Marc Laidlaw, former writer at Valve, recently Tweeted out what some are speculating to be a plot summary for the long-rumored, never-seen Half-Life 2: Episode 3.
Some background: Laidlaw joined Half-Life developer Valve as a writer in the late '90s to work on the first game and its subsequent sequels and expansions. He announced his departure from the company in January 2016, citing a desire to work on his own stories. Now, the better part of two years after leaving Valve, Laidlaw tweeted out a plot summary called "Epistle 3" detailing his ideas for where the Half-Life story should go after the events of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, released in 2007, which ended on a cliff hanger.
Writing as Gertie Fremont, which is awfully close to the name of Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman, Laidlaw opens by apologizing for his decade-long silence, saying he can only speak to us now after a "critical change in circumstance" 18 months ago allowed her to finally reach out.
Laidlaw's summary picks up right at the end of Episode 2 as Eli Vance is killed. It then follows main characters Freeman, Alex Vance and Dr. Mossman across "space and time," ultimately resulting in Freeman being dropped onto the sands of an unknown beach, able, for the first time in a long time, to tell his story.
The entire summary can be found on Laidlaw's website, which, due to the popularity of the post, has been periodically crashing throughout the day. In it, the writer goes into great detail about the possible events of Episode 3.
While this is all exciting, it's worth noting this hasn't been confirmed as canon by Valve, nor is it clear if this was just a scrapped rough draft Laidlaw wrote years ago.
Half-Life 2: Episode 3 is a bit of a unicorn in the game industry. After the success of Half-Life 2 and Episode 2 it seemed obvious Valve would continue its landmark series. Though, despite the series being considered one of the finest game series of all time, Valve has yet to follow it up. That's not to say it hasn't tried. Earlier this year, Game Informer published an interview with an anonymous source close to Valve who claimed that several times over the last decade, teams of developers at the studio have experimented with new ideas for the series. Some of these teams, the source claims, even got as big as 30 to 40 people before being scrapped.
Since the release of Episode 2, Valve has gone on to be a titan of the video game industry. It runs Steam, the largest PC digital game store, which has made its founder, Gabe Newell, a multi-billionaire.