Valve trademarks Half-Life 3 name; development team revealed

It’s been almost nine years since Half-Life 2, the sequel to what is widely acknowledged as one of the best games of all time, was first released. Two follow-up titles – HL2: Episodes One and Two – were released in 2006 and 2007 respectively, but fans eager to follow the next chapter in the story of the series’ intrepid but silent hero have been left hanging.

At long last, it looks like that wait may soon be coming to an end. On September 29, Valve – the games’ developers – filed a trademark for ‘Half-Life 3’, fuelling speculation that a new instalment in the series will soon be revealed.

The filing was discovered by a member on NeoGAF’s forums, and can be verified on the website of the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union (Trade Mark No. 012180394). Adding more fuel to the fire is the discovery that, in July, Valve also filed a European trademark for the iconic Half-Life lambda symbol: 

The timing of this latter filing would seem significant – despite the Half-Life series being almost fifteen years old, Valve had never trademarked the symbol in Europe until three months ago. Combined with this week’s trademark filing for the Half-Life 3 name, it’s certainly tempting to draw the conclusion that a new game is on the way.

The evidence pointing towards the game being in development goes beyond just trademark filings, though. VG247 picked up reports that Valve's User Picker - software that permits access to Valve's internal staff database - had become publicly available, possibly as the result of a bug. While access has since been removed, unknown numbers of users were able to access the database; Gematsu grabbed screenshots showing two Half-Life 3 development teams, including names of 56 staff working within those groups. 

If the game does indeed materialise, one interesting possibility is worth considering. Steam – owned by Valve – recently announced its own Linux-based operating system, SteamOS, as a platform for gaming and media. Could Half-Life 3 be a SteamOS exclusive?

That question, like so many others, remains unanswered for now. But like you, we can’t wait to find out. 

Source: EU Trade Marks and Designs Registrations Office / NeoGAF 
Upper image via GamersPack; lower image via Valve

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I've stopped caring about Half-Life for the most part, ready to be re-activated as soon as it looks like it is actually going to come out

I cried a little ... it's happening.... it's really happening.....

dangit ... it's the seventh sign! We're all doomed.

Hello,

I have no doubt that Valve will release this first and only on SteamOS. Eventually, they will have to release it on Windows (then consoles).

Get over the complaining.

HL is the best game of all time, as long as they keep that class, who gives a monkeys how they release it!!!

Steam people who have previous games should get some kind of extra DLC, but more importantly, they need to know what they do best: HL3 Story!

They will not make it Steam exclusive.. it would be suicidal, but they will release it on SteamBox FIRST. You can bet on it.

Mortis said,
They will not make it Steam exclusive.. it would be suicidal, but they will release it on SteamBox FIRST. You can bet on it.

Of course it will be Steam exclusive. But it won't be SteamOS exclusive.

We been waiting for too long for HL3, right now feels like a endless dream or a forgotten fairytale, something like that.

Still so excited about this, at this point any news are good news.
Lets hope that the game would not end like DukeNukem Forever (yuck).

I would install SteamOS just to play this game.

mjedi7 said,
We been waiting for too long for HL3, right now feels like a endless dream or a forgotten fairytale, something like that.

Still so excited about this, at this point any news are good news.
Lets hope that the game would not end like DukeNukem Forever (yuck).

I would install SteamOS just to play this game.

it will be for windows and steamos as well as linux watch

Boo Berry said,
I sure hope Left 4 Dead 3 is also announced with Half-Life 3.

duh, everybody knows that Valve hates the number 3: HL stopped at number 2, HL: Episode stopped at number 2, Portal stopped at number 2, L4D stopped at number...well, you get it

Praetor said,

duh, everybody knows that Valve hates the number 3: HL stopped at number 2, HL: Episode stopped at number 2, Portal stopped at number 2, L4D stopped at number...well, you get it

Halflife3 but we'll call it 4? title name?

Praetor said,

duh, everybody knows that Valve hates the number 3: HL stopped at number 2, HL: Episode stopped at number 2, Portal stopped at number 2, L4D stopped at number...well, you get it

Good point. I am betting on Half Life Tri

Yeah please do not go "Steam OS exclusive" it would not anyway as no one would want to invest in that (bad idea from the start, don't really need to go into details you all know why deep down even those linux users here!)

