The second episode of Half-Life 2 came back in 2007. Ending at a cliffhanger, the game was never really continued. In fact, the first wind we got about a new Half-Life, it wasn’t what we hoped for at all. Instead of an episode 3, we saw the company to release a completely new title, Half-Life Alyx. Mind you, this title isn’t a continuation of the series. Instead, it is a new story altogether, letting go of the cliffhanger as well.
Well, in a tweet by Nibel, he quotes an IGN article. The article is an interview with the makers of the title about why they chose to abandon the prospects of Half-Life Episode 3.
Valve on why they never made Episode 3
– episodic model didn't work well for them because they became too ambitious
– they wanted to avoid working on an engine (Source 2) and a game at the same time again
– HL games are meant to push tech forwardhttps://t.co/yK9NYaL4bY pic.twitter.com/mToXI2JSdQ
— Nibel (@Nibellion) March 23, 2020
As the tweet suggests as well, there were 2 main reasons for this.
Going Episode by Episode Didn’t Work Well
He explains that at the beginning, the idea was to develop the story with an episode coming out every year. Though, they didn’t go according to the schedule. After Episode 1, the next episode came out after almost two and a half years. They were bent over the fact that they wanted to make it better and more engaging and thus couldn’t do the job any less than a hundred percent. They realised that for Episode 3, they would actually take up more time and thus, lose consumer engagement. The idea of keeping everyone engaged with smaller bits of the bigger story would have actually backfired.
Wanted To Stick To One Task
While developing Half-Life 2 and its episodes, the company was developing the Source Engine as well. They realised that it was highly inefficient to work on a game engine and adjust the game to it. It was a vicious cycle in which they were having to adjust one thing to the other and so on. Therefore, this time around, the lesson they learnt was, it is better and much easier to have a ready and developed platform to have a game on. Therefore, a new engine (Source 2) was more preferred than Episode 3. This is because Alyx had much better future prospects than Episode 3, for the franchise.
Additionally, they are supposed to, as the tweet quotes, “meant to push tech forwards..”. Sticking with the same storyline, the same engine meant that there was little room for growth and thus the entire franchise would stagnate. Therefore, they saw it best to abandon the project (even though many people had their closure issues tested).