So, *How* Long Until Half-Life 2: Episode Three?

Illustration for article titled So, *How* Long Until Half-Life 2: Episode Three?

If there's one thing Valve excels at, it's making us wait. If you thought the wait between Half-Life 2 and the episodes that followed it were long, expect to wait even longer for the third (and final?) episode in the continuing adventures of Gordon Freeman. Valve's marketing man Doug Lombardi tells Kikizo that Episode Three is going to be longer than the wait between every other entry in the series—longer than the wait for Episode One, longer than the wait for Episode Two.

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That means we should expect at least a 19 month down time between the second and third episodes, putting the release of Episode Three no earlier than May of 2009, if our calculations are correct. Fortunately, Lombardi hints that Valve "may at the very end of the year" show something on Half-Life 2: Episode Three, after Left 4 Dead goes out the door and sells a bazillion copies.

Interview: Valve's Doug Lombardi [Kikizo]

Click here to visit our Half-Life 2: Episode Three timeline!

DISCUSSION

jporter313
jporter313

I'd like to add my voice to the chorus of people who are conflicted about Valve and their business strategy of late.

On one hand, let me say I love their content. Half life 2 was a really great game, and the 2 episodes so far have been really excellent too. Portal was a great game also, and Team fortress 2, although not really my thing, has become rather legendary among multiplayer types.

But...

My main problem is that they've made a lot of promises about their episodic content model and then consistently broken them. The timeline, the cost. Yes, I know the orange box had some other good stuff, but as far as content quantity it was about half of a normal game, a really good half a game, but still not a good quantity of content. I'm not including HL2 or Ep1 in the length as most people buying the orange box already owned these, and that makes it more like a battlechest, imagine if Blizzard had only released Brood War in the Starcraft battlechest, this is sort of the same deal. I feel like in order to stick to their episodic strategy, they should have released Episode 2 as a standalone for $20 rather than making us purchase the whole collection. I understand why they didn't do it this way, but it seems very underhanded and dishonest nonetheless.

And now this extended timeline for Episode 3? I really hope it's longer than episode 2, or the pricing is reasonable, and that they don't pull the same required bundling crap they did with the orange box.

So, I guess my message to Valve is: Keep making excellent games, but stop milking your fanbase.