I hope this is real. The Episodes One and Two were awesome and the series deserve more games for sure. I don't think, if HL3 is real, that Valve would make it a SteamOS exclusive. They will risk missing out on the majority of the gamers and fans of the series.

Valve will most certainly make HL3 and all future titles a SteamOS/Linux exclusive. Why? Because it will get Linux market share up and bring in more developers, which in the end, Valve will profit off of.

Before all the stupid comments, Gabe is very intelligent. He was actually head of Windows devision for Windows 1.x, 2.x, and 3.x. He also helped develop DirectX and helped get developers on board. Gabe also worked at id and helped develop Quake. Without him, Windows and computing in general, would be a completely different horse than it is today. I think the guy knows what he's doing....

Love Half Life, always have. Not buying a console to play it though. Matter of fact, love GTA V, but if I didn't already own a PS3, wouldn't be doing that either. If they want to push the platform, then offer EXTRA STUFF for FREE, don't force the hand, I promise it won't work the way they hope.

Tartarus said,
Why? Because it will get Linux market share up and bring in more developers, which in the end, Valve will profit off of.

That's working under the assumption that millions of their users are going to drop Windows or OSX along with every program they own (Steam based or otherwise) just to play one game plus the handful that's been ported over. What's much more likely to happen is that they're going to flush a lot of money down the toilet as their former customers go to another publisher that isn't trying to dictate what they can or can't use. Not saying they won't get converts, that's just silly to assume otherwise.. but enough to potentially risk their company over? Quite a roll of the dice there.

What's much more plausible is what's been mentioned in the forums, offering the game for free with a Steam device. Not quite so financially suicidal.

Valve licenced Quake technology to produce Half-Life. I've not heard of him having worked at id software before.

Well, let's just think about this for a second. Why on god's green earth would someone spend millions of dollars researching, developing, and pushing a product if they weren't going to make it an exclusive to their ecosystem? Valve pushed Steam down everyone's throats with HL2, what makes you think they won't push SteamOS/Linux down everyone's throats? The message on Valve's site is also pretty eerie: "More AAA title games coming in 2014." I think it sends a very clear message.

Tartarus said,
Valve pushed Steam down everyone's throats with HL2, what makes you think they won't push SteamOS/Linux down everyone's throats?

Because Steam is just a program that works with everything the customer already has, not exactly a big hardship, and isn't telling them to throw all of their existing software away or at the very least set up a dual boot environment for one game. Either that or forced to shell out money for a console you probably didn't want otherwise. That's extremely unrealistic, especially if you stop and remember that Valve isn't the only game publisher out there, never mind the bajillion other programs that won't run on it. Also forgetting that Steam is already available on Linux and isn't exactly doing much for the numbers. I can only speak for myself of course, but if it's "lose Windows or lose HL3", well sorry, you can keep HL3, I got a ton of other games I can run that doesn't require absurd demands thanks, and I'd bet I'm not alone there.

Tartarus said,
Well, let's just think about this for a second. Why on god's green earth would someone spend millions of dollars researching, developing, and pushing a product if they weren't going to make it an exclusive to their ecosystem?

To sell it to customers and make money? You know, like normal video games. It will still be Steam exclusive, so it's still contained within their own ecosystem.

What's far more likely is that we'll see Half-Life 3 bundled for free or heavily discounted with Steam Machines and/or the Valve controller. That way it provides an incentive to buy the hardware but doesn't alienate existing customers and fans.

Making it SteamOS only makes no sense, unless SteamOS can be used from within the Windows environment without a performance hit.

I'm sorry guys, but many video games required new hardware. Remember when Microsoft didn't make Halo 2-4 avalible on Windows and only on the Xbox? Did people complain? Hell mother duckin' yeah they did. I know a lot of people who bought an Xbox just for Halo 2. It's not until recently did they bring it over to Windows. I have a pretty good feeling a lot of people are going to buy Steam Machine for HL3.

Tartarus said,
I'm sorry guys, but many video games required new hardware.

Yes, but hardware upgrades doesn't require you to throw everything away either.. even on the latest hardware I can still run a game from the 90's if I wanted to, nor do I lose all the applications and such, or get an entirely different OS shoved down my throat. A Steam machine, sure, I'm sure some will buy that, I'm not arguing that. What's absurd is expecting people to ditch their current OS on the PC, Valve couldn't possibly be that stupid.

Tartarus said,
I'm sorry guys, but many video games required new hardware.

