Poll Question 139 – Do you honestly think Valve will continue Half-Life after Episode Three?

19th September 2009

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

To be honest I can’t remember what the official word from Valve is regarding this.

I thought they had said that it would continue after EP3, but I’ll be honest with you, I am starting to think that EP3 will be the end of an era.

Let’s hope it’s just silly emotions of an old fool.

I don’t have an insiders in Valve but for some strange reason I can’t shake the feeling that they seem more interested in other game titles.

I know they go quite about stuff and then pop up and announce something but this time it “feels” different.

What do you think?

The Poll


  1. Luke L

    If Half-Life were owned by EA or the like I’d say they’d milk it for every last penny it’s worth, right up until Half-Life 27: Episode 62. But I think Valve is smart enough to know when they need to move on to fresh territory. I’m sure they’ll continue to use the HL universe, it’s just too rich a creation to abandon, but I think Ep3 looks set to nicely bring the story to a close and I for one am glad.

  2. oddworld_chris

    I believe in its current conception, HL as we know it will evolve after HL: Ep 3 – the way games a being further pushed and developed I’m hoping that they move on from the current location and story line and start (in essence) from scratch.

    Not that HL2 hasnt been a great environment and location, the stories developed have been great. But, depending on the conclusion at the end of Ep 3 we may see a prequel (in another 10 or 11 years)… well hopefully anyway!

  3. Kasperg

    Unless they find an incredible idea to work with, the HL2 saga will probably end there, or go towards a rehash of known areas and key events with other characters (a Barney episode, from a Combine soldier’s point of view etc).
    Ep1 and Ep2 left me with a bitter taste. While the quality of design was certainly a few notches above HL2, I had the feeling that I had done it all before. Similar or same enemies, similar or same allies, similar set pieces (Of both Ep1 and Ep2, I thought only the Citadel in Ep1 had any wow factor in terms of scale. (I know I’m making a mod with the same old HL2 ingredients, but it’s a hobby, not my job)

    If have seen and read some information on Ep3, but my imagination finds it hard to picture a lengthy and interesting episode made with those ingredients. And even so, I probably won’t be awed like I was with Crysis (even though it has less likeable characters and a more generic theme!).
    The Source engine keeps improving, but it needs another jump if it wants to be kept alive much longer. Goodbye loading times, goodbye BSP limitations, goodbye precalculated lighting and difference between world and models. Bigger worlds, less one-path maps etc. Some things are trademarks of the HL saga, but they musn’t forget they are also trademarks of old games and old technology.

    1. Davie

      I think if there is a HL3, we won’t be seeing it for a while, and I have a feeling that when it comes out it’ll be with a new engine. If Valve has plans for a third full game, I have no doubt they want to make it as excellent as they can, and I’m sure they recognize that the Source engine is starting to show its age.

    2. alopes

      @ Kasperg comments

      Kasperg, the problem I see with Ep1 and Ep2, mostly, is the fact that the are too short to really enjoy as an story telling game.
      The good about HL series, is that it tells a good story and it tells it in a thrilling way.
      The episodes brake the enjoyment of the story because, well, they tell only a small fraction of a story.
      Ep1 more Ep 2 togheter makes a good story in the sense of good Half life standard.

      I sincerely hope that Episode 3 gives a strong story to play and “live” as it’s most likely the last official Valve’s
      Gordom Freeman game that we will see.

      “Ep1 and Ep2 left me with a bitter taste. While the quality of design was certainly a few notches above HL2, I had the feeling that I had done it all before. Similar or same enemies, similar or same allies, similar set pieces (Of both Ep1 and Ep2, I thought only the Citadel in Ep1 had any wow factor in terms of scale. (I know I’m making a mod with the same old HL2 ingredients, but it’s a hobby, not my job)”

  4. Gradius

    I think Episode Three will be the last we see of Gordon Freeman (atleast from his point of view). The last of the Half-Life series or universe? I doubt it. As Half-Life 1’s expansions and Portal has proven, the HL world is more than capable and proving entertaining without the presense of a certain crowbar wielding, gravity controlling scientist.

  5. Berrie

    I think they will continue with the Half-Life universe.

    Episode 3 is supposed to be the end of Half-Life 2, but not Half-Life.
    It seems the silence has got a lot of people spooked and paranoid. I just think they are;
    a) trying to prevent a Episode 2 trailer fallout and will only show a trailer once it is done or nearly done.
    b) They might be waiting on some cool engine upgrades/gameplay features or even something to package it with.

