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Half-Life 3 Confirmed is a catchphrase associated with the rumored announcement of the fifth installment in the popular Half-Life franchise developed by Valve. Since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 in October 2007, fans have long anticipated the next installment in the franchise, which over time lead to numerous intentionally fake theories that have little to nothing to do with the games, alongside various stories which claim the release of the game to be coincident with The Rapture
Valve’s Half-Life franchise started on November 19th, 1998, and was as well the debut title of Valve Software. On November 16, 2004, Valve released Half-Life 2, the sequel to the original game. This was followed by Half-Life 2: Episode One on June 1, 2006, and Half Life 2: Episode Two on October 10, 2007. Originally, Valve intended to release the episodes 6 months apart. Instead, Episode Two was released over a year after Episode One, and Half-Life 2: Episode Three, which was supposed to follow 6 months after Episode 2, has been delayed indefinitely.
Since the episode’s announcement in 2006, and the release of a number of concept art images in 2008 (shown above), there have been a number of rumours and hoaxes regarding the supposed announcement of a release date for Episode Three, all of which have been denied by Valve.
Prior to large gaming events, such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo, speculations on the announcement of Half-Life 3 are often made surrounding Valve’s presentation during the events, which are commonly later debunked by various gaming websites as it becomes clear the sequel won’t appear during the event.
In early August of 2012, numerous rumors were released which speculated that Valve was working on a new gaming engine. This was later confirmed during a visit of 4chan’s /v/ (videogames) board at Valve in celebration of Gabe Newell’s 50th birthday (shown below) in early November of the same year. Both the rumors and the confirmation on the new engine lead to various websites speculating it to be the reason Half-Life 3 was delayed numerous times, such as VG 24/7, Joystiq, Eurogamer, Trusted Reviews and Now Gamer.
On June 8th, 2012, and April 2nd, 2013, Julia Lepetit and Andrew Bridgman submitted 2 comics to the videogame humor sharing website Dorkly about the constant excitement of Half-Life 3 and the common release claims on April Fools’ day. As of June 17th, 2013, both comics received respectively more than 990 and 5,400 Facebook likes.
On April Fools Day 2013, a store page was added to the Valve Steam store for Half-Life 2: Episode Three, which turned out to be an advertising stunt from bargain hunting website CheapShark. This joke was covered by various gaming websites such as Destructoid, ScrewAttack and Game Revolution. On June 10th, a picture appeared (shown below) on the r/gaming sub-Reddit which showed a Half-Life 3 poster at the convention, which was subsequentally posted on FunnyJunk the same day. Although the picture was proven fake pretty early, it managed to gain nearly 5000 upvotes on Reddit and more than 600 on FunnyJunk in less than a week.
Valve’s Trademark Registration
On September 29th, 2013, Valve filed a trademark request for the name “Half-Life 3” with the European Union, as evidenced by the document publicly available on the EU’s Trademarks and Designs Registration Office website. Then on October 1st, NeoGAF forum member Shinobi602 shared screenshots of the trademark request form in a thread titled “Valve files trademark for…,” generating more than 750 responses from the community in less than 48 hours.
Inevitably, fan speculations about the Half Life 3 project began to spread wildly across the gaming community, which became further strengthened by leaked information from Valve’s internal bug-tracking Jira database confirming that there are two development groups involved with the project, one marked “Half-Life 3” with 46 staff members and another one marked “Half-Life 3 Core” with 10 staff members.
Trusted Reviews – Source 2 Engine Explains Half-Life 2 Episode 3 Delays?
ScrewAttack – Half-Life 2: Episode 3 page appears on Steam Store
Washington Post – Valve has registered a European trademark for Half-Life 3
The Daily Dot – Valve trademarks ‘Half-Life 3,’ Internet goes bananas