“Half-Life 3 confirmed” is a universally understood, industry-wide gamer-culture joke, and rightfully so.
The emphatic devotion that Half-Life fans have for their beloved franchise, and the staunch belief that their Messiah shall return once again in the corporeal form of Half-Life 3, has turned them into zealots who seem to lack any sense of self-respect.
While we would never definitively “confirm” that Half-Life 3 is "never" coming out, most evidence leads to that being the case. Regardless, no matter how much evidence there is or how obvious the conclusion seems, the most zealous of Half-Life 3 believers can’t seem to be persuaded.
On their behalf, we’ve compiled this list of 20 Dumb Half-Life 3 Myths People Still Believe, so the world can see just how absurd these far-fetched beliefs are.
20 The Original “Half-Life 3 Confirmed”
Over a decade ago, Valve made the (decidedly premature) announcement that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 was in production and would release for Christmas in 2007.
Why they made this “confirmation” is anyone’s guess, but it’s not only clear that they weren’t ready to put out a product for Christmas, 2007; they weren’t going to put out a product ever.
And thus began the horrifyingly pathetic saga of “Half-Life 3 confirmed.”
19 The Meaning Of The Random Room
Many moons ago, way back in 2011, someone had discovered a tiny Half-Life 2 map on Megaupload. The map contained a room with strange, obscured imagery and a bizarre audio file.
Despite this lack of… well, anything… fans were obsessively certain that this had something to do with Half-Life 3.
18 The Spooky Website
The intentionally absurd “Half Life 3 confirmed” joke isn’t something that cropped up overnight; it stemmed from a multitude of very real occurrences where fans would look for the most obscure details and try to derive some hidden or symbolic meaning from them in order to prove that Half-Life 3 was on the way.
In 2011, a “mysterious” website bearing a cryptic “…/3” appeared, and, as Half-Life fans are wont to do, immediately began a slew of “confirmed” theories.
Too bad they didn’t realize how obvious of a hoax the site was.
17 The Reveal “Mistake”
2012 may not have fulfilled the supposed “doomsday” prophecy involving the Mayan calendar, but it sure did cause an apocalyptic wave of earth-shattering emotion among Half-Life 3 devotees.
For that year’s Gamescom, a list of exhibits revealed that Half-Life 3 was supposedly going to make its long-awaited appearance.
Obviously, it never did, and a correction was shortly made. That said, Gamescom never explained how such a gaffe happened... leading us to believe a certain group of Newell-approved trolls had something to do with it.
16 “Ep 3 Blob Shake Position”
Within Alien Swarm’s editing tools, otherwise known as “SDK,” eagle-eyed explorers found Half-Life 3 references, such as “Ep3 Blob Shake Position” and “Ep3 Blob Brain Cover Position.”
Of course, nothing about any of those references meant much of anything, and considering that this was discovered way back in 2010, it’s clear that they were simply leftover prototype code or a mean-spirited joke.
15 The Doctored Screen Shot
Despite being announced a mere two years prior, Half-Life 3’s rumor mill was already at full power, and, in 2008, the first major (and very fake) glimpse at “Half-Life 3” made its debut.
Taking the form of a lovely-looking screenshot, fans fell head-over-heels for the too-good-to-be-true image. Alas, there are still those among the most devoted who believe in this hoax’s authenticity.
14 Questionable Code
Much like the case with the supposed Half-Life-related references and code in Alien Swarm’s SDK, Portal 2’s own editing tool contained a few as well, specifically one piece of code that read “Combine Advisor – Roaming.” And if that wasn’t enough, Valve actually removed the code.
Ah ha! We discovered something secret! Surely this is an incredible piece of evidence for Half-Life 3’s existence and imminent release!
Nope. It wasn’t.
To be fair, though, this might have legitimately been a genuine piece evidence for when Half-Life 3 actually existed, but who can say?
13 “Half-Life 3 Will Be Out In Five Years”
Gabe Newell has become something of a living meme, and it’s likely that most of that can be attributed to the entirety of the mind-numbing Half-Life 3 saga.
Gabe is keenly aware of this and apparently decided to use his newfound meme-hood for evil, specifically by trolling the rabid and starving Half-Life fan base.
For example, he implied that Half-Life 3 would be out in the next five years and then added a winking emoji.
This was clearly a joke, but people took it VERY seriously, and we couldn’t tell you why.
12 The European Trademark Incident
Trademarks, copyrights, hype and the video game industry have gone hand-in-hand for much of the modern era.
However, most excitement stemming from patents, copyrights, trademarks or the such usually fizzles out because it’s merely companies trying to cover all their legal bases.
This is usually considered to be common knowledge, but it didn’t stop Half-Life fans from losing their minds when a Half-Life 3 trademark was filed in Europe… and they didn’t stop, even when it was revealed to be a hoax.
