Gabe Newell, the famed CEO of Valve, answered a ton of questions during a Reddit AMA yesterday. While the developer didn’t want to talk about Half-Life 2: Episode 3/Half-Life 3 (“The number 3 must not be said,” he replied), he was very forthcoming about some of Valve’s other projects.
Newell was a big fan of short answers during his AMA, replying with “Yep” and “Yes” to the questions, “Any chance of a new IP that takes place in the half-life/portal universe?” and “Is Valve still working on any fully-fledged single player games?” Obviously, he didn’t reveal any specific details about these games (or how they connect to the existing Half-Life and Portal universe), but he did confirm that the Half-Life and Portal film adaptations from J.J. Abrams are still in the works.
However, Newell was a bit more verbose with his reply to a fan asking about the future of the Left 4 Dead franchise. The developer said that new technology often drives Valve’s projects and that a team interested in “shared narratives” would be one he’d steer towards a third Left 4 Dead game:
Products are usually the result of an intersection of technology that we think has traction, a group of people who want to work on that, and one of the game properties that feels like a natural playground for that set of technology and design challenges.
When we decided we needed to work on markets, free to play, and user generated content, Team Fortress seemed like the right place to do that. That work ended up informing everything we did in the multiplayer space.
Left 4 Dead is a good place for creating shared narratives.
But if you’ll notice, he never actually said “Yes” or “No” to the question of whether Left 4 Dead 3 is in development.
Newell gave many other interesting answers during his Reddit AMA, and if you’ve got the time, it’s worth it to read through the whole thread. You might even want to do it twice. But I wouldn’t recommend a third time.