Warning: Potential Half-Life 2: Episode 3 spoilers follow.
Valve has gone years without releasing news on Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or Half-Life 3. But earlier this week, series writer Marc Laidlaw posted an ending to the series, and fans are debating whether his story was the official plot for Episode 3.
News broke shortly after Laidlaw posted a blog post called "Epistle 3" on Thursday. The post appears to reference Half-Life characters with their names and genders changed, such as "Gertie Fremont" for series protagonist Gordon Freeman. What follows is a first-person outline, written by "Fremont," which details Gordon Freeman's story after Episode 2's completion. A translation of the blog post was later supplied by fans, replacing the coded names with their Half-Life equivalents.
It's unclear if Laidlaw posted an official plot for Half-Life 2: Episode 3, or if Laidlaw simply provided an interpretation of the series' conclusion. Laidlaw later turned to Twitter, calling the story "fanfic" and a "genderswapped snapshot of a dream I had many years ago." But Laidlaw's plot mirrors concept art previously shared for Half-Life 2: Episode 3, which means there might be a connection between Laidlaw's story and Valve's ideas for the third episode.
Of course, Laidlaw's post might not be the end for the Half-Life series. Laidlaw hinted on Twitter that Valve might want to return to Half-Life one day. And Portal 2: Official Strategy Guide writer Cody Miller previously revealed completely different plot points for Episode 3 that contrast Laidlaw's story. There might be more to the story behind Half-Life's official ending, but Laidlaw has at least given fans an interesting conclusion to think over.