  17. Jad says:

    As I say in most of the articles when people start frothing at the mouth when Episode 3/Half-Life 3 gets shot down again: What I want from Valve is not another Half-Life sequel. I want another Portal. And I don’t mean Portal 2, but something like Portal 1 was when it came out, something completely out of the blue, brilliant and innovative and novel and groundbreaking. While it would be great if I could get both options and a pony, if there is any debate going on in Valve HQ that boils down to “1) Gamble on new experimental game with new storyline with new gameplay mechanics or 2) Continue the story of Mr. Freeman”, I hope they choose option #1. The people at Valve are brilliant, and I want to see what they can do when unconstrained by prior storylines or pre-conceived expectations of gameplay. I worked perfectly in the past, after all.

    • Urthman says:

      The Orange Box is very, very strong evidence that they are capable of doing both simultaneously.

    • Lukasz says:

      HL2 must be finished. period.
      They started it, it sold well, they are not a public company and have no financial troubles. but four years and nothing in sight. its worse than 3d realms and DNF fiasco.

      I don’t want from Ep3 innovation, ground breaking game mechanics. I just want Episodes to receive a proper ending. Then they can concentrate on Dotas, TFs, L eight D, Portals and whatever they want leaving HL series to gather dust for a decade or more.

      for now. the only game i am waiting from them is HL2:Ep3 or HL3 and everything else can bite my ass. no matter how awesome it is.

    • Jim Reaper says:

      The thing is, Episode 3 is something of an Albatross for Valve. As we constantly see, even when they announce that they have nothing to announce it still comes up. They should just release it as soon as possible, and then if they want to bury the Half-Life series, so be it….

    • sjjs says:

      I don’t want from Ep3 innovation, ground breaking game mechanics. I just want Episodes to receive a proper ending. Then they can concentrate on Dotas, TFs, L eight D, Portals and whatever they want leaving HL series to gather dust for a decade or more.

      Basically this. For a developer so lauded for its storytelling muscles, leaving the story – THE story that fucking made them in the first place – hanging in the air for so long reeks a bit of… I don’t know, ‘arrogance’ seems a bit harsh, ‘extreme nonchalance’ a bit mild.

    • PFlute says:

      It is a bit shit that they ended Episode 2 on perhaps the biggest dramatic cliffhanger, ramping things up a number of notches, and then years later they can’t even manage a teaser of Gordon reading the newspaper.

    • Berzee says:


    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, what Lukasz said. If Valve would just give the HL series a proper finish (after that positively diabolical cliffhanger at the end of Ep2) I’d honestly cease to care what else they made, game-wise. Portal’s lovely and all, but I’m not exactly invested in it as a franchise.

    • Rich says:

      Exactly my feelings also. I need closure.

    • MattM says:

      My first experience with cliff-hangers was the Star Trek:TNG episode “The Best of Both Worlds” (the one where Picard gets assimilated). Three months for a two-parter was just bearable. Shows that extend their season long arc over the summer break are pretty annoying. Having a three year break between chapters in a story is just ruinous. It reduces involvement with the characters, clouds memory, and destroys tension. Given the long production times and uncertainty around sequels, video games should contain complete stories (cough freespace cough). I am more excited to pick-up the sequel to a great and satisfying story than to buy yet another installment in an overly extended series.

  18. SquareWheel says:

    I am this disappointed: link to

  19. Harzel174 says:

    But would Episode 3 technically be a “title” as is defined in Valve memos?

    Makes you wonder what they will be talking about. New hats perhaps? Or exciting and revolutionary ascot technology? The next generation in accessorizing?

    Ah, hat stabs. It’s like cruise control for nerd cred.

    • Berzee says:

      hat stabs!? if a spy stabs someone in the hat it’s an instakill?

    • Harzel174 says:

      Only if your hat is rarer/better/more expensive than your target’s. Otherwise your spy will just stand there and look disappointed with himself for a few seconds

  20. colinmarc says:


    *quiet sobs*

  21. Deston says:

    They’re just pissed at 3D Realms / Gearbox stealing their thunder and showing them how Valve Time is really done, and are now out to set the record straight.

    Give it a few more years, and we’ll start seeing those crazy lists of “Stuff wot has happened since Half Life 3 / Episode 3 has been in development” popping up everywhere.

    I imagine those lists will include the human Mars missions, sentient AI development and perhaps the heat death of the universe.

  22. Daniel Rivas says:


  23. bwion says:

    I think it’s clear what’s happening here.

    Valve are going into the ARG business directly, and skipping that pesky ‘releasing a game at the end’ business, which brings them nothing but grief.

  24. Crimsoneer says:

    I think I speak for all of us when I say, Valve,

  25. dethtoll says:

    That’s it. I quit.

  26. Keith Nemitz says:

    Double un-news.

  27. negativedge says:

    A little weird that they’re not even going to bother showing DOTA

    • propjoe says:

      Why would they? It’s not like they’re going to release it within this decade.

