Chandana Ekanayak, art director and executive producer at Uber Entertainment, jumped on Twitter ten hours ago and posted a picture of someone wearing a T-shirt donning an officially unannounced Half-Life 3 logo. Ekanayak claims that he spotted the shirt at a local game development event which was worn by an actual Valve employee.
Thing is, the supposed logo would theoretically be incorrect if it indeed represents the third Half-Life installment. Following the previous Half-Life 2 layout, it's assumed that the next sequel would feature a number "3" located in the tab, and the symbol located within the circle. The shirt's logo is reversed yet it clearly reads "Half-Life 3" underneath. Had it not been for the description, this logo could have easily been tied to the long-rumored Half-Life 2: Episode 3.
But as seen in the Twitter post, Ekanayak used the hashtag "#ValveTrolling," pointing out that Valve is likely trying to cause a few waves with the shirt -- which has obviously worked. We've seen enough early "leaks," lost devices and subtle hints to know that sudden appearances like this aren't coincidental -- it's a great way to keep people interested in your upcoming product, a good PR stunt.
That said, a reference to Half-Life 3 appeared earlier this year when voice actress Ellen McLain -- who provides the voice for Portal's GlaDOS -- was linked to Half-Life 3 by her husband, another voice actor who supplies his voice to Team Fortress 2's Sniper. Then there was the DOTA 2 beta client which was found to contain a folder called "ep3" and resources for new weapons.
Does that mean Episode 3 was expanded into Half-Life 3? It wouldn’t be the first time we've heard that theory, but right now it's all mere speculation. One thing is for certain: Valve's employee wearing the Half-Life 3 shirt obviously posed for the picture, knowing full well it would soon hit the internet and have us all babbling over a possible E3 2012 reveal.