One t-shirt essentially started the Half-Life 3 rumor train that, for now, has come to an abrupt end.
Earlier this month, a Valve employee was spotted by Chandana Ekanayak, art director and executive producer at Uber Entertainment, at a local game development event wearing a Half-Life 3 T-shirt. While the logo itself was inconsistent with the design of the Half-Life 2 logo (reversed actually), the shirt clearly read "Half-Life 3" underneath the design.
Since then, numerous Half-Life 3 rumors have surfaced. One stems from a website located at www.black-aperture.com that, at this moment, features nothing but a blank, black page. But at one time it featured the correct Half-Life 3 logo, and the logos for Steam, Valve and Source lined along the bottom. A hidden Aperture Science logo was also reportedly seen within the Half-Life 3 symbol by slightly tilting the screen.
Then a source for Valve's supposed ARG, Doug Rattmann, reportedly tweeted a countdown for a possible Half-Life 3 announcement, writing "Min: 60 days, Max: Unknown." The tweet followed the release of the Wheatley acceptance speech video from the VGA's that supposedly had hidden Half-life 3 messages embedded within. What didn't help stifle the Half-Life 3 speculation was Rattmann's "It Begins" tweet following the video.
If that wasn't enough to get the Half-Life 3 wheels spinning (and for good reason), somewhere in the timeline, Valve boss Gabe Newell said to leak Half-Life 3 details in order to gain consumer interest. Getting a little tired of the trolling, Valve's Chet Faliszek finally jumped on the official Steam forums and laid to rest any question about the third installment being in production. Turns out Half-Life 3 may not be in development after all.
"You are being trolled," he writes. "There is no ARG. Wheatley's speech was set in Portal 2 fiction - that is all. There has been no directive from Gabe to leak anything. That is all false."
"I just want to say this so there is no confusion," he added. "This is the community trolling the community, nothing more. While it is nice to see people excited about anything HL, I hate seeing people be trolled like this."
Bummer. See what happens when you wear a cool shirt to a party? All hell breaks loose.