  28. Pliqu3011 says:

    I bet there just fooling us and then, when its E3… BAM, announcement of Ep 3!
    Everybody happy, world peace, cure for cancer, etc.

    Oh, who am I kidding…

  29. Asskicker says:


    Edit: looks like a broke the comments. Valve’s fault!

    • jonfitt says:


      I found the rest of your O’s

  30. Delusibeta says:

    that’s very much a HOT SCOOP right there

  31. Pijama says:


    The most depressing thing about Valve Time: there are gamers who are DYING without seeing the end of Half Life 2. Bloody hell.

    (I am joking btw)

  32. OctaneHugo says:

    I wait patiently for Half-Life 3 (not an episode, a full game) but if they keep releasing good titles I hold no resentment.

  33. Urthman says:

    Endings are hard.

    It’s really easy to create a bunch of mysterious, intriguing events and characters. It’s much, much harder to come up with an interesting and satisfying explanation behind them all.

    How many movies or games with a Half-Life type plot have you seen that have really cool, satisfying endings? I can think of about zero, including the original Half-Life.

    I picture Marc Laidlaw sending Eric Wolpaw an e-mail every few weeks with another idea for how to tie everything together and end Half-Life, and Eric writes back a list of 3-4 ways that Old Man Murray would have made fun of that idea. Probably with lots of swears.

  34. stahlwerk says:

    I’m still thinking that HL3 and Ep3 will be announced some time later this year, september-ish, together with Source Engine 2. Both games will be released simultaneously or shortly after one another, with Ep3 acting as a (free?) prologue / tech-demo. Mark my words.

    • Kaira- says:

      Am I wrong if I remember that Episodes 1, 2 & 3 were supposed to be “Half-Life 3”?

    • CMaster says:

      Is Source undergoing a major update?
      There are lot of advantages on iterating on a mature and stable and shipped codebase, as opposed to starting over again.

      I think, when you see a game like Dota 2, you’ll see how developers can get a lot more out of Source than most companies can get from a scratch-built engine. I think that incremental approach to Steam has worked really well for us.

      Does that mean we’ll reach some architectural tipping-point where we’ll need to change? No. I mean, if Larrabee [Intel’s promising GPU that was cancelled as a consumer device] had shipped that would have probably necessitated some fairly dramatic changes in order to take advantage of it.

      But, so far we’ve been able to keep the engine moving ahead, robustly. I mean, I think it looks great.”

      From this interesting interview with Gabe Basically, not likely to see Valve replacing Source any time soon.

      I think Valve are missing something of a trick here, with developers abandoning Source in droves for “easier to work with” engines, that must apply internally too. A revamp of the tools and maybe the production line for content could be very helpful.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Yes, I have heard/read a similar statement of his somewhere before, but I can easily see his “opinion” / stance on this change as soon as they have new technology available. Until then of course they will try to sell the current engine, but the competition is fierce, and will only get worse (idtech 5, Frostbite 2, CryEngine 3 etc. all becoming available this year).

    • Vinraith says:


      You are not wrong, that was explicitly stated at the beginning of this fiasco. It wouldn’t surprise me if Valve had changed their mind in the intervening 5 years, however.

    • CMaster says:

      That’s a recent interview though (as in, last few week). Yes, that attitude may change – but you sure aren’t going to see that this year or next, as they know what tech changes are coming.

  35. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Why is there a tag for Team Fortress 2 and Portal, but no tag for DOTA 2?

  36. flamingmenudo says:

    Haven’t you guys noticed that if you string all the TF2 hats together in the right way THAT finishes the Half-Life storyline?

    Mild spoiler alert: basically Alex and Gordon end up “doing it” when they find themselves alone on a boat somewhere. But then the whole Half Life universe is revealed to be a dream that Chell had while in deep sleep between Portal 1 and 2.


  37. Big Murray says:

    I just get ridiculously pissed off about the furor.

    The same people trash the likes of Call of Duty for being obsessed with churning out games to schedule instead of taking their time making something good, and then turn round and cry for Valve to get a move on and release a new Half Life as quickly as humanly possible.

    They’re making other games right now. Just. Get. Over it.

    • Vinraith says:

      Following a cliffhanger beautifully designed to ratchet up the tension and suspense to astronomical levels with 4 years of stony silence on the subject has that effect. People want to see an end to that story, it’s not hard to understand.

    • PFlute says:

      I think there’s a lot of gray area between putting out a new million-dollar-generic-manshoots yearly and taking, as Vinraith has said, four years to put out what was originally supposed to be the next episodic installment built in the same engine as the previous ones.

      Of course, there’s nothing wrong with taking their time, especially if they’ve moved it onto a whole new engine/game in the series. But c’mon, Valve can’t even send a post card about it? They never call, they never write…

  38. nyck says:

    Why do I Love you so much VALVe, and, at the same time, i hate you so much? ¿Why do i hate you as much as i love you?….If this is a Joke, it’s not funny at all :( . If its not, it is sad day

  39. Da5id Jaz says:

    Why doesn’t Valve have their own convention by now, seems like everyone else does. Hell, a webcomic has a video game convention and Valve doesn’t. They have their own distribution system, I’m sure they could rally up some cool indie developers and other artist types to man the booths. It would provide an safe and friendly outlet for TF2 cosplayers at least.

