In a recent interview with Valve’s Doug Lombardi, he confirmed that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will not be the last Half-Life game. Which isn’t exactly a big shocker. But since the company has repeatedly indicated they didn’t want to leave fans waiting years (or until the developers reached retirement age) for Half-Life 3, we could be seeing episodes continuing to be made in the shape of Half-Life 2: Episode 4, etc.
To quote the Stuffwelike interview:
Question: With the ending of Episode 2 going directly to help the feeling of “must play Episode 3 now” could you give the current estimated date for Episode 3’s release?
Answer: We haven’t announced a date for Ep Three just yet.
Question: Are there any current plans after Episode 3 to have a Half Life 3?
Answer: We haven’t announced anything specific, but Half-Life won’t end at Episode Three – hang on to your crowbars!
Note: In a 2007 interview in PC Gamer magazine, Gabe Newell mentioned a “fourth episode” as an unofficial name for Half-Life 2: Episode 4, which is claimed to be in development by a third-party developer. To quote the halflife2.net transcription of the interview:
“The so called ‘Episode Four’ is apparently not strictly connected to the timeline or settings of the first three episodes, and may feature an entirely different set of characters / locales. Some have speculated that ‘Episode Four’ may see the return of Adrian Shephard or another Half-Life PC or NPC. However, as development on Episode Two and the Orange Box has progressed, details on the fourth episode have no been forthcoming, and it is not entirely clear whether the product is indeed in development any more.”
A later IGN interview expanded on the spin-off episode with more details. To quote Gabe Newell: “We’d like to do games that are about Alyx. We’d like to do games that are about Dog. I don’t think we’ve made this decision that it’s always going to be you playing Gordon in the first-person with Alyx as a companion… In terms of projecting into the future we have a lot of ground we would like to cover. There are lots of pieces of the story that have been referenced that we think would be really interesting.” Watch the full video interview: