Half-Life 3 Writer Reveals Why He Regrets Leaking Game's Story

Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw has some regrets over leaking the story of Half-Life 3. There are a few games that many considered "fabled" in this industry, sequels or big projects that never materialized or have been in the works for an extended period of time that they don't even seem like a reality. Half-Life 3 is probably the biggest game out of that small group of titles as Half-Life 2: Episode 2 left things on such a big cliffhanger that fans were chomping at the bit to learn what happened next. Valve had also committed to these episodic stories, largely to allow players to experience the next chapter fairly quickly as opposed to waiting years. Well, we've been waiting for over a decade and a half now... and it's still up in the air whether it will happen, even with the ending of Half-Life: Alyx.

With all of that said, in 2017, Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw posted a story online that was very clearly an outline for Half-Life 3. He changed the names of the characters and such, but it was all very tongue in-cheek and anyone who had any familiarity with the series knew what it was. However, the most tragic thing about it was that it was posted because it was also clear that it meant Half-Life 3 would not see the light of day beyond this word doc. Speaking with RockPaperShotgun, Laidlaw expressed his regrets about posting the story as he was in an isolating place in his life and didn't fully think it through. He also noted that the story he wrote likely wouldn't have reflected the hypothetical game people would've played due to the way things change in development.

"Eventually my mind would have calmed and I'd have come out the other side a lot less embarrassed," he says. "I think it caused trouble for my friends, and made their lives harder. It also created the impression that if there had been an Episode 3, it would have been anything like my outline, whereas in fact all the real story development can only happen in the crucible of developing the game. So what people got wasn't Episode 3 at all."

Whether or not we get a Half-Life 3 remains a mystery. The ending of Half-Life: Alyx seemed to suggest Valve found a way to back itself out of the corner it painted itself into and perhaps create a new story to continue. Only time will tell if that ever actually releases, but it seems like a bold thing to tease all these years later if there's no desire to see it through.

Are you still holding out hope for Half-Life 3? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.