Valve’s Newell explains company silence on the next Half-Life

The last time we heard anything even remotely concrete about the next release in the _Half-Life_ series was a 2008 statement that hinted at a possible 2010 release. The company’s silence about the series has been deafening since then. But in a recent interview, Valve co-founder and Managing Director Gabe Newell suggests that being quiet is preferable to giving inaccurate information about a game still in quite a bit of flux.

Newell didn’t actually mention either _Episode 3_ or a full-fledged _Half-Life 3_ release by name during a recent talk with the Seven Day Cooldown podcast (as noticed by Develop). Instead, the relevant discussion focuses on a purported sequel to _Ricochet_, a Valve-developed _Half-Life_ mod from 2000 that was one of the first games on Steam.

The context surrounding the questioning and the answer, however, suggests that both the interviewers and Newell knew they were actually discussing a new _Half-Life._┬áThat helps Newell’s discussion of the game’s constantly shifting “giant story arc” make a lot more sense.

"In terms of _Ricochet 2_," Newell explained, "we always have this problem that when we talk about things too far in advance we end up changing our minds as we’re going through and developing stuff, so as we’re thinking through the giant story arc which is _Ricochet 2_, you might get to a point where you’re saying something is surprising us in a positive way and something is surprising us in a negative way, and, you know, we’d like to be super-transparent about the future of _Ricochet 2_."

"The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we’re going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what’s happening next," he continued.

Newell went on to say that the development team working on “_Ricochet 2_” has remained consistent throughout the game’s long gestation, despite a relatively flat organizational structure at Valve that encourages employees to jump between projects. If that’s true, then we feel a little bad for all those developers that have been stuck toiling on this game for years now without even being able to talk to anyone about its existence.

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