Finally the news we’ve all been waiting for – Half-Life 3 is finally officially announced and through the magic of crowdfunding we’ll all get to chance to be part of it. Promising an epic final installment to the Half-Life trilogy, Valve are seeking $10 million in funding with stretch goals that include an optional Virtual Reality option as well as cross-platform support across PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Oh come on – you didn’t click through to this article, on today of all days, expecting to see a real news story about Half-Life 3 did you? Yes this is clearly an April Fools article (probably one of many about Half-Life you’ll see today) and even if production had officially started it wouldn’t be as a crowdfunded campaign. Or would it?
After all Shenmue 3 was for a long time just a pipe dream until its sudden emergence as a Kickstarter project in July 2015, surging past a target of $2 million to eventually raise over $6 million and become the highest-funded video game project on Kickstarter thanks to almost 70,000 backers. Anticipation for Half-Life 3 is even higher than it ever was for Shenmue, and if Valve did opt for a Kickstarter campaign I genuinely do believe it could achieve $10 million (possibly the only video game capable of doing so).
However the question remains as to whether Valve would need, or even want, to resort to crowdfunding in order to develop Half-Life 3. As a hugely successful developer already, money isn’t one of the obstacles holding back development. Additionally there’s Valve’s fairly unique organisational structure and attitude towards game development that I doubt would mesh well with Kickstarter. But even if there’s never an official crowdfunding campaign for Half-Life 3, there have been a few notable unofficial attempts in recent years:
- Half-Life live action film. Surprisingly this pitch for amateur web series ‘The Freeman Chronicles’ was actually a successful Kickstarter as the February 2014 campaign received $26,000 in pledges – more than double its goal. Even more unexpected is the fact it’s looking pretty good (if well behind schedule) although that shouldn’t be too surprising as Chariotdrive and Infectious Designer have experience making short Half-Life fan films such as ‘Enter the Freeman’.
- Unofficial Half-Life 3 Kickstarter launched and cancelled on the same day. As previously reported here on Cliqist, July 2014 saw a naive/idiotic attempt by one man to run his own Kickstarter campaign to develop Half-Life 3 for only £1,500. Aside from the lack of any coherent plan or evidence of how this could be done, his apparent disregard for copyright law saw his campaign removed within hours.
- Half-Life 3 advertising campaign. The idiocy continued three months later as in October 2014 two marketing interns launched an absurd Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 for a marketing campaign aimed at pressuring Valve into producing the next Half-Life game. “It might be crazy” they admitted – true enough. “But it will work” – predictably less accurate as only 1% of that amount was reached and they were roundly mocked by the Internet.