When asked if the increasing development time of Episode Three is being caused by the scope of the project or the result of other projects at Valve, Doug Lombardi claims both. He says “… we want the next installment of Half-Life 2 to be really big.” “So I mean, we’re taking more time because it’s a more ambitious project. We also sort of had Left 4 Dead become this big thing in the middle of it that we wanted to spend more time on, and you’ve just got a lot of stuff that we spent this year doing with Team Fortress 2 updates and what have you. So there’s just a lot going on, and then an ambitious project on top of it caused the schedule to move out a little bit from the delta of the last three releases in the franchise.” This information is extremely interesting in hindsight.
Steam Users’ Forum member surfrock22 begins to organize an online petition and Steam Group to respectfully let Valve know that the Half-Life community and their oldest running fanbase would like better communication. The movement is called “A Call For Communication”. No direct response is given although Gabe did eventually respond indirectly. More on that later.
In an interview with the Steamcast podcast, Gabe Newell only has a little bit to say: “Right now, the Half-Life 2 episodes themselves are on a third sort of rhythm, and, you know, we think it makes sense for the product and for what we’re trying to do there. The reason that we’re not talking about anything is mainly that we don’t have anything to say; it’s not like we decided we released too much information, it’s just that if we had information that we were in a position to deliver to people, we would—and right now we don’t have anything to say about it.” … “So, Ep 3 is sort of victim to our willingness to experiment, and as soon as we have stuff that we’re ready to say about Ep 3, we will.”
Source: Steamcast Podcast
There will be no new Half-Life in 2010 according to the February edition of Game Informer magazine. Specifically they said: “Everyone wants to know when the next installment of Valve’s Half-Life is coming out, but answering that question isn’t easy. Loose Talk has learned that there won’t be any game from the franchise in 2010, and what will finally come out is still unknown. Will it be Half-Life 2: Episode Three? Or will it be a full-on Half-Life 3? If it’s the latter, we suspect that it might be a few years.”
Source: Game Informer Magazine
A lambda shaped vein and a “3” shaped hand is visible in a Team Fortress 2 Saxton Hale Comic from 2009. The graphic also says a few things that could hypothetically apply to Half-Life: “All your questions answered!”, “The comic the government demanded we publish!”, and “The comic they told us should be Free!” [as in Freeman] These could all be coincidences but after years of no official information, it’s easy to see things that may not really be there.
Source: Saxton Hale's Mail Storm