  6. pants

    I honestly don’t see them making another one.

    Maybe they’ll try.

    But I don’t think, in this day and age, you’d be able to create an aesthetic as perfect as the aesthetic cores of both HL1 and HL2, HL2 more-so.

    But hey, you never know.

  7. Voted yes, can’t wait. I doubt that there will be an EP4 or even an extension by another name . For sure they will carry on with something similar in the HL2 type scenario but probably without the old crew of Gordon, Alyx, Barney and co.
    Their platform for downloading and updating games is perfect even if the gaming software needs up dating.
    Instead of “if it is not broken do not fix it’, “if it is succesful push on and forwards’.

  8. Jeff

    Here’s hoping after Episode 3, Gordon can leave the planet it all goes well, or help liberate other regions of Earth that have some different combine or zombie creatures.

    Of course it could all be a sad rehash, but with the right story, and Source tweaks, it could be a HL3 worthy of praise.

  9. bobdog

    Supposedly, the three “episodes” collectively make up what will be known afterward as HL3. Half-Life 1 introduced Gordon and opened the portals to the Combine (unbeknownst to us as players at the time, and probably unknown to Valve too, until they put a sci-fi writer to work on fleshing out the story). Half-Life 2 showed the results of opening the portal, the introduction of the Combine, and the initial efforts by Gordon to stop them. HL3 (i.e. Episodes 1, 2 and 3) is humanity’s (through Gordon) best opportunity to take back the earth from the Combine.

    I read some articles probably 2 years ago, where Gabe (or their marketing guy — Mark??) said the 3 episodes would become HL3 and finish up the story arc on the earth. I also remember (somewhere — can’t attribute it) that supposedly a new company (not Valve) is working on HL4, to give it a fresh perspective while Valve finishes up the series and their many other works (L4D, TF, etc).

    The scuttlebutt then led many to believe that if Ep3 closes the earth’s story arc, and that HL4 is being developed right now, then logically the next step is that Gordon must head off-world to take the fight to the Combine. Maybe another trilogy where he goes to new worlds, gains new support and frees them from Combine enslavement as he finally reaches the Combine overworld and frees the universe forever from their rule. Sort of like the storyline of L.Ron Hubbard’s “Battlefield Earth.”

    Again, I can’t remember where, but it was in the legitimate game trades that either Gabe or their marketing guy mentioned about HL3 and HL4.

    1. SexyBoBo

      Valve is way too protective of their material to let another company develop something like HL3 (Gabe said that hl2ep3 is not hl3)

  10. demoneyeoffire

    ok, If theres one thing valve can do is make great sequals, in fact come november all there games (except portal, but thats just a matter of time.) will have sequels, all there doing is expanding there selection and taking a break, to recharge and
    rebuild inspiration, because there next task is building a set of arctic based maps, and from a story aspect it’s good but when I think about the arctic I generally don’t think “thats a great setting for a game.” in the end valve will keep making hl games till they become unpopular, then just for fun they might bring it back a decade later. valve is just that cool.

  11. reaper47

    I seriously doubt it. I must say, I’m specifically talking about feature-length games here. The Episodes are great but never gave me the feel of playing a “new” Half-Life (as HL2 is to HL1, for example).

    Just look at L4D2 and Valve’s general tendency to make shorter and shorter games. The Episodes are the final Half-Life. Episode 3 will end the arch (they more or less confirmed this and Gabe always “jokingly” said they should have called them “HL3 Episodes”). And considering how successful their 1/4 of a game for 1/3 the price model is, I doubt we’ll ever see a full HL again. It was fun while it lasted.

    But as always, I love being proven wrong on this sort of thing…

  12. Kyouryuu

    I believe that after Episode 3, we’ll have probably seen the last of this particular chapter in the Half-Life saga. Whether Freeman continues or not, it will probably be the end of the Combine.

    I’d welcome a change of venue, myself. You can only shoot so many Combine Soldiers before even the best laid plans deteriorate into dull repetition.

  13. john

    i think they will do more half life. but, take forever and it will be great. their is so much we dont know about in the half life world, g-man, xen. ect… course the episode 3 will tell us how long or what to expect.
    maybe something with sheppard? who knows.

  14. Barnz

    GabeN said HL (Gordon Freeman’s adventures) is a trilogy in some interview (probably on PHL) long time ago. It was before “Episodic releases”, but I never seen him denying this statement.

