Reiner’s source claims that several different ideas from several different people have been tossed around over the years for Half-Life 3, ranging from an RTS-style game to a game with pre-recorded, live-action visuals. Apparently none of these ideas ever made it very far, though. The source blames this on Valve’s infamous loose development structure, where anyone can work on whichever projects they like, and claims that this lead several employees to work on their own projects that they hoped would eventually become the next Half-Life, rather than working on Half-Life 3.
When asked if Valve has any obligation to at least conclude the Half-Life 2 storyline, the source said “I don’t think there will be any more. But at any given moment, they make decisions as they come. If some people within Valve make something that they collectively feel is exciting, then it will happen. That’s going to be hard for that to happen now. Every time a Half-Life project gets some gravity and then collapses, it becomes harder for the next one to start up. Because the business changes so much, and there are so many other things to do, it just gets harder and harder. It’s one of those things they’ll always have to accept.”
Assuming these claims are true, it’s disappointing news for Half-Life fans. Still, it is definitely worth reading the full interview, for both the potential info on the various incarnations of Half-Life 3 as well as the insight into Valve’s unique development structure.