RPS Verifies: Those Left 4 Dead 3/Source 2 Images, More

Hello there, you are on the Internet. Assuming this is not your first time ever diving into this brave, wacky experiment that’s been a cornerstone of human society for the past 15 years, you are almost certainly aware of two things: 1) Porn. 2) A screenshot of an alleged Valve change log that recently leaked, more or less revealing the existence of Left 4 Dead 3 and Source Engine 2. I decided to get in touch with a few sources (hah, I guess) close to Valve for verification and a few scant details.

First up, the most important detail: yes, the image – which references L4D3 and Source 2 in multiple subject lines – is 100 percent real. Multiple sources, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed as much. For the moment, at least, it’s probably safe to assume that both are in development.

More interestingly, one source also pointed to another, slightly less-publicized email leak from a couple months ago that referenced Left 4 Dead 3 (with nearly 70 developers to its name), Source 2, and Half-Life 3, in addition to smaller scale mystery projects like “Cries Unheard” and “Microbe Wars”. The source declined to comment any further, but specifically pointed to it as something else well worth looking at. It should be noted, however, that the leak in question referenced some outdated information – including employees who had since departed from the shadowy mega-studio.

Contrasting that to an extent, further rumblings – verified by multiple sources but not really elaborated upon because Valve – suggest an internal feeling of change in recent times due to the success of potentially un-ending mainstay games like Valve’s own DOTA 2 and League of Legends. Perhaps expect fewer short-lived, more traditional games out of the gated Newelltopia, but note that I am only speculating about what might happen as a result of Valve’s apparent change in direction.

I’ve requested official comment from Valve, but heard nothing back so far. I’ll update this story if I do.

So there’s all I have at the moment. I plan to dig more, but even sources willing to speak were pretty tight-lipped, mostly preferring to nod yes or no to tiny tidbits from the Internet/other sources. If I find out anything else, you’ll hear about it. Well, assuming Valve’s infamous secret-keeping squads aren’t out for my head right this very secon–


  1. GamesInquirer says:

    Shocking news.

    • Hasney says:

      Almost as shocking as the European Team Fortress 2 Mann Up MVM servers being down for over a week and a half. Pretty sure they’ve been re-purposed for DOTA2 with their “new direction” which is a shame, pretty sure they Valve were milking at least £3 a day out of my addiction!

      Can’t really care about any new Valve games until my little addiction is restored. I have the shakes and queuing for 15 minutes before dumping me into a 3 figure ping server isn’t cutting it. Like bad crack rocks (I assume)

      • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

        Isn’t dota p2p?

        • godofdefeat says:

          You are thinking of League Of Legends, right?

          DotA 2 has ONLY cosmetics.

          • darkChozo says:

            This is a doubly confusing comment thread!

            (answer key: p2p != p2w, and Dota 2 is not p2p, it’s f2p, now I’ve g2g)

          • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

            I meant peer to peer…

        • Cataleast says:

          Dota2 isn’t p2p. The clearest sign of this is the “Finding a server” text right before the “game is ready” popup… and also the occasional server disconnect right before the beta ended.

      • The Random One says:

        There’s a certain poetry in them neglecting the MOBA-like servers of their FPS in favor of their actual MOBA.

        And when I say MOBA I mean SAUSAGES.

  2. luukdeman111 says:

    Let’s go and waterboard Ted Carson!!!

  3. Widthwood says:

    Didn’t we already know all of that? Half-life 3, Source 2 were confirmed by Gaben long ago, and Left 4 Dead 3 was strongly hinted at.

    • smoozles says:

      But what about Ricochet 2?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >Half-life 3, Source 2 were confirmed by Gaben long ago

      Source 2, yes. HL3, no. He has been talking about Ricochet 2 which many took for a likely tongue in cheek reference to HL3, but he could just have been joking. I wouldn’t call it “confirmed” in any case.

      link to computerandvideogames.com

      • Widthwood says:

        I meant the “This things take time” line in CLANG pitch video. About as direct as Gabe could get until formal announcement…

        • Chris D says:

          That still looks pretty damn indirect to me. There’s no mention of Half-Life 3 anywhere. I think it was just a Valve-time joke. It’s certainly a long, long way from anything approaching what I’d call a confirmation.