    So yes, it won’t end.

  15. Joe

    The only things I care to know about the future of the Half-Life universe:

    1. Where is Adrian Shepard?
    2. Where is Barney Calhoun?
    2. When are we going back to Xen?

  16. J-Man

    My understanding is, EP3 will end the current half-life story, then there will be HL 3 ( which valve is currently working on ) so, the story will never die…ha ha ha !! ( just kidding ) I really don’t know ( only valve does ) I’ve heard talk about HL 3 but who’s to say what’s going to happen. However, if valve was making money off the game, then by all means…they should keep going forward with new half-life saga..

  17. wayfare

    I decided to make my first post on this poll question..Hello. I hope that Episode 3 does not end the series. As much as I love Valve I have been feeling sort of left out recently because I do not enjoy multiplayer that much. It also scares me that Newell has asked if people would rather a Counter-Strike sequel or Portal sequel .. I am afraid it will be the latter. Even though I have no idea what it will bring, ending Half-Life in an episode does not sound right. I think I would rather the finale to be something totally fresh like the leap from Half-Life to Half-Life 2.

    Thank you for the site Phillip, I hope to be more active in the future

    1. Thank you for your first comment, hopefully this will be the first of many!

      To be honest with you I hope we get neither sequel, it concerns me that Valve are making so many games.

      1. wayfare

        my pleasure, I hope so too!

        I do have conflicting thoughts concerning a portal sequel, but I think that Valve would make it work. I used to enjoy multiplayer games, wish I still did.. I’d have nothing to be worried about.

  18. Armageddon

    There has been HL3 leaks but they got taken down REALLY fast.

  19. Memobot

    Valve said they were going to continue HL, but Episode 3 will end the Combine story arc.
    It’ll be interesting to see what comes next though.

  20. AI

    It would be nice if they continue the saga, but at my age I might be in a nursing home by then!! 🙁

  21. Here’s my look into the crystal ball.

    EP3 will be released in a special pack that contains all three episodes. EP1 will be updated to run on whatever engine designation they use for EP3.

    It will be possible to play the episodes without any breaks, just like a full game.

    It will be called Half-Life 3: The Episodes. It will end the current story arc of the Combine domination on Earth. Freeman will “free” humanity from slavery (as BobDog said, simillar to Battlefield Earth).

    It will be a fantastic ending but will leave questions. Did Freeman die or did he escape? Who was that traitor in the rebels? Why did the Advisors lose so easily? Was it a ploy to entice Freeman through the portal? Was the G-man really helping or hindering the fight against the Combine. What will happen with the Earth/Xen alliance now?

    It may also contain Black Mesa Source (for the retail versions anyway).

    Black Mesa Source will be frontpage news on Steam. It will be treated like any big new game by Valve and promoted.

    Valve will go quite for a while.

    They will release a game in 2011/2 where you play as either Shepard or Calhoun during the Seven Hour War. That will be an intense action game, which also fills in some story details and gives some interesting ideas/insights to HL4.

    It may also be a co-operative game (ala L4D) where players have four roles:
    Barney: Smart and thoughtful. He has become much more street-smart since the days of Blue Shift.
    Alyx: Fast and agil. Remember when she climbed that building in EP1? Well, you’ll be able to do that too!)
    Shepard: Tough and strong. A mean SOB.
    Kliener/scientist: More like a support guy but can open doors and stuff.

    Half-Life 4 will see Freeman return fighting the Combine but on another planet, maybe even the Advisor’s homeworld. This will mean we won’t have Human-type Combine to fight but something else. It will be on a completely new engine and be released around 2014. The jump in quality will be similar to HL1 to HL2. Better AI, graphics and physics.

    I am undecided whether the issue of the G-man will be resolved inEP3 or not.

    Anyway, just some ideas.

    1. I hope you are right 😀 But I think Half Life will end in EP3. Valve will release Portal 2 with it or release it just after it and this will be end of Half Life story. Maybe they can use HL universe in some different games but there won’t be new “Gordon” action.

      Also I think Valve should start making a new single player game. They only had Half Life until now and when someone says Valve we can only think of HL. This should change. They should create a new universe and a new game. I’m sure they’ll make something very nice and very different.

  22. Berntsen

    Both HL2 and Episode One dissappointed me, and I haven’t even touched Episode Two, so I couldn’t really care less if they continue the series or not.

    1. I assume that by commenting on my site you play mods. Which ones did you like? I would highly recommend HL2: EP2, it was perhaps the best of the three.

