Gabe Newell Hints As To Why Half-Life 3 May Never Come About


The gaming community has been trying to sniff out details of Half-Life 3 for years. During The International, Valve’s annual premiere Dota 2 tournament, some information was lifted from Valve headquarters suggesting work had moved forward on Left 4 Dead 3 and Source 2. Since then, there was a purported Half-Life 3 trademark that was quickly debunked. Needless to say, the well has run dry for the time being, and Gabe Newell may have just given some insight as to why. Recently Newell clarified the studio’s decision to move primarily into multiplayer development:

“you want them (developers) to recognize that being really good at Half-Life level design is not as nearly as valued as thinking of how to design social multi-player experiences. You’ve had them feel like they have an organization and title tied up to something when the key is to just continue to follow where the customers are leading.”

This sentiment was obviously expressed as a result Dota 2‘s overwhelming success. The free-to-play MOBA has amassed one of the largest gaming communities worldwide and has helped make Valve one of the most profitable private companies in the U.S. The connected multiplayer game space has proven to be handily more engaging, scalable, and profitable than single player experiences; at least the way Valve presents them.

It’s unclear what this means for the future of the coveted Half-Life franchise. Based on his statement I feel there’s far more chance of Left 4 Dead 3 being in the studio’s pipeline than a Half-Life sequel. Please also note that my estimation is pure speculation based on the above statement and Valve’s recent shift in development focus.

Source: NeoGAF

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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  • Dean_Winchester

    I could maybe understand them walking away from the franchise IF they had not left the series in a huge cliffhanger. Why not at least make a short HL2 EP3 that resolves the immediate storyline. I honestly think Newell is scared. HL3 has reached a level of Duke Nukem Forever hype, and he knows nothing they make will ever live up to it. So he has decided to just walk away from the franchise.

    • I don’t know about scared, but you are absolutely right about the fan expectation. Half-Life 3 would have to basically melt everyone’s brains for it to be worth the wait and all the hype. Novels, films, and the like have left their audiences up-in-the air forever as well. I keep holding hope that HL3 will be announced when alongside the finalized Valve proprietary Steam Machine.

      • mikefichera

        Definitely possible, Steam was launched along side HL2. Set up its dominating marketplace.

    • GuyBey0ndC00L

      I think you just downplaying HL3 till Source Engine 2 is finalized. Think about it why build a new game on an old engine.

      • Dakan45

        so has hl2 and the new tomb raider.

    • Dakan45

      Ironicly episosdes were made to give content to the players faster, but valve falied on that one as well, so they stopped making them, they need to reallize that by having a small development team, they may be more focused but they will never finish the game that way. By the time the game is ready, the ideas and technology will be dated.

      • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

        Not if dev tools get more sophisticated so that they can do more in less time.

        • Dakan45

          nope, no matter what you do, making 3d models as complex today, taks a low of time and manpower and lets not forget motion capture and testing and netcode and so many other things. You just cant do the job 200 people while being only 50.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            Have you seen the latest on the upcoming PC game called RESET? If so, then you’ll know nothing is impossible no matter how small the team that’s making the game.

          • Dakan45

            yeah its amazingly pretty but it doesnt have alot of assets. Its not like they made big maps without of buildings, or story, or voice acting or motion capture, or made weapons and detailed reallistic characters, its a robot and a bunch of cubes so far.

          • OctillionRed

            lol, I accidentally skipped Nintendo Fan’s second comment and when I read Dakan’s third I thought he was saying something about Portal.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            So do you agree with Dakan45 or me?

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            The game has story and I’m sure motion capture is being done to give the game the realism it portrays. Very sure the main robot you play actually has a voice and no idea about the extent of the world itself actually, but I think it’s supposed to be huge. The robot has personality like a human being while also having mystery to him and I’m sure there’s more to cubes than what they’ve told us so far. How can you say the game isn’t doing much when they haven’t even revealed all the specs and effects being used in the game yet?

          • Dakan45

            Because its made by 2 people, they cant design huge maps and alot of objects, they cant do motion capture and record professional voice acting, they cant do research and marketing. They dont have sound experts who make the sounds for movies and videogames.

            There are so many diffirent jobs in the big studios that are handled by so many diffirent people that they cant possibly do the same quality of work as a small studio.

            Sure there are mods made by few people that have amazing graphics or evne be complete games like cry of fear, but when ubisoft had hundrends of people to design the cities in ac2.

          • PC = FAIL SONY FTW

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            I don’t advise getting him started again

          • 😛 he is still a troll

          • Dakan45

            says the troll master with his brotherhood of sony trolls.

