Last year the video game community was treated to the first Half-Life game in almost 13 years when Valve released the VR title Half-Life: Alyx. It was critically acclaimed and is considered by many to be the first real “killer app” for the VR platform. However, this also reinforced the fact that Valve themselves can still put out excellent titles such as this, no matter the circumstances. To this end, Valve Co-Founder and President Gabe Newell spoke to a news station in New Zealand, where he has been working since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit last year, and stated these magical words: “We definitely have games in development that we’re going to be announcing, it’s fun to ship games.”
— IGN (@IGN) January 21, 2021
It’s a phrase that so many longtime Valve fans have been waiting to hear. It also brings up, once again, a small possibility of maybe, finally, closing the last chapter on the Half-Life franchise. When pressed on this prospect, Newell did not budge for a direct answer, something that he is well-known for. “I’ve successfully not spoken about those things for a long time and I hope to continue to not talk about them until they are moot questions,” said Newell. “Then we’ll move on to a new set of questions. The nice thing is, by not answering those questions, I avoid the community coming up with new, equally-difficult-to-answer questions.”
It’s a response that we’ve all come to expect from Newell, and quite frankly, from the entire company of Valve in general. Newell did mention that the success of Half-Life: Alyx seemed to excite everyone at Valve and has apparently enticed them to want to work on more single-player games. This opens up numerous possibilities, not just for their existing franchises, but for brand new ones to be created. The fact that Valve is essentially just waiting to announce these new titles is more than just exciting, it’s flat out exhilarating.
Half-Life 3 has been teased so many times that it’s one of the earliest forms of an internet meme. Countless stories have come out since the original storyline concluded in 2007, such as one of the series writers saying that the game would not have a good ending, a voice actor denying that the game exists, a supposed insider denying it exists, the name appearing on a leaked Steam registry, and even an official trademark being updated way back in 2013. In short, it’s one of the industry’s biggest mysteries.
As for why Newell is even in New Zealand in the first place, he was initially there on a 10-day vacation but decided to stay put once the country put up their COVID-19 restrictions. Newell is apparently loving his time there and is actually considering making it the new permanent home for Valve itself. He told the news station that he is essentially a New Zealand resident “in principle” and plans on staying in the country for “the foreseeable future.”