      1. Berntsen

        I know I won’t enjoy Episode Two anyway, I’ve read a bit up on it and nothing about it appeals to me. I’m tired of always having to stick with other characters (Alyx, grr), where’s the feeling of survival and loneliness that was present in HL1?

        Also. No new weapons (no, things that you fire with the gravity gun doesn’t count), the arsenal in HL2 was bland enough to begin with, and by now it’s especially tiresome.

        And some other stuff. No, I’ll pass.

        As for mods I like, I only play mods for HL1, and I tend to enjoy those set in the HL-universe, in Black Mesa or similar. Of course, there are exceptions, like Heart of Evil for instance – a really good mod.

  23. Ade

    So what if they are associated with HL? Let there be HL 10! There are a few series with numerous games, eg. NFS 😛 I wouldn’t mind fighting as Gordon Freeman for the rest of my life… I hope he doesn’t die sooner than I will hehe. When it comes to sci-fi, the possibilities are endless, imo. I don’t see any reason why the HL universe shouldn’t live forever 🙂

  24. bobdog

    Some observations:

    Opposing Force and Adrian Shepherd are NOT considered part of the HL mythos, and were created by another company. Valve “might” consider creating something with Barney, and the 7-Hour war would be a good setting, but I’m doubtful it will happen. I think they are more than content to let users create such content for them.

    Black Mesa Source has long said they do not want to charge for their release. I can see Valve doing great promotion of it, but only as a freebie, like they did with Minerva.

    Valve is continually trying to develop new intellectual properties (IPs) other than HL. Two years ago it was Portal and Team Fortress 2, last year it was Left 4 Dead. TF 2 was a new imagining of the original game, and I consider them completely different entities. Of them, Portal is SP (although tangentially tied to the HL mythos) and L4D has an SP component (but is substantially more fun in co-op mode because of its random events and its reliance upon team-mates).

    Sure, Valve could create/purchase (because they have the bucks now) a new single-player FPS IP. But EVERYONE would immediately compare it to HL and HL2, and it would suffer considerably. They might as well continue their existing franchise and put new gameplay elements in it, matched by new settings. Portal is a FP puzzle game, to differentiate.

  25. SPY-maps

    it would be really silly of them to stop after the 3th chapter, they have a great money maker with HL2.
    still, I really do hope they will make by then a HL 3, instead of the so manieth chapter. becuase those chapters is just more of the same, and Hl2 gets quit outdated by now. so, its time for some thing compleatly new, a real new HL3 !

  26. Scott "Sythen" Baker

    Unless they’ve kept it on hold. I mean, what’s not to say that they’ve taken the EP3 Storyline, evolved it and will be creating it as the official opening to Half-Life 3. It’s either that or their working on EP3, and have not said anything.

    I for one would be extremely sad to see HL2 disappear as I don’t see L4D, TF2 or any of the other titles worth it to be honest.. But however, it’s not like Valve to not end a series/era or even storyline to a massive game?

    All these questions left unanswered… All we can do is wait.

  27. denexiar

    When HL1 came out, people really had absolutely no idea what HL2 would be about until the leak but besides that, it was completely different. If there was a HL3, the only really possible storyline would be Gordon going into space and bla bla bla. However, they might not be able to expand Gordon’s story, using portal and games throuh the eyes of Barney and Adrian for example. We can only wait.

  28. Dias

    The idea that Valve won’t ever return to their cash cow is just plain silly.

    As for sequels, I wouldn’t expect one anytime soon. After Episode 3 it might be another five or so years before they even announce the next Half-Life. As for playing as characters other then Freeman, without being as radically different in terms of gameplay as Portal just isn’t their shtick, and especially not a co-op game set in the HL universe.

    The idea of a Seven Hour War game also sounds ridiculous. Especially when you consider that the events of Half-Life 1 & 2 were over the course of two days & three days respectively. Not to mention the fact that you already know the outcome of the war. Sure, it could make for a good mod if done right, it just doesn’t sound like anything Valve would do.

  29. Leck

    Valve said officially that there will be hl2 ep 4 but not how we imagine

    1. Can you supply a reference for that? I am curious to see exactly what they say. Thanks.

  30. AI

    I’d like to see Gordon leave Earth thru the Portal, and do a job on the “Benefactors” that are mentioned so offten by the “G-man”. To do so might help Earth!! Just a thought.