          Here’s that video in case anyone wants to point out any subtle clues I’ve missed.

          link to kickstarter.com

          Gabe is in at the three minute mark.

          • Widthwood says:

            Come on… Its Gabe, hardening a crowbar, saying “These things… they take time!”

            I don’t remember Gabe trolling anyone this much, but I do remember him saying they don’t want to officially announce anything until they are 100% sure of the release date now, which seems to be the case with half-life.

          • Bull0 says:

            Gabe is in at the three minute mark.
            three minute
            HL3 confirmed

          • lofaszjoska says:

            That vid..
            It’s so spot on it makes me wonder how Clang didn’t raise ten times as much as the funding goal.
            Whoever came up with that pitch video could probably convince me to buy peach flavored NA beer.

  4. Nocta says:

    I don’t really get why it would be so surprising that L4D 3 is being created… oO

    • Widthwood says:

      Right, it’s not like it is Left4Dead4 – now that would be ridiculous

    • basilisk says:

      It isn’t that surprising, but it’s another very strong confirmation of the massive shift in Valve’s priorities. To put this in perspective, the first L4D was released after HL2:E2. And now it’s getting a second sequel.

      It also won’t be surprising when they reveal that L4D3 is going to be free to play, with hats.

  5. JackShandy says:

    Y-you mean Valve might be making half-life 3?!

    Jokes aside, good onya nathan. Fact-checking is rad.

  6. honuk says:

    “Contrasting that to an extent, further rumblings – verified by multiple sources but not really elaborated upon because Valve – suggest an internal feeling of change in recent times due to the success of potentially un-ending mainstay games like Valve’s own DOTA 2 and League of Legends.”

    They’ve said as much forever. Remember when they intimated that Portal 2 might be their last single player game? What if they…weren’t making that up? Valve is basically a software-and-service company right now. Dota 2 is going to make them a zillion dollars and occupy them for a decade, and they didn’t even design it to begin with. I’d imagine HL3 is a pretty low priority for them at this point; probably something like a prestige project and a bit of an advertisement for Source 2.

    • moocow says:

      Valve is privately owned, and that gives me at least hope that Gabe &co. aren’t necessarily solely motivated by profits as public companies are. I’m sure many of them are already inordinately wealthy, and Valve gets enough income from Steam to sustain whatever batshit crazy projects they want to experiment with.

      That said, it’s also entirely possible that they find this new direction “more interesting” and assume it is a good model for making games (or is incentivised by their weird internal allegedly utopian structure), and so could abandon the kind of single player games I care about without it being just because DotA 2 is the fattest of cash cows.

    • Widthwood says:

      Seeing as Valve employees more or less work on what they want to work on, I’d wager lots of people there would want to do next HalfLife..

  7. BobbyDylan says:

    Can’t be. Valve doesn’t do 3’s. It must be L4D4.

  8. povu says:

    I don’t really need a L4D3 yet. L4D2 has all the campaigns from L4D1 now, it has all those mutation modes to vary things up, improved mod support, and already a whole bunch of great custom campaigns.

    Admittedly I haven’t been playing it constantly from the start but I’m still not bored.

  9. gunny1993 says:

    Let’s just hope that HL3 hasn’t been L4D….3

  10. Teovald says:

    So, Valve is working on Half Life 3 & a new engine ?
    Wow, nobody could have guessed that !

  11. Yosharian says:

    HL3 is vaporware at this point, I think. Might as well forget about it.

  12. Penguin_Factory says:

    I think we can all agree that Microbe Wars is the most exciting bit of news to come out of this.

    • KwisatzHaderach says:

      Absolutely agree! Can’t wait for a game where i can upgrade my protozoon with a turbo-flagella and remote killer cells!

