Earlier in the week, Half-Life fans got themselves worked-up after a trademark for the forever forthcoming Half-Life 3 was published to a European trademark registration site. Well, as it appears now, the entire thing was a hoax, despite the fact that the entry looked completely legit, complete with Valve address.
A couple of theories are floating around. One claims that the reason the entry no longer exists is that Valve is trying to hide it now that it's been approved - but that seems like rather nonsense, since Valve isn't the type of company to hide things so menial in detail. Another theory, which is more likely, is that someone submitted it as a hoax, just for the sheer joy of getting millions of fans' hopes up.
The last Half-Life game was Episode Two, released in October, 2007
If the entry was indeed a hoax, one must wonder why it's so easy to submit a completely fake trademark submission like that. This is an official European trademark and designs website, after all.
As Valve Time notes, Portal 3 made an appearance as well, and apart from the game's title, the entry looks identical to the one for Half-Life 3. Another hoax? Sure seems so. It's worth noting that Valve in the US has already held the rights to the Half-Life 3 name for a while, so the fact that the game could be in the works shouldn't really come as a surprise.
I admit that these HL3 hoaxes and rumors are getting rather old, so it'll be a joyous day when Valve finally releases the game. Given Half-Life 2: Episode Two released six-years-ago, fans sure have been waiting a while for another instalment.
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