It's been nearly eight years since Half-Life 2 first released. Since then, fans have been clamoring for the sequel that'll continue the tale of Gordon Freeman. Year by year, hype for the franchise has been steadily building, yet any sign of Half-Life 3 continues to elude us, so much to the point that it's become an Internet meme.
Now, it looks like there's a reason why Valve's been putting off the conclusion to the trilogy. Recently, Valvetime.net user Barnz did some digging into Source Filmmaker, Valve's video capture and editing software for Team Fortress 2, and discovered coding that pointed to the existence of the Source 2 engine. The file, located in the path file
".../SourceFilmmaker/game/sdktools/python/global/lib/site-packages/vproj/vproj.py", references the Source 2 engine with the following comment in line 1387:
"Return an str with the current engine version.
"If key doesn't doesn't exist, assume 'Source', otherwise invalid -- assume next-gen 'Source 2'."
There are more references to the Source 2 engine in the Pastebin file of the source code here, if you want to see for yourself.
While this news doesn't confirm the reference of Half-Life 3, or even reference it, being busy developing the Source 2 engine seems a good enough excuse as to why it hasn't rolled around yet. Considering the amount of hype now for the game, it's no surprise that Valve wants to "wow" fans with a Half-Life 3 on newer technology.