  31. b1k3rdude

    What ever they do I will never be buying games directly off steam again. This is due to valves unbelievable arsehole attitude towards its paying customers.

    1. Ade

      do enlighten us.. you can’t just throw harsh comments about people who can’t even defend

      1. I second you on that Ade. Reads as a rant with no justification supplied.

  32. 904

    No, given the time it takes to release EP3, I think EP3 = HL3 and that’ll be the end of it.

  33. I think there will be a HL3. I just don’t see how you could wrap up all the various things going on with only an episode. I mean, right now we’ve got:

    Breen needs to make a comeback, in whatever host body he acquired from the combine, we need to find out what the big thing is to do with the borealis, we need to figure out how to attack the advisors, we need to understand who the mysterious force is behind Gman, we need to figure out what plans gman has of his own, we need to make sure Alyx recovers from the trauma of losing her dad.

    Maybe 2 or 3 things out of that might fit into an episode, but all of them? No. I just don’t see it happening.

  34. Tyrrelduckard

    I think they are going to moke some new Half life, for ::: reasons:

    _we have to see what happened during the infamous Seven Hour War. We know only its duration but i’m interested in seeing what weapons deployed the Combines and what was the human reactions of soldiers and peolple.
    Valve can make out of this at least two episodes:
    <Seventh Hour-ep. 1 and 2

    -we have to discover what happened to the poor Shepard. The G-Man left him "where he can do not harm, and no harm can be done to him". but he has some plan for him, just like he had for freeman?
    <Semper Fidelis

    -we have to know how the old staff of black mesa was reputted together: because balck mesa was in the United States and city 17 is somewhere in Europe; and how they find and develop all those tecnological staff under the combine.
    <Diary of the resistance

    -and our old pal, Barney Calhoun:even under a cruel regime he dosn't lose his humor. But why he is so ready to put his life in risk? Maybe there's a tragedy under his smile? Or perhaps he hopes he will be able to find someone? And i'm not talking of Gordon…
    <A long Shift

    -of course once purged earth form the combine presence we must take the fight just on their homeplanet to assure that they will be never able to attack use againg.
    <Half life (current number): time for payback

    -what happens to who accept to enter in the civil protection but refuse to cancel theirs memories. and what they do with theri coscience? what will do a man, with a part of his family still intact, having to work with the combine?
    (maiby they can make a film out of a similar idea)

    -what are the aims of the combine for our worlds?
    -how is the homeworld of the combine?
    -of course the G-man is working for someone. but who? and for what?
    -what there is in the g-man's briefcase?
    -what hopes have a tired humankind against a super galaxy-empire?
    -the g-man can be seen talking to some unknown resistance soldier/commander using a combine telescope. and even a combine was looking at him.
    -the combines know of the existance of the g-man?

    So there are a lot of possibilities to expand the universe of half life. even without gordon freeman. so I don't onestly believe that they will simply shut down a similar series, there are lots of possibilities for it.

    p.s sorry for my bad english but i'm only an italian student.

    1. Amazing! You have listed some really brilliant ideas, If Valve do not take them, Mod developers certainly should.
      You have given this a lot of thought. Bravo! from me.
      Very well done indeed and your English is to be admired.

    2. OR… The all new and improved inflatable “Kinky Kim”…LMAO.. maybe both

  35. That all hangs on the buyer. There is enough ruckus going on that many want to see HL continue, and if they see a profitable venture in that ruckus, then I think we will see number 4 or a fork in the road the heroins take.. HL has quite the cult following. I’d bet there will be some continuance. If you look at a cult cultures that surround what ever it is that they are following historically? It pretty much dictates that there will be.
    Cult followers buy nostalgia, reissues, collectibles and phoque only knows what else they decide to market like rabid hogs…
    So far HL as a game and a culture has historically been a bull dozer from hell.
    The Steam interface used to show you some where how many people were on line playing.. I remember seeing those numbers near five million on just one day alone.

    There’s gold in them there hills. Think about it. If you hit a vein of cash that thick and you could just keep digging and bagging, would you stop?

    I don’t think they will either.

Leave a Reply

Comment Formatting Guide

Well formatted comments are much easier to read. Please copy and paste the HTML Tags to use in your comment

  • HEADER: <div class="fix"></div><div class="sbe3">TEXT HERE</div>
  • BOLD: <strong>TEXT HERE</strong>
  • ITALIC: <em>TEXT HERE</em>
  • SPOILER: <span class="spoiler">TEXT HERE</span>