That's simply not true. Some games are platform exclusives but that relates almost exclusively to consoles which are closed platforms. SteamOS is a free operating system that doesn't require new hardware; Steam Machines, which can be made by any manufacturer, are console-like PCs that ship with SteamOS.

Valve doesn't make money from people buying a Steam Machine or using SteamOS - it makes money by selling games. However, it might bundle Half-Life 3 for free with Steam Machines because those users will be tied into the Steam network when buying new games - it's very similar to the way that Amazon discounts the Kindle Fire with the knowledge they'll almost certainly buy books and games through Amazon.

Half-Life 3 won't be a SteamOS / Steam Machines exclusive. Valve isn't like Microsoft and isn't producing a closed platform.

I'm not so sure that Valve is not at least interested in being more like MS. A Steambox is essentially a closed platform. Yes its an open source os like say Android, but in practice, its a system using SteamOS that developers would need to specifically target vs Windows.

Its clear that Valve's ultimate goal is to create a platform they control top to bottom and basically forcing gamers to buy the games through Steam only, netting them a nice bit of profit in the process. Gabe made it clear that Win 8's store is considered a threat to their business, so they made this move.

However, I agree with you that HL 3 will not be an exclusive. That is basically their biggest cash cow potential out of their game library and to restrict sales to a platform that is likely to be fairly small for a while would be a huge waste.

People need to understand that with Valve's "entertainment as a service" philosophy, they really don't care about what hardware you run their games on. Hell these days their games aren't even seen as products, with the free-to-play wave of games and all. They don't need to recoup hardware costs like Sony, Microsoft, et al need to via games.

Hence it's complete nonsense they'll dump their massive Windows base of gamers in lieu of SteamOS. Just makes zero business sense from their perspective. If that were the case that they'll go Linux exclusive, what's up with their Mac OS X ports?

That's a good point. There have already been a few Steam exclusive titles. I have run into physical games that I have bought only to find out that they require you to use Steam to play them. Meaning I have to setup a Steam account. That can be fairly annoying when I'm just trying to install it on someone's pc that does not use Steam.

Unfortunately I don't see anyone talk about that, so its a reality that not many are aware of.

The Article said,
Could Half-Life 3 be a SteamOS exclusive?

Only if they want to alienate 99% of their paying customers.

That said.. sure hope it's for real, pretty much written this game off and forgotten about the series.

Max Norris said,

Only if they want to alienate 99% of their paying customers.

Just like Sony and Microsoft are doing with their launch titles this year? If they do, its a strategic move to spur SteamOS adoption. And, at least as I understand things, Windows and OSX will probably just need to download SteamOS and dual-boot. I think a good portion of the Steam population is made up of enthusiasts who would be comfortable and technical capable of doing that.

Chikairo said,

Just like Sony and Microsoft are doing with their launch titles this year? If they do, its a strategic move to spur SteamOS adoption. And, at least as I understand things, Windows and OSX will probably just need to download SteamOS and dual-boot. I think a good portion of the Steam population is made up of enthusiasts who would be comfortable and technical capable of doing that.

I'm capable, but there's no chance I'm dual booting another OS for a game. There's no reason to. Just because Valve hates Windows 8, I'm not going to be a part of their little movement.

Chikairo said,
Just like Sony and Microsoft are doing with their launch titles this year? If they do, its a strategic move to spur SteamOS adoption.

Sony and Microsoft doesn't tell me to ditch their competitor's product before I can use theirs either. Valve has made the overwhelming majority of their money selling to Windows gamers, pulling a stupid move like forcing them to switch to something that they probably wouldn't want otherwise (never mind lose compatibility with, well, everything else) is just arrogance at best. That's hypothetical of course, they've made some smart moves over the years, I don't think they'd set themselves up to fail like that... rule #1 in business, selling to as few people as possible is the fastest road to bankruptcy.

Enron said,

I'm capable, but there's no chance I'm dual booting another OS for a game. There's no reason to. Just because Valve hates Windows 8, I'm not going to be a part of their little movement.


This. A thousand times this!

Enron said,

I'm capable, but there's no chance I'm dual booting another OS for a game. There's no reason to. Just because Valve hates Windows 8, I'm not going to be a part of their little movement.

Same. I've been waiting for HL3 for many many years, and i really love the HL games, but theres no chance i'm installing another OS just to play one game.

