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Marc Laidlaw Confirms That There Is A Half-Life 3 Shirt Out There… With A Vague And Suspicious Non-Answer

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A few days ago, we spoke about how Monday Night Combat producer Chandana Ekanayake claimed to have met a Valve employee wearing a Half-Life 3 T-shirt, at an unnamed game development event. At the time, I didn’t think much of this. It could either be fake, or, at best, it could simply be a prank from a sneaky Valve dev. I imagined that it meant absolutely nothing.

But then this happened.

Marc Laidlaw Confirms That There Is A Half-Life 3 Shirt Out There… With A Vague And Suspicious Non-Answer

Alexei is, presumably, your average Russian Half-Life fan. When he saw Chandana’s tweet, he decided that e-mailing Marc Laidlaw, the writer behind the Half-Life series, might just solve this little riddle. He sent a link to the picture, and asked:

It’s true? And what does that mean?

Marc responded with:

I can confirm the existence of a shirt. Other than that, I couldn’t tell you.

This is the e-mail’s screencap:

This e-mail is, of course, legitimate, and Marc did actually write this stuff. We’ve verified it, and it checks out. The question isn’t whether or not this e-mail is real. It’s whether or not Marc was simply joking around, and didn’t actually mean to imply anything more. That remains to be seen. But I think it’s a bit interesting that he didn’t vehemently debunk this rumor, as Valve has done in the past, and instead gave us a very intriguing non-answer. Notice that he simply says there is a shirt in existence. He doesn’t expose this thing as a fake, he doesn’t reveal that no one from Valve attended the event Chandana went to. Instead, he gave us this. Hmm. Either Marc Laidlaw is among the world’s greatest trolls, or something is up.

Well, what can I say? I won’t even bother speculating, because this stuff is just far too inconclusive. Let’s just stay calm, and see what happens.


  1. I don’t see anything substantial in this.

    We already know there is a t-shirt. Laidlaw’s confirmation of the existence of a search does not give any suggestion of the shirt being homemade, promotional, merch, a prank, etc. All he has done is just reiterate that the shirt exists. Which we already knew.

    We also already know that Laidlaw is directly involved in Ep3/HL3 development, so whether his ‘couldn’t tell you’ response to the question of ‘what it means’ is taken to mean ‘I can’t tell you’ or ‘I don’t know’ (the former likely, the latter plausible), it doesn’t change anything. We know that there is a shirt, and Laidlaw hasn’t told us anything else.

    I can’t see his message as some sort of code or subtle hint. He’s not being coy, or secretive, or trolling; he was asked two basic questions and answered them bluntly.

    The shirt is real? Yes.
    What does it mean? I can’t tell you.

    • We already know? I don’t think so. Maybe it’s quite likely, but to say that we “already know he is directly involved” is just as unreasonable as what you are arguing against.

      • Perhaps my statement was more plausible than conclusive, but I’d argue the evidence in its favor makes it reasonable.

        Obviously, I’m coming from the position that there IS a Ep3/HL3 being made (I use the two names interchangeably. If Valve has truly given up on episodic, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce it as HL3), even if the game is only being developed by a small team at the moment. Valve learned the hard way with HL2 that misleading about a much-anticipated project is harmful. Cancelling it and saying nothing would benefit nobody, though I don’t see how they permanently stop development on the next game in a wildly popular and historically innovative series.

        As the head writer for the HL games, Laidlaw would almost certainly be involved with any work that is being done on it. Even after bringing on new writers, he has primarily focused on the series (with Wolpaw, Faliszek and others taking the lead on the other games).

        None of that really affects my primary point: the email doesn’t sound like Laidlaw trolling or hinting, just a confirmation of the shirt and an ambiguously worded inability to say more or lack of further knowledge.


  3. Does that mean we get more hats?!

  4. Remember the MW3 Leak on Kotuka, yeah Valve has to crack at some point. Don’t get me wrong, I love valve more than anything. But honestly at some point someones gonna make a mistake and they’ll have to give *some* news. Anyways let see where this rabbit hole goes.

  5. Commenter AvatarAlexander the GreatDecember 5th 2011 at 11:49pm

    Hmm…That’s gotten me thinking, after Dota 2 and CS: GO are released what will Valve’s next project be?

  6. I don’t understand the significance. We already know there is one because there was a photo of it.

  7. I’m startin to get cited..

  8. The shirt might just be fan made.

  9. But I can’t be calm. God, here goes another night without sleep. Thanks a bunch, LambdaGeneration. Let’s hope we get a real thing soon. Dota 2 and CS: GO are merely enough.

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