    • Doomsayer says:

      It’s a mobile game. I cannot not be a mobile game.

  13. cunningmunki says:

    More importantly, what happened to the Steam Box dev kits that were supposed to ship in June? And why is no one wondering or asking what happened to them? Was that the secret-keeping squads too? *looks around nervously*

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      The entire hardware team was laid off and the hardware prototype was given to the project lead. She was pretty pissed about the whole thing, too.

      link to gamasutra.com

      • varangian says:

        Thanks for the link, hadn’t been that much interested in the Steam Box per se but hadn’t realised it had been thrown under the bus. And it sounds like Valve can be a shit place to work if you aren’t ‘part of the culture’ and in with powers that be. Seems like everyone in Valve wants to work on safe things like designing hats which possibly explains their pisspoor level of innovation over the last decade or so.

        Edit: Although from the 30 minutes or so of the video I’ve watched it seems she was working on some other bit of h/w that sounds much more interesting than the Steam Box. Possibly the SB is still staggering along.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          AFAIK, she was working on various hardware ideas, including the SteamBox and (IIRC) an internal VR headset. Also, AFAIK, the entire hardware staff is gone. They might have the box on the backburner, but I can’t realistically see Valve releasing a console or any other notable hardware at this point. MS and Sony are geared up to the teeth to wage war this upcoming console generation and they have stocked their warchests with huge amounts of funds. It would be immensely costly for Valve to compete with them, and the other kinds of cool tech (like streaming from your PC to your TV) is already in the works by other companies. So, Valve can either compete against two entrenched behemoths that are willing to toss billions to ensure their victory (and potentially lose billions if it doesn’t work out well for them) or they can compete against more niche tech where numerous competitors already have workable solutions coming to market.

          In the end, releasing any kind of hardware, be it a full-on console or even a middle-ground solution (like a streaming box) requires a lot of capital, a lot of employees, a lot of legal work, a lot of contracts, a lot space, and a lot of headaches. You have to ask yourself, is it worth it? I think Gabe did just that and decided that the frustrations and additional overhead that such a thing would bring is simply not worth it. Remember, Gabe is a huge Texas Hold ‘Em player and I’m more than certain he has weighed the risks and properly assessed them.

          I also take Ellsworth’s words with a grain of salt. She alludes, several times, to how she wasn’t allowed to make her own teams and hire specific people. That’s because that’s not how Valve works, apparently, and I don’t know why she thought she should be allowed to be an exception to that. It seems to me, and through no fault of her own, that her work ethic and workplace style just wasn’t compatible with how Valve is run. It’s not her fault, it’s not Valve’s fault, it just simply is. Some places require working from home. Some people are horrible at working from home. It doesn’t make the business suck and it doesn’t make those that can’t work well from home suck, it’s just that there’s a compatibility problem regarding the workplace and work ethos.

          • Widthwood says:

            This wasn’t about money – she and her team are working on the same thing they worked at Valve, but now as an independent company – Gabe singed off everything to her. They are planning a Kickstarter route, the product is 3D glasses without screens without any bulk at all, with ability of 3d manipulation, exact head tracking, with ability to get up close to models and look inside, look around them (physically, like standing up and walking arond) or above them, to make 3d sound – like holding your ear to closer to something you hear more, with multiple people supported on the same “screen”, with multiplayer across screens – for about 200$.

            Frankly, to hell with Source2 or L4D or HL3 – I think what she is doing is an order of magnitude more interesting. The catch is – they are more focused on a hardware side, but since it will be very developer friendly I’m sure software and games won’t be a problem.

          • cunningmunki says:

            Ellsworth was working on Steam Box controllers along with a load of other people that are still there, not the Box itself,

      • cunningmunki says:

        There are no confirmed reports that those layoffs had anything to do with Steam Box, or that any of them were working on it. Last time I checked Greg Coomer was leader of the Steam Box team, and he’s still at Valve.

