Half-Life 2 Episode 3 is Not Valve’s Surprise
Last week we received word that Valve was apparently canceling its Portal 2 event at E3. In its place will be a "surprise," though the surprise itself is to remain a mystery until the event. Many of the commenters on our story about the cancelation seemed to think this meant we would finally be seeing Half-Life 2: Episode 3, as unlikely as that was, but we now have confirmation from Valve boss Gabe Newell that the surprise is not Episode 3.
Valve staffers are known to occasionally respond to fan emails, and that’s exactly what Newell did. In response to an email imploring Valve to unveil Episode 3 next week, Newell simply wrote back, "It isn’t ep 3."
The Portal 2 event cancelation wasn’t the only thing that fueled speculation that Episode 3 would be shown. The image above showing the date June 14, "Freeman" (as in Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman), and the Valve logo has been making the rounds, leading some to believe that Episode 3 would perhaps even make an appearance at Microsoft’s E3 press briefing (scheduled for June 14). Newell again responded to an email, this time from a staff member of fan site HalfLife2.net (via CVG) asking if the image was real. Newell was even more succinct this time, writing, "Fake."
Some fans are undoubtedly going to accuse Newell of trying to maintain the surprise of an Episode 3 announcement. But does anyone really believe that Valve didn’t know that people would guess "Episode 3" when Valve promises a surprise and is now doing damage control?