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2006

Just 7 days after the release of Half-Life 2: Episode One, Valve announces the Half-Life Episodic Trilogy and says the trilogy will conclude by Christmas 2007.

“After spending six years creating Half-Life 2, we decided to build HL2’s successor as a trilogy of episodes,” said Gabe Newell, President and co-founder of Valve.

2007

Valve’s VP of Marketing, Doug Lombardi confirms Episode Three is under development by stating:

“Pre-production is definitely going, and it’ll be ramping up rather quickly now that they’re ramping down on Episode Two”. Valve software developer David Speyrer also discusses moving the player towards the [Half-Life] team’s “ultimate goal” over the course of the episodic trilogy and mentions that a lot of work has gone into “creating a natural progress of topography and climate”.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two is released packaged inside The Orange Box along with Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two is Valve’s second experiment in episodic storytelling and was known for raising the bar for emotional storytelling.

When asked about the notable absence of an Episode Three trailer at the end of Episode Two, David Speyrer (Episode Two’s project lead) states:

“We’re going to try and do something pretty ambitious for that project. We don’t want to over commit.”

Valve’s Doug Lombardi is asked if there are plans for Half-Life after Episode Three. He responds:

“We haven’t announced anything specific, but Half-Life won’t end at Episode Three – hang on to your crowbars!”

In an interview with GTTV, Gabe Newell shares some information about Episode Three and an “Oranger Box”:

GTTV: Episode 3. What do we know about it? What can you tell us?

Gabe: From our point of view there’s enough newness in there that we want to sort of spring it on people and say “here’s a bunch of things you’ve never seen before” — we have multiple of those.

GTTV: And that’s graphically, or in terms of the gameplay, or…

Gabe: There’s stuff that visually hasn’t been in games before and there’s certainly a bunch of game elements on the order of Portal, that have never been done before.

GTTV: So even better than the portal gun?

Gabe: Oh yeah.

GTTV: Really? New gameplay paradigms?

Gabe: Uh-huh. I think that we’re really happy with how the Orange Box did, and we’d do an Oranger Box next time, certainly.

Steam User’s Forum member SiPlus.HWGUY finds 3 files belonging to Episode Three in the Alien Swarm SDK.

 A Valve employee responds and says “They were included in the SDK by mistake.”

Valve says Half-Life 2: Episode Three will not be shown at E3 although they will be there to show their zombie shooter Left 4 Dead.

The first piece of leaked concept art is uncovered via the 2008 “IntoThePixel” 2008 art collection. The piece is titled “Advisor” and is credited to artists Ted Backman, Jeremy Bennett, and Tristan Reidford. The image depicts Gordon in a large Combine-esque structure with a haunting Combine Advisor in above him.

Valve’s Doug Lombardi mentions Valve may show Episode Three by the end of the year.

It's been XXXX days since Gordon was last seen. #WhereIsGordon

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