Earlier this week, tens of thousands of users joined a Steam group dedicated to playing Half-Life 2 on Saturday between 2 and 2:30 p.m. EST, as a demonstration calling on Valve to get its ass in gear and release, or at least officially confirm work on Half-Life 3. How'd it turn out? It was either a great success or a disappointment, depending on your point of view.
I'll go with "success," as the game's numbers shot from 3,000 to more than 13,000 during the protest window, rocketing Half-Life 2 into the top 20 and just short of the top 10 (organizers note that it peaked at No. 11. The figures represent concurrent players.)
Now, when we first reported on this Tuesday, there were 30,000 members of the group. There are now 50,000. So less than half who originally backed this cause actually logged in to do so. And there's no assurance that Valve will acknowledge the demonstration or do anything in response to it.
Still, moaning and groaning over Half-Life 3 is something that takes place every day on gaming interest sites all over the Internet. This was actually a productive action, as it showed Valve that customers still love their games enough to play them seven years after release, rather than abuse Gabe Newell's email to demand one.
"I am personally impressed with what we've achieved today," the organizer wrote. "We're nowhere near done—in fact, we are currently in the process of planning new activities; this was only our first attempt, and, in my eyes, was a success for everyone." It's a success in my eyes, too.