[Sound of a doorbell ringing.] "Hello there! Yes, I have a delivery for you, Mr, um, Hugh Mann." "What? That can't be right. I never ordered anything." "No, no, I'm pretty sure you did. I couldn't help but notice you're having a parade out back. It's very nice. Wouldn't want anything unfortunate to happen to it." "Er, yeah. Anyway, I guess I'll sign for this so you can go." [Gigantic rain cloud emerges from box and ravages parade.] "NOOOOOOOO." [Gabe Newell throws down his delivery cap and flees into a nearby alleyway, cackling maniacally.]
E3, ladies and gentlemen.
It all began with a purported discussion between a ValveTime forum member and head honcho/incurable prankster Gabe Newell himself. "We are not announcing anything at E3. Really," Newell apparently said in an email. "We are not announcing Half-Life 3 or Portal 3 or Left 4 Dead 3. We are going to be showing stuff everyone already knows about (CS:GO, DOTA 2, [Steam's big picture mode])."
And while Valve rep Doug Lombardi, speaking to Joystiq, wouldn't stamp his seal of approval on that particular exchange, he did confirm that "We have no product announcements planned for this year's show."
So that's kind of a bummer. I doubt this is just a big goofy "gotcha" ruse, either, seeing as Valve's been uncharacteristically open lately, between the sizable Future Glasses discussion, employee handbook, and rather frank explanation of why Ricochet 2's taken half a lifetime to complete. Who knows, though? Maybe the mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a very dignified wisdom beard will turn around and take the wraps off Valve's Next Big Thing the day after E3 wraps up. And then: an alleyway, cackling, etc. Gabe Newell, you so crazy.