        If there has even been a hint that the layoffs were Steam Box related, I think the world’s tech media would have run “STEAM BOX DEAD” kind of headlines.

        So my question stands. Where are the dev kits?

  14. LionsPhil says:

    Odd that they seem to have an automated tool submitting binaries to version control.

    Sure, archive your released builds, but that’s not reeeeealy the place to put them.

    • Widthwood says:

      It is nice to have them versioned for say testers to grab. Something like samba share works too, but then you have to do something extra for differential sync…
      VCS is there anyway and current VCS’s have no problems handling binaries so why not use it?

  15. malkav11 says:

    It would be sad if they really are shifting focus, since none of their multiplayer titles do much for me (I mean, TF2 is the best multiplayer shooting experience I’ve had but it’s still not much of a draw for my time). Understandable, but sad.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      yeah… I’m not the least bit interested in dota2 either. I thought they had this indie-mentality where every team just works on whatever they’re interested in at the moment. Now we’re hearing that they’re going the money-grubbing route like they’re EA or something.

    • phelix says:

      Maybe your expectations are just too high.

  16. kupocake says:

    So, Left 4 Dead Free instead of Left 4 Dead Three? As someone who lacks the ability to differentiate the two words in speech, I welcome this decision that may or may not have been made.

  17. Sardonic says:

    Valve is just determined at this point to release every game but HL3 it seems.

  18. CelticPixel says:

    Ted Carson’s sitting at his desk playing L4D3 right now and laughing at all us little people!

  19. trjp says:

    $10 says that image was a deliberate leak – it’s just too conveniently perfect to be someone casually snapping it and getting lucky ;)

    I am disappoint that we didn’t have a “Snap News: Integer increases at end of game name” title here…

    • Widthwood says:

      Possible… Look at revision numbers – that list is clearly filtered, probably excluding changes to any other announced projects. And in the projects column there are changesets for steam, web, source2, and dota – but nothing from 5th project – probably “unreleased games”

      • benkc says:

        Revision numbers are naturally sparse in some version control systems, like P4. (I can’t tell what this is, perhaps you can squint better than I.)

        Also, I can’t remember any time when I’ve pulled up an unfiltered list of changes without immediately saying, “Whoops, that’s not what I meant to do.”

        • Widthwood says:

          This IS perforce, so much for that theory :/ didn’t know about sparse version numbers, thought global repository versions (if there are any) should either be consequential or some kind of uids..

          At the surface though this indeed looks like unfiltered log – there are completely different changesets, like some PHP fix for web mixed with new quest for DOTA mixed with steam DLC enhancements mixed with source2 changes… Can’t imagine who would need a filter with all of that.

  20. ResonanceCascade says:

    If Valve really decides that more games like Dota 2 and TF2 are going to be their future, then count me out. Best of luck to them, but I’m out. And while I’m sure they’ll still rake in the dough (probably more than ever), I think a lot of the people who’ve been with them since day one will be out too. Sad times, I hope it doesn’t actually go down that way.

  21. DeFrank says:

    Hopefully SFM will be compatible with Source 2 :/

  22. Dana says:

    Confirmation through Speculation.

  23. Fatikis says:

    Valve will simply not address this leak.
    They tend to just ignore these things.

    I has seemed obvious for a while that L4D3 would be their next game. There is no easy way to build an in game economy/store into HL3.

  24. Chubzdoomer says:

    I think it’s comical that people are so surprised by and excited about this reveal. I always thought the Left 4 Dead games were quite overrated myself. The first one was extremely fun until you caught onto the pattern and each level became a chore to play through. Unless they do something drastically different with the third, I’m sure it will be quite overrated as well.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Where are all these excited and surprised people? Certainly not in this thread, though I suspect the L4D forums are exploding at the moment.

  25. MetalHeadCrab says:

    Gabe Newell, you are handsome and not even remotely fat.

  26. chabuhi says:

    SteamOS exclusive launch title. Coming to PC … Never