Valve has filed for a trademark for Half-Life 3, the successor to its phenomenally successful computer game franchise.
The last installment of the Half-Life 2 series came out in 2007, and since then Valve has been mute on the development of Half-Life 3, despite the clammy anticipation of the series's many, many fans.
"We're trying to be careful not to get people too excited and then have to go and disappoint them," Valve chief Gabe Newell said in 2012 when asked about the company's silence on the fate of the series and its (ironically, also mute) protagonist, Gordon Freeman.
The filing of the European Union-wide "CTM" trademark provides official confirmation of an intent by Valve to produce media under the banner of Half-Life 3.
According to the application, the list of goods and services that could fall under Half-Life 3 may include "the provision of on-line entertainment," or "downloadable computer game software via a global computer network and wireless devices," among others.
But at the time of writing it was not apparent that Valve had filed a similar trademark in America.
Valve announced plans last week to launch its own Linux-based operating system – SteamOS – along with living room devices and special controllers. The company has been dissatisfied with Windows as a gaming platform for some time, and the move signifies a shift by the company as it seeks to broaden its massive Steam gaming store into a full gaming platform as well.
One way to tempt people onto a new gaming platform is an exclusive property, and Half-Life 3 would be perfect for Valve. However, gamers shouldn't hold their breath: OHIM regulations state Valve has five years within which to use the trademark. ®