Hopes that Half-Life 3 could be well into production following a recent European trademark filing have been dashed with news that it has been removed. It seems to have been a hoax.
As we reported last week, an EU trademark application for the name Half-Life 3 had appeared on September 29. What's more, it seemed to be from Half-Life developer Valve itself.
As noted by fan website Valvetime however, the application has now disappeared from the Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market at which it had been filed.
It's been noted that the filing had not officially examined by the OHIM at the time of the original story. Valve also did not confirm the speculation surrounding it, and the trademark application was not reproduced in the US, where Valve is based.
Put simply, it all seems to have been a cruel joke.
Gamers have been waiting six years for a conclusion or some kind of follow-up to the events of Half-Life 2: Episode Two. As one of the most highly regarded first person shooter series ever made, rumours surrounding a sequel have persisted throughout what almost amounts to a generation in console gaming terms.
Of course, Valve hasn't been idle in that time. Alongside several other hit games, the developer has launched and grown its Steam online PC gaming platform. More recently it announced its plans to bring Steam into the living room with Steam OS, Steam Machines consoles and a unique Steam Controller gamepad.
All of these will launch next year. We highly suspect that Half-Life 3 will not.
Next, read our best games of 2013 round-up.