Picture the scene: it's E3 2016 and Valve is wrapping up its conference. Gabe Newell's been jabbering away about Steam Machines, virtual reality, the future of gaming and DOTA 2. He makes to walk off stage, only to theatrically return to the microphone and announce there was one more thing he forgot to talk about. Everything goes dark, nothing comes on the screen, then a familiar voice booms out of the speakers - it's instantly recognised as the G-Man
"Welcome back... Mr. Freeman"
His face slowly appears out the darkness, more detailed than we've ever seen before. Cue much delirium from the gathered crowd and the Internet actually melting into a puddle.
In reality, the hype and expectation surrounding Half-Life 3 has reached almost comical levels. The worry is that it will never be made, as it would be impossible for it to live up to expectations. Anything other than the greatest game ever made would be seen as a disappointment.
So, does it at least exist in a very early form, located somewhere on Valve's hard drives? Supposedly, it does. Counter Strike co-creator Minh Lee said:
"I think it's kind of public knowledge that people know that it is being worked on. And so if I were to say that, yeah, I've seen some images, like some concept art of it, that wouldn't be big news to be honest. I guess I could say that I did see something that looked kinda like in the Half-Life universe."
And I mean it wouldn't surprise anyone if I said they're doing it, they're working on it, yeah. So to go out on a limb I'd say I did some concept art for Half-Life 3."
Remember, a lot of people didn't think Fallout 4 existed before that first trailer went online - and it had been in development for years. I believe the day will come when we will see Half-Life 3, and E3 2016 is when it'll be confirmed.
By the time the event comes round again, the timing will be perfect for Valve to make the announcement, especially as they'll be pushing its usage on Steam machines and their VR systems. Whether it'll get a release in 2016 is less likely, perhaps aiming for a 2017 slot. But as long as we know there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we won't mind chasing it a bit longer.
What games do you want to see at E3 2016. Let us know in the comments below!