11 Dota 2’s Questionable Update
In 2015, a group of crusty miners digging through the precious ore of Dota 2’s update found what appeared to be an insanely valuable gem: a file entitled “hl3.txt” which contained information regarding things specific to Half-Life.
Of course, this made the fan base act like they had found the Holy Grail, and there were many celebrations.
Unsurprisingly, nothing came of it and it was likely a Valve-perpetrated hoax… but there are still people who continue to believe.
10 VR’s Role In Resurrecting The Series
With the advent of modern-day Virtual Reality technology, the Half-Life 3 belief system has taken on a new form, with many strongly believing that a series as “revolutionary” as Half-Life will likely reappear to take advantage of this revolutionary technology.
This rumor was bolstered by an interview slip-up where HTC said they were working with Half-Life. They later corrected themselves by saying they “meant” Valve.
Bizarrely, the most current rumor states that there will be a Half-Life prequel with a Valve-specific VR headset, but it simply sounds like unsubstantiated nonsense to us.
9 Activist Approved
Gabe Newell once gave a speech regarding sign language in video games and, around the same time, Valve was working with sign language interpreters.
This caused an influx of new Half-Life 3 rumors, many of which focused on the inclusion of a deaf character. These rumors gained so much traction that they caught the attention of disability rights activists, which helped them gain some legitimacy.
Even if a deaf character and sign language were intended to be included in some version of Half-Life 3, this game still doesn’t exist, so it’s hard to say just how real these rumors were.
8 When Voice Actors Aren’t Acting
Throughout this list, we’ve been quite hard on the devoted believers of Half-Life 3. If we’re being honest, there really does (or did) seem to be something fishy going on regarding the project, and this incident featuring John Patrick Lowrie certainly adds fuel to the fire.
In short, this voice actor stated that Half-Life 3 wasn’t proceeding smoothly because of motion-capture problems. Only a few days later, though, he claimed he didn’t know anything about the project.
That’s definitely suspicious, but considering that it’s been six years since this incident, there’s no reason to believe that particular project still exists.
7 Minh Le’s Promise Of… Something
In 2014, Minh Le of Counter-Strike fame caused a massive ripple of controversy within the Half-Life community by implying Half-Life 3 was being worked on. Understandably, this made people nuts.
That said, what he actually meant was that he had seen stuff at Valve that looked like it might have been Half-Life 3.
While definitely a faux pas on his end, the absurdity of people treating his incredibly vague words like ultimate truth was just as much of a gaffe.
6 The Jira Leaks
To keep track of all their projects, Valve uses a tool called Jira. In 2013, there were multiple leaks regarding the information that Jira was containing, and a Half-Life 3 mailing list and core team was part of it.
Honestly, this was some major evidence in favor of Half-Life 3’s production, but since nothing has come of it, we’re inclined to believe that this “leak” was yet another trolling attempt by Valve.
5 Digging Insanely Deep Into Nonsense
During Valve’s video presentation at the 2011 VGAs, fans noticed some strange content behind Portal 2’s Wheatley.
Like the overly-devoted individuals they are, the fans translated a piece of Russian text found in the video (the first character of which appeared similar to the Half-Life symbol.)
In English, the line basically meant “to lie hidden.”
What did this mean? Nothing. It meant nothing and still doesn’t.
4 The Profoundly Obvious April Fools Joke
What is it about video game-related April Fool’s jokes that so easily hooks the naïve?
Is it because of the obscure and shadowy nature of the industry (which looks more and more unappealing) or is it that gamers are just dumb? We’d like to hope it was the former, but the amount of Half-Life fans who lost their minds over the incredibly obvious “Half-Life 3 Now Available” image that we’re not so sure anymore.
3 Plans Actually Exist
At some point in time, it’s reasonable to believe that Half-Life 3 (or Half-Life 2: Episode 3) was in the works, especially since reliable sources have basically confirmed as much.
Conversely, it’s safe to say that no plans for a Half-Life 3 currently exist. Valve is too busy making money off of Steam to truly devote themselves to an expensive project with an insurmountable level of expectation attached to it.
They’ve moved on, and so should you.
2 Valve Isn't Trolling You
Something that’s been pretty evident throughout this list is the amount of times that both Valve and Gabe Newell, himself, have trolled their fans, and believing that there’s some grain of truth amidst this genuinely mean-spirited and abusive trolling is pathetic.
It’s not some wacky, secret code: they’re really trolling you, and it’s as cruel as it seems. Stop thinking otherwise.
1 “Half-Life 3 Is Going To Come Out”
Here’s the thing: Half-Life 3 is never going to come out in any way, shape, or form. Valve themselves have basically said as much and, while crazy things have been known to happen with long-dead franchises (Duke Nukem Forever comes to mind), there’s more than enough evidence to suggest that holding on to a scrap of hope regarding the HL3 is just plain foolish.
Sources: Uploadvr.com, pcgamesn.com, businessinsider.com