          • Dakan45

            Sorry kid sony days are numbers they got 79 chance of going bankrupt in 3 years ,they have closed down multiple divisions and they started making back the losses the last 3 years,

            Now sony trys to impress you with make believe bullcrap like “Greatness awaits” when in reallity they got nothing they are just less SHT than ms.

            Keep crying

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            Well, I don’t know if you’ve kept up lately with Quantum Break but they undisclosed this new tech called DMM that lets them make destructibility in the game faster and more realistic and eases their development time. Perhaps the people making RESET are using some secret tech that hasn’t been revealed yet-that Nvidia may talk about tomorrow at CES 2014?

          • Dakan45

            yeah but its like deminishing returns..oh why the hell am i even botheting? Do you not see how all 3 of him got here out of nowhere and upvoted his comment, who is the troll now?

            Yet you agree with the trolsl and upvote them as well, so you are not trolling as well.

          • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

            They wanted to get revenge for you not seeing eye to eye with them so yeah supposedly they followed you here with the intent of changing your mind, and upvoted his comment as an act of resistance to show they wouldn’t back down so easily, not because they meant to ruin your day. Because they’re my friends and they never do this and I saw their side had more evidence of nontrolling, I upvoted them as support but in the midst of this confusion, if you’re not a troll and they were merely trying to trick me, which they did, I sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding as I was only trying to look out for my friends and didn’t mean any offense to you. And no I don’t troll on a daily basis or at all, and can tell you they don’t troll, they just follow through like they’re political activists to get their point across so I see why you’d assume they’re flat out trolls. Again they’re not trolls and they’re very nice people once you get to know them-they communicate through Twitter because they’re like family-a community with common interests and ideals that stand together to make themselves stronger when others stand alone and won’t hear what they have to say. I apologize for all of this, as I had no part in this at all, and this was just all an unfortunate accident, and wish you a good day. now then, do you believe Half Life 3 exists in any shape or form or is just simply incoherent electronic data matrices at this point?

    • big dick bro

      actually hl3’s hype

      a. started before dn4’s
      b. has always been far greater than dn4’s

      it hasn’t “reached dn4 level hype” it has always been far beyond it.

      and as such, will never be released. it’s a pr tool. whenever they say they have an announcement, everyone will lean in for the big surprise. and it’ll be some hats for a game with no story mode.

      valve can go fuck themselves. leaving it on a cliffhanger was a shitty fucking thing to do and i’ll pirate every game they ever make worth playing from now till the end of time because of it.

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  • Jason Mounce

    First things first. Don’t expect anything until Valve shows off their next Game Engine, they can’t run everything on Source forever, once Source 2.0 or such comes to exist, we know they’ve gotta make SOMETHING for it (Beyond L4D or CS or Portal or a new IP altogether)

    A new engine has to be in progress. Just to make it as legendary as Source is currently, it needs a LOT of work.

    • Dakan45

      and the fact they keep their development teams small doesnt make development any faster either.

      • Jason Mounce

        They’re probably trying to make sure the giant Half-Life 2 leak doesn’t happen again, if I remember correctly, whoever was responsible for doing it caused a good deal of damage too. If they made an engine that was completely ‘PC-Nextgen’ (However anyone wants to perceive or label that concept) and showed it to the world like they originally did with Source, in which many PC gamers are just waiting for that specific moment. Valve would implode :l

        Small teams helps so no public leaks also happen, unlike Sony and their comical nature of barely ever being able to keep secrets when it comes to announcements of the past 4-6 years.

        • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

          So you DO believe Half Life 3 exists?

          • Jason Mounce

            That’s really hard to determine for me :l I’d think after so long, that the story or what direction they wanted to go would already be in the Know for them, that much is certain, as the path from Ep2 to what would’ve been Ep3 was already in-mind. Just they cancelled Episodic Content so as to do what I and many others would think would be a new Leap as was from HL1 to HL2.

            HL1 released in 1998 and HL2 in 2004 with source. Ever since 2004 and even to Now, Valve keeps updating and upgrading and improving Source to be what it is today, HL2 to Portal 2 has a fantastic and notable difference in visual quality to help maintain its position in the visual department in contrast to other studios in the FPS field. So, I’d think it a huge priority that all those improvements, all those lessons that came with source, all those community-enabled features that could make mods like Garry’s Mod be so crazy and fun with nearly unlimited ideas from that alone. That ‘Source 2’ would need to be crazy-filled at the get-go for them to really have potential and at wow’ing fans with a world that doesn’t look stale or synthetic, but lively….and who knows, maybe HL3 has been put on halt or scrapped multiple times due to the engine not being ready enough. (as not only was Ep3 going to be made, but Ep4 by another studio was in mind too before it was scrapped altogether) so, in essence, HL3 in a way, ‘had’ to have existed.

