Is Half Life 3 really coming? – The Rumor Timeline

By on December 13, 2011

Announcement in 60 days? Or during E3 2012?

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First Impressions
My reaction is

There is no smoke without fire, they say. As the SpikeTV Video Game Awards got nearer, the rumor mill staggered its old self to churn out bits and chunks about a game this entire generation of gamers are waiting with baited breath for: Half Life 3.

How many of them are true? That’s a bit difficult to say. The rumors have branched out in so many paths, it seems like everyone has something to say. But a few of those seems to have ‘stuck’, and despite having almost none to zero credibility, might actually lead to something Valve could be secretly teasing us. Let’s follow the rumors from where it all began:

1. Half Life 3 T-Shirt

During a Seattle developer get together, one Valve employee thought it would be funny to mock the entire gaming community by wearing a Half Life 3 T-Shirt to the event. According to Uber Entertainment, the ones who snapped the above picture, that ‘employee’ was actually a Valve developer, raising eyebrows even higher. Was he actually hinting at something, or was he just trolling? Nothing really came out of it, possibly passed off as a joke. Or was it?

2. Wheatley’s nomination speech for VGAs

This is where things start to get really interesting. Stephen Merchant, or Wheatley from Portal 2, did a short a clip thanking for his nomination for the ‘Character of the Year’ award at the ceremony. And as funny as the speech was, keen eyed fans were looking elsewhere – specifically the numbers scrolling besides the blabbering Wheatley. Apparently, after a systematic and meticulous deciphering of the code, the calculation points towards a date: E3 2012.

Here’s how it was done (thanks Vividgamer!):

  • A series of Cyrillic symbols (СПУТНИК НАБЛЮДЕНИЯ <<ЛАНТАНУМ>>) can be seen above Wheatley. Translated, the message reads: Observation Satellite “Lanthanum”. Lanthanum is a periodic element in Group 3.
  • Translated to Greek, “Lanthanum” reads λανθανω. Note the lambda symbol, a gaming icon that screams Half-Life.
  • Numerous constellations can be drawn in the stars behind Wheatley, all forming lambda symbols.
  • Wheatley finishes his speech by attempting to give coordinates of his location in space. He only has time to say “1, 1, 1″ before being cut off. 1 + 1 + 1 = 3
  • The atomic number of Lanthanum is 57. 5 and 7 are the starting and ending dates in July for next years E3. 5 + 7 = 12. 6/5/12 – 6/7/12.

Interestingly, the final second of the video flashes a pixelated image which, upon closer inspection, looks like a headcrab. Go ahead, give YouTube another hit.

However, this little ARG was quickly debunked by Marc Laidlaw, the lead writer of the Half Life series.

3. Ratmann is back

@Doug_Rattmann, the Twitter medium of Portal’s mysterious Rat Man, which was dormant since Portal 2′s pre-release ARG, suddenly burst to life with a series of ‘transmissions’. From what we could understand, the tweets suggests that something, or someone, is trying to send a relay but has been has unsuccessful so far.

“Connection dead : Signal too weak, attempting to relocate – STOP,” one of the tweets read. In the following one, it said, “ETA – Min: 60 Days | Max: Unknown”. ETA of 60 days? Could a announcement be coming in 60 days – that is February 11, 2012?

But wait, why is Rat Man responding to Half Life 3 rumors? And why is Half Life 3 rumors embedded in a video with a Portal character? Unless the the rumors are actually pointing to Portal 3, it seems Valve is looking to finally tie-in the Half Life universe and Portal universe together.

4. 4Chan and Gabe Newell

This is the biggest one of them all, if it is indeed legitimate. A bunch of pissed off 4Chan users kick started a one-word make-a-story thread writing absolutely non-nonsensical words (and flavory abuses). Then, hilariously, they complied them into three paragraphs and sent it to Gabe Newell.

Surprisingly, he replied back: “I don’t suppose it would ease your wrath if I told you we’re announcing all of your favourite things at E3?” He followed it up with another reply, “I can see how the wording caused some confusion there. Yes, we’re announcing something with a three in it.”

Of course, the legitimacy of the email is questionable, and unless Newell himself denies it, it will remain that way. If it’s is true however, it’s a mind-f**k of a thing to say. Almost every Valve IP is due to a third installment: Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and of course, Half Life. It is unlikely Portal will get an installment so soon, thanks to Valve’s famous way of working absolutely dead slow on projects. It could, however, be Team Fortress 3. Team Fortress 2 went free-to-play only recently, and it would make sense for a new installment to replace it for fans that want something new from the online game.

What say you?


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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  • Abbas Jaffar Ali

    I loved the original and managed to complete it even though FPS games give me a headache. Played two until my head said stop. Can’t wait to try 3 

  • Fadi

    We can’t wait for Half Life 3, but If it’s a rumor then…that is very disappointing…does anyone know if it’s coming for sure and when?

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