A group of Half-Life fans have started a Steam group requesting Valve offers gamers better communication about the status of the franchise.
"The lack of communication between Valve and the Half-Life community has been a frustrating experience," says the group, A Call for Communication (Half-Life), which has attracted 11,675 members since its formation on December 25.
"While continued support for current and future products is greatly appreciated, fans of the Half-Life series have waited years for a word on when the franchise will return. So, Instead of focusing efforts in a negative and disrespectful way, we have decided to gain Valve's attention by delivering a basic message:
"Your oldest and longest running fanbase would like better communication. Waiting patiently for over four years is a daunting task, especially when E3 comes and goes without any beat of a Half-Life pulse, time and time again.
"Valve had stated that information was scheduled to be released towards the end of 2008, and we believe that if they have chosen, for whatever reason, to withhold this information, fans should at least be acknowledged in some way, regardless of developmental plans for the next Half-Life project
"The entire trilogy of episodes was supposed to be completed and released by 2007, and if Valve have decided to do other things for the time being, that is fine; all that we ask for is a basic response on the matter, and to let fans know whether or not the current story arc is scheduled to conclude at another point in time."
The group adds that its goal isn't to rush the development of the Half-Life series. "In fact, most members agree that Valve should take the time needed to deliver a complete and polished product. If you agree with the above message and statements, please join this group and share your support constructively. Hopefully such attention will be recognized by Valve, and the community's voice will be heard."
Valve said last February that it was "not prepared to talk about" Half-Life 2: Episode Three", despite the last episodic instalment having now been released over four years ago. That doesn't mean the developer isn't prepared to be cruelly playful about when it might launch.