I don't even see the point in SteamOS (apart from making money for Valve and controlling everything), literally everything it does i can do on Windows, including connecting it to a TV or using a controller. Plus tens of thousands of games run on Windows. Why the hell would i buy yet another machine to stream Windows games to my TV?! SteamOS really is utterly pointless.

Max Norris said,

Sony and Microsoft doesn't tell me to ditch their competitor's product before I can use theirs either. Valve has made the overwhelming majority of their money selling to Windows gamers, pulling a stupid move like forcing them to switch to something that they probably wouldn't want otherwise (never mind lose compatibility with, well, everything else) is just arrogance at best. That's hypothetical of course, they've made some smart moves over the years, I don't think they'd set themselves up to fail like that... rule #1 in business, selling to as few people as possible is the fastest road to bankruptcy.
Except Half Life 3 will likely be chimp change compared to what they make off of Steam anyways. Moreover, I remember the crying and moaning and raging over Steam in the first place. Back when the tech/gamer/enthusiast community thought it was draconian, obnoxious DRM that they were ramming down their throats with Half Life 2.

Also, if the performance increases for Linux are to be believed (L4D allegedly performs significantly better under it, for instance)? That's almost a free upgrade. A penguinista friend of mine laughs about how much better his Windows games run with WINE - how much better could a native version do?

And dual booting means you don't have to give anything up. You can keep using OSX or Windows. I do wonder how it would do virtualized... really, only Apple wants you to make significant changed to run their OS... Microsoft and Linux will happily run on any compatible hardware you throw at them.

Chikairo said,
Except Half Life 3 will likely be chimp change compared to what they make off of Steam anyways.

Sure, and who is the biggest share of the Steam community? They're in it to make money, not to promote some agenda, figureheads aside.

Chikairo said,
Also, if the performance increases for Linux are to be believed (L4D allegedly performs significantly better under it, for instance)? That's almost a free upgrade. A penguinista friend of mine laughs about how much better his Windows games run with WINE - how much better could a native version do?

Still waiting to see something actually released myself. Personally (and this is just me) I'll take an infinitely larger selection of software over a few alleged FPS any day, never mind that's just a couple of games versus a much larger selection that runs worse under Wine, if at all. I've had mixed results with it.. ranging from quite acceptable to abysmal failure. I don't bother with Wine myself anymore, when I'm using Linux, it's Linux software, no farting around trying to shoehorn stuff into working.

Chikairo said,
And dual booting means you don't have to give anything up.

Sure, but enthusiasts aside who really wants to constantly have to reboot depending on what they're doing? Reboot to play a game, reboot to play another game. Reboot again and again. Quite the hassle. Or, just stay in the one OS that runs everything. Purely from a gaming perspective, and looking at the current selection the Steam store.. 193 games for Linux, more than double that for OSX (515), and Windows, well, 2199. If I were only interested in gaming, I'd be laughing at that penguinista friend. And that's just Steam, there's a lot of games that aren't gotten through there, left out in the cold entirely. For me anyway, easy choice.

Max Norris said,

Sure, and who is the biggest share of the Steam community? They're in it to make money, not to promote some agenda, figureheads aside.

They're also in it for the long haul, and since they're worried about Microsoft (and probably to a lesser extent Apple) shutting them out/making them redundant, it would make sense in the long term.

Still waiting to see something actually released myself. Personally (and this is just me) I'll take an infinitely larger selection of software over a few alleged FPS any day, never mind that's just a couple of games versus a much larger selection that runs worse under Wine, if at all. I've had mixed results with it.. ranging from quite acceptable to abysmal failure. I don't bother with Wine myself anymore, when I'm using Linux, it's Linux software, no farting around trying to shoehorn stuff into working.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/a...ormance-in-opengl-and-linux

Granted, that's doing a native version, not WINE-ing it up. Also worth noting that the PS3 and PS4 using *nix (if I remember correctly) and OpenGL will make it an easier port.

Sure, but enthusiasts aside who really wants to constantly have to reboot depending on what they're doing? Reboot to play a game, reboot to play another game. Reboot again and again. Quite the hassle. Or, just stay in the one OS that runs everything. Purely from a gaming perspective, and looking at the current selection the Steam store.. 193 games for Linux, more than double that for OSX (515), and Windows, well, 2199. If I were only interested in gaming, I'd be laughing at that penguinista friend. And that's just Steam, there's a lot of games that aren't gotten through there, left out in the cold entirely. For me anyway, easy choice.

