The Penny Arcade Report has a fascinating interview up with Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve Software, the company behind Half-Life, Portal, Left for Dead, and the Steam gaming platform. Newell talks about everything from wearable computing to DRM. The “Where is Half-Life 2: Episode 3/Half-Life 3?” question is only referenced obliquely, and Newell pretty much confirmed that they haven’t announced anything because they’re not far enough along with whatever Half-Life follow-up they’re working on:
[...][P]art of the reason that we backed off talking so much about what was happening in the future is that when we’ve done that in the past, you know, with Half Life 1 it was a year after we originally said it would be, Half Life 2 basically if you go and read the forum posts apparently took us fifty or sixty years to get done so we’re trying to be careful not to get people too excited and then have to go and disappoint them. So we’re sort of reacting in the other direction and saying “okay, well let’s have things a little more baked before we start getting people all excited about it.
Half-Life 3 aside, this interview seems to imply that Valve is more focused on the big picture — on delivering something new and game-changing — than on producing a Half-Life follow-up, which might be a great thing. The Penny Arcade Report also has a photo tour of Valve’s offices, which will make you hate your guidance counselor/college adviser for not explaining that working for a video game company was a viable, lucrative, satisfying career.