On April 1, 2024, TikTok user @danggg_anime.game posted a video appearing to show video game creator Valve Corporation releasing a Half-Life 3 trailer during an event in a large indoor arena. The video received over 2.1 million views.

G-Man Speaks in Purported Half-Life 3 Trailer

In the TikTok video, the mysterious Half-Life and Half-Life 2 character G-Man appears in a silhouette holding his briefcase and saying, “Time, Dr. Freeman. Is it really that time again? My employers have grown quite impatient in your absence. Your actions are once again required. I do believe you understand the situation. We’ll be in touch.”

User Comments for Supposed Half-Life 3 Trailer

One TikTok user commented under the video, “VALVE IS BREAKING THEIR FEAR FOR NUMBER 3!!!”

Another person remarked, “The day Half Life 3 releases, the industry will be in chaos.”

A different user commenting on May 28 wrote, “HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED??? IM SORRY???”

In another comment, a user shared the interesting idea, “I was really hoping that Valve had been working on multiple games at once: ‘Half-Life 3,’ ‘Left 4 Dead 3’ and ‘Portal 3.’ Then, announce them as ‘The Orange Box 2.'”

I also noticed this user make what might be a valid point about the likelihood of a third game in the “Half-Life” series. That user wrote, “‘Half-Life 3’ will never release. It [would] have such a big hype that no matter what the release is, everyone [would] be disappointed.”

Is the Half-Life 3 Announcement Trailer Real or Fake?

However, this trailer was not genuine or official. TikTok user @danggg_anime.game posted the video on April Fools’ Day in 2024. Further, Valve has not officially announced Half-Life 3.

If Valve ever announces Half-Life 3, it would be the long-awaited sequel to 2004’s Half-Life 2 and its two subsequent releases of episodic content. On an unknown past date, Valve apparently canceled development of a third episode titled Half-Life 2: Episode Three. Valve is unlikely to ever release that third episode.

The Fan Who Created the Trailer

The RootyTooty YouTube channel previously uploaded the same video on Aug. 1, 2022, under the title of “Half-Life 3 Announcement Trailer at E3.” The video’s description read, “I made this announcement concept for Half-Life 3 E3 reveal.”

The credits listed in the description include a mention of an “AI-generated G-Man voice” via app.uberduck.ai, as well as other elements, helping to make the video appear genuine.

For example, the YouTube user credited the G-Man’s suitcase to Marcel Porsiel. The user also credited crowd reaction sound effects to various creators on freesound.org.

Where Was the Arena Video Recorded?

The RootyTooty YouTube channel’s manager appeared to source the video of the large indoor arena from another YouTube video on the Mailboss channel titled, “Dota Artifact Audience Reaction.” The channel’s manager uploaded that video on Aug. 8, 2017. The video displayed the announcement of the Dota card game Artifact.

Also on Aug. 8, 2017, Polygon.com reported the Artifact video announcement occurred at the International Dota 2 Championships. Polygon.com writer Arthur Gies wrote, “Comparisons to Blizzard’s ‘Hearthstone’ seem inevitable.”

According to Liquipedia.net, the main event of the International Dota 2 Championships took place in KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. KeyArena is now known as Climate Pledge Arena.

In other words, the manager of the RootyTooty YouTube channel created the G-Man video with various visual and audio elements and then placed that video on the screen seen in the Mailboss channel’s video. The manager of the RootyTooty channel then appeared to have the G-Man video track handheld camera movements of the arena video and also likely altered the brightness and contrast of the arena to give the effect of the lights being turned down.

For further reading, I previously reported about another fake TikTok video claiming to show a woman suddenly vanishing during a traffic stop.

Personal Comment

I’m a big Half-Life fan. I always thought the original 1998 game deserved more attention from gamers who seemed to ignore Half-Life and instead favor later releases of console shooter games. The original Half-Life had so much depth and arrived shortly after another favorite of mine: GoldenEye on N64. What a time to be a kid.

In 2004, at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, California, I shook the hand of Valve president and co-founder Gabe Newell. I had no idea 20 years later I would write about a fake Half-Life 3 trailer on a personal website I hadn’t created yet. Even more, little did anyone know 20 years would go by without any official announcement of a sequel.

For the best way to fully convey the amount of time passing since 2004, watch a video compilation of Newell attempting to not say anything substantial about the likelihood of a Half-Life sequel.

My guess about the possibility of Half-Life 3 is Valve is creating it in secret. We’ll have to wait and see.

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