In the aftermath of the smoldering trainwreck that E3 2009 represented for the Valve community, Steam Forum regular Surfrock22 established a petition for communication, as it was originally named. His thread is now titled “Message to Valve”, and it’s- well, let’s let Surf tell us himself:
The lack of communication between Valve and the Half-Life community has been a frustrating experience. While continued support for current and future products is greatly appreciated, fans of the Half-Life series have waited years for a word on when the franchise will return.
So, instead of focusing efforts in a negative and disrespectful way, we have decided to gain Valve’s attention by delivering a basic message:
Your oldest and longest running fanbase would like some form of communication.
Waiting patiently for over four years is a daunting task, especially when E3 comes and goes without any beat of a Half-Life pulse, time and time again. Valve had stated that information was scheduled to be released towards the end of 2008, and we believe that if they have chosen, for whatever reason, to withhold this information, fans should at least be acknowledged in some way, regardless of developmental plans for the next Half-Life project. The entire trilogy of episodes was supposed to be completed and released by 2007, and if Valve have decided to do other things for the time being, that is fine; all that we ask for is a basic response on the matter, and to let fans know whether or not the Half-Life 2 story arc is scheduled to conclude at another point in time.
In addition: This message is in no way, shape or form attempting to rush the development of the Half-Life series; in fact, most members (who have signed via Steam Forums) agree that Valve should take the time needed to deliver a complete and polished product.
If you agree with the message, then head over to the thread and reply, acknowledging the fact that you support this initiative. Add “/signed”, or anything to that effect, so that Surf can add you to the supporter list. There are currently 1,348 signatures, with the movement’s current goal being 1,500 signatures. However, the initiative has gone beyond a mere Steam Forum thread. It has left its home and gone out into the Steam Community. Yes, the Half-Life fanbase’s Call for Communication now has its very own Steam Group. Currently at 3,841 members and growing, the group represents the pinnacle of this movement.
You might think this will ultimately do nothing, but let’s not forget about that which I mentioned before: E3 2009. In its aftermath, the infamous L4D2 Boycott was born. And as we remember all too well, the boycott proved to be fruitful, as the boycott’s leaders were invited to Valve HQ, to playtest L4D2. Following that, the boycott essentially dissolved almost entirely. Now, I’m obviously not expecting Surf and co. to get flown off to Bellevue to playtest HL3, but my point is that a movement of this kind in the Valve community have succeeded once before. Since that boycott and this call for communication are quite similar, I think we can expect this movement to send the message, and ultimately prove fruitful, in some form or another. As my friend Marcus put it: “well this certainly makes more sense than that crowbar bullshit”.
So, in conclusion: join the Steam Group, sign the thread, and let’s get something done. I’ve invited my whole friends list, and you’re encouraged to do so as well. Inform people about this – as many as you can.