Half-Life's Lead Writer Shares Details on How Episode III Would Have Ended

Laverne Mann
August 27, 2017

For the interested, Pastebin is a place to discover a "corrected" version of this famous letter, which will replace the fictitious names of Marc Laidlaw by the designations correct Half-Life.

No need to spoil everything, as Laidlaw's post itself is barely longer than this article.

Valve followed it up by planning for three new episodes to serve as sequels to Half-Life 2, releasing Episode One as a stand-alone purchase then Episode 2 as part of 2007's The Orange Box, which also included Team Fortress 2 and introduced Portal. "I can hear your complaint already, 'Gertrude Fremont, we have not heard from you in ages!' Well, if you care to hear excuses, I have plenty, the greatest of them being I've been in other dimensions and whatnot, unable to reach you by the usual means".

I hope this letter finds you well.

Half-Life 3, gaming's greatest unicorn, may finally be with us-albeit in text form. This was the case until eighteen months ago, when I experienced a critical change in my circumstances, and was redeposited on these shores. Gamers have slowly come to grips with the fact that Valve is never going to make a Half-Life 3, any more than it's going to make a Left For Dead 3, or well, pretty much any other AAA game of note. The only game I can think of in the past ten years that created a new genre of games and had an everlasting impact on the industry is Minecraft, and that was a fluke.

Marc Laidlaw
Marc Laidlaw @marc_laidlaw

In a tweet, Laidlaw called the "fanfic" a "genderswapped snapshot of a dream I had many years ago".

Earlier today, Marc Laidlaw published a rather long and somewhat confusing post titled "Epistle 3", to his website. We haven't seen a proper Valve-developed game since Dota 2 in 2013, with the company instead working on their own hardware and VR technology with the HTC Vive.

Everything points to this being a thinly-veiled act of rebellion against Half-Life's creators never getting the chance to finish the story they were telling. It makes for good reading too, as you might expect from Laidlaw. But Valve's push into e-sports and continued work on the Steam platform over the past few years, while undoubtedly a money-spinner, hasn't left much room for the kind of the story-driven experiences the company was once famed for.

In an answer to a fan, Laidlaw even refuses to go into more detail about a specific couple of characters, saying "that is something Valve might still want to develop, flesh out and explain someday".

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