According to a leaked report, the next game in the Half-Life series, Half-Life: Alyx, will be announced by Valve at The Game Awards 2019, but it will be a VR title rather than a proper PC gaming sequel to a franchise that fans have been waiting for the third instalment of for what seems like ages. Half-Life is the series that launched Valve's reputation as a developer to the next level, starring scientist-turned-alien-freedom-fighter Gordon Freeman and his trust crowbar as he attempts to liberate humanity from enslavement at the hands of an advanced otherworldly species.
The first two games are classics of the PC platform and created one of gaming's most dedicated fanbases, hooking players on a cliffhanger ending in Half-Life 2 that seemed to promise a trilogy and a third instalment in the near future. That was 15 years ago, and since then Valve has teased the potential sequel a few times before moving in different directions, most notably the Portal franchise that spawned out of the Half-Life universe and established itself as a more humorous look at the same world. Despite fans who remain frustrated by Valve's unwillingness to create what many people consider to be a sure-fire best-seller, the developer has remained steadfast in prioritizing other titles like Dota 2 and CS:GO on top of its Half-Life-adjacent pursuits.
According to a leaked interview transcript first spotted by PC Gamer that has since been taken down, there's a new instalment coming to the Half-Life franchise soon. The document, which transcribes an unpublished interview between The Game Awards' host Geoff Keighley and Valve's Robin Walker, refers to a game called Half-Life Alyx that will take the series onto VR. The game will apparently release in March 2020 and is being described as the flagship title for Valve's pursuit of virtual reality gaming. This could be the Half-Life prequel that was rumored to be in the works late last year, too.
According to another set of rumors reported on by Games Radar, Half-Life: Alyx will actually be a successor that picks up after the events of Half-Life 2. While that would be an exciting development for fans, that's obviously not 100% accurate until it's officially announced by Valve or more evidence is gathered. It would also be an interesting decision, given that most people would likely prefer a traditional PC gaming sequel to Half-Life 2 and not one that makes the leap from the traditional perspective into VR.
With that said, though, it would make a lot of business sense for Valve to make a sequel to Half-Life 2 the flagship title for its VR program, especially if that's going to be a priority moving forward. Most VR games don't necessarily have the drawing power that their regular counterparts do, but Half-Life: Alyx could quickly change that. Giving players a reason to own VR tech and embrace it would do wonders for Valve if its going to keep pursuing VR as the future of some of its games, and Half-Life: Alyx might be the title that pushes more consumers in that direction.
Half-Life: Alyx is the speculative title of the next instalment in the Half-Life franchise, but has yet to be confirmed by Valve.
Source: PC Gamer