After asking Valve Software boss Gabe Newell a bunch of questions about the Half-Life games on the new Seven Day Cooldown podcast, an interviewer finally cut to the chase:
"My final question and the question in the back of all your fans' minds and everyone has been waiting to ask you for a long time: When can we expect the release of Ricochet 2?"
Valve fans know, that that is not the question all of Gabe Newell's fans are waiting to ask him.
Replace "Ricochet 2" with "Half-Life 2: Episode 3" or "Half-Life 3," the either/or sequel that's been missing in action from Valve for a very long time.
Gabe Newell answered the question. It's up to you to decide if he was really talking about Ricochet 2.
"In terms of Ricochet 2, 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."
Probed further by the hosts on current staffing levels for the project and whether there's been a slowdown on the project, Newell replies "No, everybody who has worked on Ricochet 2 continues to work on Ricochet 2 [laughs]."
For the record, Ricochet was an official multiplayer mod for the original Half-Life and was released by the company in 2000. Our own Luke Plunkett is a bit more up on the mod than I was and tells me: "If you haven't played Ricochet, or even heard of it, I'm going to pull you up now: it was shit. So shit, in fact, that on Valve's site the company likes to pretend it never existed."
You should listen to the whole podcast. It's great. Jump to the 21:05 mark if you want to hear the tones of voice from the part quoted above.
Episode 001 – The Tangy Zip of Gaben (April-16-2012) [Seven Day Cooldown, at the 21:05 mark]
Top pic is of a real T-shirt supposedly worn by a Valve employee last year for unknown reasons. We would have posted a Ricochet 2 t-shirt but none was available.