            Does it ‘exist’ in some tangible form that is Updated to recent and unconfirmed technology? I have no idea. :l

  • the game aren’t coming man.
    Valv3 is afraid of making the 3rd sequel and then failing on it, then it will go down in history or another trilogy failure:/

    They want to stick to Half Life 2 being an incredible FPS benchmark.
    You can’t create the same thunder twice, is their aim.

    Half life 1 was amazing.
    Half Life 2 was too incredible.
    we all expect Half Life 3 to be Best Game EvAR!
    but curiosity is saying Half Life 3 might suck.

    How many 3rd sequel of games had actually been successful?
    movies usually suck.

    No half life 3, no Shenmue 3.
    at least we got Marvel vs Capcom 3:/

    • CMB

      pikmin 3 was pretty good 😛

      • handy3

        Toy Story 2 was okay

        • CMB

          But that was 2 not 3!

      • CerN

        Metal Gear Solid 3 was pretty good:)

    • NarooN

      Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 was pretty sick.


      splinter cell: chaos theory (pt.3) is the best in the franchise!!!

    • John Apeli

      Bioshock Infinite, Uncharted 3, GoW 3, Halo 3, Gears of War 3, GTA 3, BF3, Monster Hunter 3, ratchet and Clank 3, Warcraft 3, Fallout 3, Morrowind. Just to name a few

    • Dakan45

      shenmue failed due to development costs, buy yeah i agree the expectasions are too high, just wtf they gonna do with hl3?

      Especially since hl2 was pretty overrated.

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    sellouts valve knows they cant make a game that lives up to half-life 1, or even half-life 2. Too busy making money with steam and making a crappy steam box that there is no market for.

    • Cnutbutter

      They’re not making a steam box. They’re creating a platform and third parties can build a console if they’d like. Valve doesn’t build consoles.

      • Talidan

        Valve has their own Steam Box they’re releasing, while also licensing out the name for whoever wants to build their own.

        • Cnutbutter

          Not true. Valve is not releasing a console. They built some consoles as an example and sent them to third parties. Valve will not build or sell a steam box to the public. That’s not what they do. They did create a controller though.

          • Talidan

            It has been heavily implied by Valve that’s what they’re going to do.

            And if you want to get technical, many hardware companies don’t build their own stuff. That’s why places like Foxconn exists.

            I guess it really depends on how you define “build their own”. They’re partnering with manufacturing companies, meaning they’ll have their own optimal designs produced. Built by their own company? No, but Sony and Microsoft don’t build their own consoles either.

          • Cnutbutter

            If you want to get technical, nothing I said was wrong. What you said wasn’t wrong either. I read your first post thinking when you said “releasing” their own steam box, you meant valve was building one and selling to public. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Truls

    Great marketing ploy, Valve would never abandon Half-Life, Source 2 and Steambox exclusive to draw hardware manufactures.

  • TyroPro

    I consider the cliffhanger at the end of episode 2 followed by all these years without any closure to be an insult to my emotions. I cared a lot about Alex and her father and this prolonged lack of information regarding their well-being has proven too maddening. So I’ve stopped giving a fuck a won’t ever buy HL3 even if it’s GoTY material.

  • Crown me

    Ughhhh…we still wanna play Half-Life 3 though.

  • Dakan45

    For starters valve likes to keep their workforce small, so thats why it takes forever. The dota and other mobaa games development teams have nothing to do with half life.

    But seriously cod, bf, titanfall,destiny, division, singleplayer fps are dying and dont tell me thats becasue people are not buying them like horror and hakck and slash games, its because the developers are not making them because they can get more money out of mp games.

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  • NachoKingP

    Newell isn’t exactly a beacon of stability when it comes to what he says. There was a time when he said that the PS3 was a “total disaster”, yet a few years later he announced Steamworks for the PS3. I wouldn’t take this too seriously.

  • TheUnknown

    Half Life 3 for Wii U confirmed!

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  • вввввввв

    твою мать почему

  • Jere

    So Half Life 3 is just gonna turn into a FTP MOBA with many hats?

  • Red Lectroid

    This CRAP about playing a game to “socialize” is idiocy. The whole multiplayer aspect of a game is NOT more important than the single-player campaign that is based on a story and is paced by you… the player. When a game has NO storyline, then it resorts to the multiplayer option, which can be fun… but is not a replacement for the single-player experience.

    If Valve has it in their heads that all future games have to force us to connect to other people in order to play, then they will be shooting themselves in the face. There are PLENTY of complaints about Destiny for this same reason.