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The Half-Life 3 Trademark Herring

In the digital age, we can no longer worry about ink being spilt. None-the-less, plenty of keystrokes that trickle their way onto the web ought be left dormant.

This is the case of the recent news that Valve has filed for a Half-Life 3 trademark in Europe.

Though there are some that will speculate as to what this move means, as there are others who will cry wolf that a release announcement or development details draw nigh; not much can be concluded from the one fact that exists. As stated above, a trademark has been submitted to the European Union by Valve..

Now, carefully examining the trademark request, which has not yet been approved, unveils some key pieces of information. The good has been classified as game software and as an online entertainment media for computer systems. The trademark itself is classified as a word.

That is what we know as Valve hasn't commented on this recent matter nor has the company spoken about the development cycle for Half-Life 3.

As for the time lapse between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, a similar consonant cannot be applied to Half-Life 3; the time has passed. Six years passed between the two existing titles; nine years have now passed since the sequel released.

Instead the more pertinent question to ask in regards to Half-Life 3 is what’s the latest word on Source Engine 2? We know that the sequel engine to Source is in development, but we don’t know much else presently. As Half-Life 2 came to life on the Source engine, so did a slew of other sequels to Valve titles from Counter-Strike, to Day of Defeat, and Team Fortress Classic; we can expect a similar occurrence with not only Half-Life 3 but other established Valve franchises, most notably Left 4 Dead 3.

Over the last couple days two interesting information leaks have hit the web that have further fanned the flames of Source Engine 2, Half-Life 3, and Left 4 Dead 3. Members from the Dota 2 Reddit community became privy to a devtrack log while visiting Valve headquarters for The International 3 tournament during a tour of the offices. Of note the devtrack page showed entries for “Source2” and “L4D3.” suggesting rather bluntly that to a degree these are projects in development. The second leak came yesterday as the Jira network for Valve’s project management became publicly accessible for a short while, during which time development teams labelled as “Half-Life 3 Core” and “Half-Life 3” were discovered. Among the ten members of the core group are many senior and veteran Valve game designers and programmers including: almost 15 year Valve veteran David Speyrer who worked on Half-Life 2, The Orange Box, and both Left 4 Dead titles, 13 year Valve veteran Kelly Bailey the sound designer and music composer for the Half-Life series, and 13 year Valve veteran Jeff Lane who specializes in level and game design. Surprisingly, Adam Foster developer of the Half-Life 2 mod, Minerva, is also among the ten members in the core development group.

None-the-less, given Valve’s latest product announcements, from SteamOS, to Steam machines and the Steam controller; don’t expect any ground-breaking information about Half-Life 3 to be released anytime soon. The beta period for the Steam machines will begin towards the end of the month once registration ends on October 25, and the revolutionary potential for Steam invading your living room appears to be the main focus for Valve right now.

Should the information leaks prove to be true we can all rest assured that Half-Life 3 is somewhere in the development cycle along with the Source Engine 2. Until official word from Valve is given, I would not be getting my hopes up for a timely release; a trademark filing is not significant enough to conjure such a reaction nor are the information leaks. Though we can presume development is on-going we still have no indication as to how far along development is, and let us not forget the drawn out development of Team Fortress 2, instead let’s learn from it and exhibit some more patience for once.


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