Again, its a long-haul thing. I think that they're looking down the road 4-6 years when the PC market has contracted down to being professionals, enthusiasts and gamers who can't do what they want to on a tablet or web-app. Sacrificing Half-Life 3 to introduce people to an alternative to Windows that isn't a Mac isn't necessarily a bad move if its for a long-term goal.

And, again, Steam itself makes far more money for Valve than any one game of theirs will. 30% off of every single sale, big and small? For things they didn't even make? That's a lot of money. Even Stardock made more money on Impulse than anything else, and Impulse wasn't nearly as big as Steam.

edit: At this point I'll agree to disagree.

Chikairo said,
They're also in it for the long haul, and since they're worried about Microsoft (and probably to a lesser extent Apple) shutting them out/making them redundant, it would make sense in the long term.

Shutting them out how exactly? Is Microsoft and Apple suddenly going to make it impossible to run Steam? Last I checked, it still works. This isn't because of the "Microsoft is killing off the desktop" nonsense again I hope.

Chikairo said,
Again, its a long-haul thing. I think that they're looking down the road 4-6 years when the PC market has contracted down to being professionals, enthusiasts and gamers who can't do what they want to on a tablet or web-app. Sacrificing Half-Life 3 to introduce people to an alternative to Windows that isn't a Mac isn't necessarily a bad move if its for a long-term goal.

Except, after all of that, they don't actually make money on SteamOS, so why risk losing lots and lots of sales with zero benefit? That makes zero sense. They're making money on the games, so you'll want to sell them to as many people as possible. Blindly limiting how many customers you have is an idealist notion at best and not grounded in reality. Some people seem to think that just because they're running it on a Linux base that they're part of "the movement." As their business is based around selling software... it means absolutely jack what OS their customers are running on as long as the product runs. If anything, forcing a more closed environment (namely an OS that only runs Steam software) is worse for the consumer.

Chikairo said,
And, again, Steam itself makes far more money for Valve than any one game of theirs will. 30% off of every single sale, big and small? For things they didn't even make? That's a lot of money. Even Stardock made more money on Impulse than anything else, and Impulse wasn't nearly as big as Steam.

And again, it's simple math. 8.7% of their currently library is available for Linux. 100% runs on Windows. They make money by selling software, theirs or third party. This isn't a big leap of logic here.

Max Norris said,

Only if they want to alienate 99% of their paying customers.

That said.. sure hope it's for real, pretty much written this game off and forgotten about the series.

Valve won't make it a SteamOS exclusive, it'd be corporate suicide, but they might make it an early release for the OS ("Get Half-Life 3 early access with SteamOS"). Very exciting update thats for sure.

Max Norris said,

Only if they want to alienate 99% of their paying customers.

That said.. sure hope it's for real, pretty much written this game off and forgotten about the series.

Perhaps it will be more something along the lines of exclusive for a year, or the SteamOS version comes with additional content...

Max Norris said,

Only if they want to alienate 99% of their paying customers.

That said.. sure hope it's for real, pretty much written this game off and forgotten about the series.

It seems that Valve is focused on OpenGL meaning that it will be cross platform. They have discovered that they get better performance on OpenGL, so there is no reason for them not to use it.

MrHumpty said,
Let's hope they don't make the game suck because they are focusing on consoles.

Or simply suck like Duke Nukem Forever did after all the hype.


Still, you guys can thank me for Half life 3. I sent Gabe a new keyboard a few months ago... http://i.imgur.com/oxiG1Xi.jpg I think it helped with the progress.

sagum said,

Or simply suck like Duke Nukem Forever did after all the hype.

I like that game and so did min other people.

SHS said,

I like that game and so did min other people.

A lot of people exaggerate. Duke Nukem Forever was an "OK" game, but didn't come close to living up to the Duke Nukem name. It was very generic, pieced together what was popular during that time of development. What you get is a game that looks like three different generic shooters from three different time periods.

DNF and HL3 are very different situations. Yes, we have had to wait a long time for both games, but for different reasons. DNF was in development for almost a decade, going through many engine changes and development team swapouts. In the end, a development team was slapped on and told to finish it immediately. It is surprising that it turned out as well as it did. HL3, on the other hand, seems to have started it's development recently, if they have started it at all. It seems like they were waiting for the right time to develop another game, whatever their reason is.