    So what would this be called?
    Valvecon (booooring)

    I’m going for ‘the Con-bine’

    • Grygus says:

      Valve does have their own convention. It’s just that every year it doesn’t happen yet.

  40. City17 says:

    Someone needs to push the STALEMATE BUTTON.

  41. chiefjosh says:

    Half Life 2; Episode 3= The new Duke Nukem Forever

  42. chiefjosh says:

    Apparently, Valve is afraid to release HL2:EP3.
    Not i fear of sales being low, but of expectations not being met. They’ve raised our expectations a ton, and now are worried that it will not look good, have as great graphics as most overhyped games (no names, Allcay of Utyday), or even have a decent story. HL2 is a lot to live up to, and with every year now, expectations and technology gets better, thus pushing EP3 back a year each time, to the final release date of 20NEVER. . Simply said, they are afraid of working, announcing, and finishing the finale.

    • WhenInRome says:

      It’s a Valve catch-22:
      If they release it, there will be nerd rage. If they don’t, there will be nerd rage.

    • negativedge says:

      the thing you’re forgetting in your catch-all list of bullshit is the game itself. you know–the thing you play. no one here is event talking about games, they’re talking about stories and engines. blech.

  43. Chemix says:

    I don’t think HL2 fans are the most graphically obsessed people ever, I mean look at the gravity gun, it has a bunch of ugly stretched textures that look like something from half life 1 and they haven’t bothered with fixing of upgrading it, because there is no giant wailing demand for it, or for updated textures or models for the other weapons. Engine Updates improve many things, key character models have been improved, partly to show off aforementioned engine updates, partly to keep with the times, but most of the assets haven’t changed.

    The episodes were meant to do three things
    Be Shorter- CHECK
    Be Less Expensive- Check
    Be released more frequently- anticheck

    Specifically, the aim was a 6 month dev cycle, which has only been maintained in Valve time, where 6 months equals [(x)f/3]y(10)to the 12th power/ over 0.

  44. Jonathan says:

    No news is good news?

  45. something says:

    EP3 (which is a myth) has kept Valve in the headlines of every gaming site for years, during which time they’ve become one of the most beloved devs in the industry. Releasing it would be like… aw hell, I need a pop culture reference at this point. Does anyone know of a sitcom based on unresolved sexual tension, in which the couple finally got together, after which the show tanked? ‘Cos that’s what releasing EP3 would be like.

    • Urael says:

      Moonlighting. Bruce Willis’ early years. Probably before your time but yeah, it fits.

  46. Urael says:

    The worst thing about all this is the fact that this piece of “there will be no news” news has still received, at time of writing, 124 comments on RPS, and that number will surely head up into the late 200’s at least.


    Important enough to warrant this level of commitment? Certainly.
    Deserving of this level of commitment? …I’ll get back to you.

  47. Kevin says:

    As presumably 98% of the people who got Portal 1 had gotten it because it was packaged with the Orange Box, which they only got because of Half-life 2: Episode 2, I see basically ZERO reason why Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 would have sold any significant amount less, if at all, than Portal 2.

    You can make a much better case that Valve made L4D2 in lieu of Episode 3 for business reasons. But everyone would have been perfectly happy with a new Half-Life game made with the same attention to detail Portal 2 had.

    I’ll guarantee you that if you asked everyone who bought Portal 2 what game they would rather have had Valve make first, most of them would go with a new Half-Life game. Portal 2 is all well and good, but they made us so invested in the fiction of Half-Life that the longer time they spend away from it, the more it seems to fall apart.

    It also kind of disturbs me that we’re fast closing on the 4 year mark between the release of Episode 2 and today. Keep in mind that Valve made an incredibly impressive demo (canned as it was) in 2003, five years after the first Half-Life came out. Put that together with the fact that Valve explicitly stated that they would do only incremental updates to Source rather than complete rebuilds like they did in the interim between GoldSrc and Source and that with all their new hires their turnout should be better than ever and I’m astonished that they haven’t made at least a few gameplay reels for a respectable E3 reveal.

  48. inapplicable_idioms says:

    No news is good news.

  49. amorpheous says:

    “News: there won’t be any news.

    The fact that Valve sent out an email to tell people there is nothing to see makes me highly suspicious that there is actually a lot to see…

    Maybe they want us to think they’re going to announce something by telling us they won’t announce anything. But no! Maybe it’s reverse-reverse psychology and they want us to think that they won’t be announcing anything by first making us think they will be announcing something by telling people they won’t be announcing anything. OH GOD! I’M IN A RECURSIVE LOOP AND I CAN’T BREAK OUT! HELP! (or I’m in a paradox and I’m actually GLaDOS in disguise, but I don’t know it…?)