You Can't Joke About Half-Life 3 Without Things Getting Out Of Hand

Nobody needs an excuse to talk about Half-Life 3. Normally, that might be fine -- it's just hype! -- but damn if the desire for an official announcement can't get out of hand sometimes.

Yesterday, we wrote about a patch on Steam that made some copies of Half-Life 2 suddenly feature Korean audio. As far as we can tell, despite being kind of random, it was a mistake which Valve then fixed. No biggie, although as you might expect, fans freaked out. You could visit any forum and see conspiracy threads -- but it wasn't just because of the update.

There is also an issue of PC Gamer which caused speculation to run amok, as it features an article on Valve. The back of the magazine tends to have something that's just for kicks, and to this end, the Valve issue of PC Gamer made a Half-Life 3 joke. This is the gag:

Except, you cannot joke about Half-Life 3. People will think you're being serious and freak out! Conspiracy theories will blossom. Though PC Gamer set the record straight on that today with a post explaining what happened. They write:

Every month we close off with something that we hope will make our readers laugh, and it’s usually based on the feature on the cover. For this issue, we thought we’d make fun of Valve.

The result was a fake elevator control panel with funny names for various floors in their building. Following yesterday’s Half-Life 2 patch, a lot of people have become convinced that it’s all part of an elaborate scheme to reveal the long-awaited sequel.

It’s not. It’s a joke, in the part of the magazine where we do jokes. It was written by me and designed by one of our art editors, Julian. Here’s Julian’s desk and the InDesign file.

There’s no significance to the crossed-out entry for ‘Half-Life 3 Development’ being on floor 13 beyond the fact that American buildings tend not to have a 13th floor. The fact that it’s crossed-out and that someone has replaced it with ‘FPS developer terrarium’ was intended to be so silly that nobody would take the suggestion seriously.

Of course, I'm sure it wont be long until folks find more 'evidence' of a Half-Life 3 announcement.

Unforeseen consequences: when a joke about Half-Life 3 gets out of hand [PC Gamer]


    Come on, Half Life 3 is already the biggest running joke in the gaming industry.

      Three people like this comment


      I see your HL3 and I raise you a DNF.

    It seems like a lot of websites are mentioning Half-Life 3. Could it be the media knows something we don't?

    Valve are in a bad spot with HL3.
    there is no way they can end it without the perfect ending, and i honestly think thats why there is no news, they cant work out how to do it yet.
    Its not going to be good enough when they do finally release it, and people will rage hard.

    BIOSHOCk infinite had an INCREDIBLE ending, yet people raged about how they didnt understand or how it made no sense or how it was a let down, but it litterally gave me goosbumps, i was blown away.

    HL3 has to be able to beat that, or at the very least come close, after what happened with ME3 and the ending debacle, valve are probably being super careful to try cover all angles, its there biggest and most anticipated IP and who isnt looking forward to finding out what happens in the end.

      I call it Duke Nukem Syndrome.

        I don't think this will be an issue. I've thought about this a lot, how games always die when the hype is too big, but remember who we're dealing with here.

        Valve very, very rarely make bad games. I don't really think Half Life 3 could be a bad game. I can see it not being as good as Half Life 2, but I can't seeing it being bad in any respect.

        Last edited 27/06/13 1:02 pm

      It's Valve, though. Kinda hard for them to make a bad game; so I wouldn't be too worried at the game's quality. As for the ending... They have some of the best writers in the industry; we've seen proof of that with Portal 2, and previous Half-Life games. If anyone can do a game ending well, it's them.

        yeah i know, but they cant please everyone, there will be whinners... and i imagine valve will try and make that as few as possible, hence the no word in what 8 years.

          Who can please everyone? lol :P
          Could say the same about any developer working an anticipated title.

          I know a lot of people are starting to compare this situation to that of Duke Nukem's; but at least all along Duke Nukem's development we were given progress updates, and we were all aware that it was turning into vapourware... In Valve's case, we've heard next to nothing, which for all any of us know could mean that they're just being cheeky about something amazing in the works, that for whatever reason it's taking time, or that Gabe Newell thrives on the tears of his fanbase. We know nothing, Jon Snow. :P

    That's hardly an elevator at Valve, where's the floor marked hats & TF2 crates?

      Didn't you see the one that says "Enrichment Center"? :P

        But that's Portal, not TF2!

          Good call.

      "millinery" is hat making?

    People take it seriously, but nobody questions Valve having a big room full of knives?

      Guns for show, knives for a pro...

      Apparently that's a Parkway Drive song, how about that.

        It's also a fantastic line from Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels.

          Which is where i've heard it, shame such a tragedy like Parkway Drive used it as a song title.

            Not a massive Parkway fan, but lock stock is burned right through my subconscious. Whatever happened to Guy Ritchie?
            Madonna. That's what.


              I caught them at Big Day Out last year, despite living just up the road where they're from, I had never heard them before. What I caught sounded like Lamb of God, the song in particular they were playing reminded me of Redneck ha.

          Also, I think knives are a good idea. Big, fuck-off shiny ones. Ones that look like they could skin a crocodile.

      I believe Gabe collects knives - I'd say it's a reference to that predilection.

    No elevator to the gym?


    Just had a crazy idea. All these attempts to unravel some conspiracy about Half-Life 3, it's a bit of a game right? For some it's fun to do, for others, it's fun to watch. What if that actually is the game? What if we're all playing Half-Life 3 just by commenting on this article?


    Dear duke nukem forever:
    All is forgiven.

    In case anyone was wondering, millinery refers to the trade of crafting hats.

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