Next Half-Life 2 episode might not come out this year

As Valve has concentrated its efforts on Team Fortress 2 updates and the Left 4 Dead series, fans of the company's bread-and-butter franchise have had nothing to sink their teeth into since Half-Life 2: Episode Two's October 2007 release. Shacknews now says Half-Life fans may have to wait at least another year for the next installment in the trilogy.

Shacknews quotes the latest issue of Game Informer as saying, "Loose Talk has learned that there won't be any game from the franchise in 2010, and what will finally come out is still unknown." The magazine also questions whether the next game will be Episode Three or a "full-on Half-Life 3."

As the Shack points out, Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi stated in October 2008 that Episode Three would be a "more ambitious project" than the first couple of episodes:

So I mean, we're taking more time because it's a more ambitious project. We also sort of had Left 4 Dead become this big thing in the middle of it that we wanted to spend more time on, and you've just got a lot of stuff that we spent this year doing with Team Fortress 2 updates and what have you. So there's just a lot going on, and then an ambitious project on top of it caused the schedule to move out a little bit from the delta of the last three releases in the franchise.

That's something of a departure from the original intent of the Half-Life 2 episodes, which were supposed to run shorter and come out at quicker intervals than full games. Admittedly, though, Valve spent almost six years developing Half-Life 2.

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