The intangible Half-Life 2: Episode 3 has been a running joke in the videogame community for as long as we can remember. With Episode 2 nearly a decade old at this point, developer Valve Corporation has shown no signs that the alleged next installment will ever be released to wrap up the cliff-hangered story. We haven’t seen a proper Valve-developed game since Dota 2 in 2013, with the company instead working on their own hardware and VR technology with the HTC Vive.
Another warning sign to Half-Life fans was the exodus of writers leaving the video game developer. Within two years, writers Marc Laidlaw, Eric Wolpaw, Chet Faliszek and Jay Pinkerton left the company at different times. Collectively, the writers have contributed to the Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead games. These departures appeared to solidify Valve’s transition from software to hardware.
Laidlaw however, surprised the community late last night with a Tweet:
A bit cryptic, but reasoning lead everyone to figure out that Laidlaw was posting what would have been the story for Episode 3. By swapping character names as Gordon Freeman with aliases like “Gertie Fremont” and Alyx Vance as “Alex Vaunt,” Laidlaw outlines an entire scenario taking place after “Epistle 2.”
The “fanfic,” as Laidlaw cheekily called it, was so popular online that the writer's personal website was temporarily down:
We wonder how far this story was developed, and if this would have been reflected in a final version of an Episode 3. But seeing the state of Valve right now, this might be all Half-Life fans can get for the foreseeable future.
Valve’s next software title will be Artifact, a card game based in the universe of Dota.