‘Half-Life 3’: 10th Anniversary Of Vaporware Game, Mysterious Poster Trolls Gamescom 2016

Half-Life 3, a game that people thought would never see the light of day, has reached its 10-year vaporware anniversary. The long anticipated sequel may have become a distant memory as hopes for a third episode faded into the past. Now, at the Gamescom 2016 event, a large poster was displayed among the other big names in entertainment, according to VG 24/7.

At first glance, if a game enthusiast laid their eyes upon the poster, you would expect convention attendees to have their hearts skip a beat in excitement, but upon closer examination, it reads Half-Life: 3. Note the colon proceeding the numeral three.

The small text underneath reads in German, “Redakteure, die es damals gespielt haben,” which translates to, “Editors, who played it back then.” Put it all together and you have,”Three editors, who played it back then.”

But why spend money on an ad poster just to troll onlookers? According to VG 24/7, it was funded by the two German companies, GIGA games and Spieletipps. Is something special to be expected at Gamescom 2016?

A Look Back At Where Valve Left Off

To take a look back, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 was the last game in the series that ended in October 2007. Originally, there was an announcement of a third game, but it later faded away, and no more news was heard. Perhaps, the poster in question is a dig at Valve as the years without Half-Life 3 have reached double digits?

The last Half-Life game left off with Gordon Freeman’s companion’s father incapacitated or dead. She was left weeping over his body, and there was a fade-to-black as the credits rolled.

When the news about Half-Life 3 first broke, developer Gabe Newell was constantly asked about the game at press encounters, and he responded enthusiastically, but as time passed the answers stopped coming. Eventually, it got to a point where he had nothing more to say about it.

Well, the interest in Half-Life 3 was still strong at Gamescom 2016, and perhaps word will get back to him? A video was put together celebrating the 10-year-old vaporware game. Back in the day, the Half-Life developer did give some insight into the last episode.

“After Orange Box we have to get episode three out. We know how the trilogy ends and there are a bunch of loose ends narrative arcs that need to come to a conclusion in episode three. So that’s going to be a big focus for us.”

Why Are Fans Still Concerned About Half-Life?

Valve has released other games, but the yearning for Half-Life 3 is still there. According to The Atlantic, the appeal of the game has existed since 1998. Half-Life 2 was known for its “quality of storytelling and immersive world-building.” The game had unique qualities that set it apart from a typical first-person shooter.

The use of in-game conversations was a very important tool in the series. In Half-Life, you could eavesdrop on conversations that put the pieces together for the whole story. Gordon Freeman could even observe others in dialogue which tied into the rest of the game.

Social Media Is Still Keeping Track Of Hints

To this day, social media has been keeping track of any hints regarding Half-Life 3. According to Rolling Stone, a Reddit page dedicated to the game has acquired around 27,000 game subscribers. Gamers love this shooter and with over 12 million copies sold, the series still has a strong following and legions of dedicated fans.

Minecraft game creator Markus “Notch” Persson tweeted a reference “hl3pls” on his Twitter feed. He was expressing his love for Valve, but he had to admit he had no new information about Half-Life 3.

“I have zero information about hl3 other than to confirm that it’s coming out tomorrow. (for real, I know nothing).”

Where Does Half-Life 3 Stand Now?

The last time Gabe Newell engaged in dialogue about the game was in March of 2015. It was only mentioned in passing, according to Rolling Stone, and he was more interested in talking about his company’s focus on multi-player gaming.

Over the past year, Gabe has been spending time focusing on VR technology, and he made an appearance at a DOTA 2 event in Seattle, according to Geek Wire.

So, is the Half-Life 3 game sequel considered pie in the sky as of now? Do you think the lack of comments means something is being put together or has it been swept under the rug?

[Photo by John Howard/Getty Images]