Half Life 2: Episode 3 BOYCOTT

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 10, 2009

Filed under: Video Games 74 comments

The Half Life 2: Episode 3 boycott is a group of individuals who have pledged to not buy the still-unreleased final episode in the Half-Life series. We have assembled a manifesto outlining the basic concensus consensus of many members of our community. But probably not everyone. You know how it is with online groups.

NOTE: This face is angry, not crying!
We are so committed to our cause that we made a logo. Don’t mess with us.
1) You promised to make Episode 3. And then you didn’t.

2) We want to hold Valve to their promise of faster release times through “episodic gaming”.

3) We really want to know who the G-Man is.

4) Could we kill one of those adviser / space slug things? That would be sweet.

5) Could we get some screenshots in the meantime? Or video? Concept art? Something? Just, you know, show us you’re working on the game and not playing WoW all day.

In closing, we, the disgruntled fans of Half-Life, vow to continue boycotting the game until such time as Valve makes good on their promise and stops not releasing it.

So say we all.

EDIT: Five months later, I guess I’m tired of red-faced fanboys trying to argue with this post because they’re too thick to get the joke. This entire thing is satire. It’s actually kind of making fun of boycotts in general, and the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott in particular. I can’t help the humor-proof goofs of the internet, but if you dorks could stop raging out in the comments that would be super-great. Thanks.


From The Archives:

74 thoughts on “Half Life 2: Episode 3 BOYCOTT

  1. Doc Kirzner says:

    …and then we will all buy it. Good point. A boycott prior to a game’s release…hmm, how long will that hold after launch?

    Which prompts the question: how much effort would it take to collect the list of the members of the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott, then check their time played of both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 soon after the release of the latter? Most interesting, these numbers would be.

  2. Jericho says:

    By not releasing it, Valve can be guaranteed a 100% participation rate of this boycott! That is almost 7 BILLION people boycotting HL2E3!

  3. Debaser says:

    B-b-b-but who will I turn to for witty commentary on the game once it’s released? THINK OF THE FANS, SHAMUS, THINK OF THE FANS

  4. Primogenitor says:

    But what about the Duke Nukem Forever boycott?

  5. hevis says:

    This really made me laugh.. 10 points to you!

  6. Fenix says:

    I will join you in this righteous cause!

    I Fenix hereby pledge not to buy Half Life 2 Ep 3 until such time as Valve decides to comply with our demands and release the game!

    Stick it to the man!

  7. Conlaen says:

    Yes, let’s boycot all developers! Let’s not buy their games until they cave to our demands and release them!

  8. The S Ninja says:

    Let’s all boycott Counterstrike next since there still isn’t a new one.

  9. illiterate says:

    This goes right along with my personal boycott of Firefly: Season 2. Damn the man!

  10. Wolverine says:

    Only thing missing is a Facebook Group…

  11. madlep says:

    6 – What happened to Barney? I mean it’s fine if he got nuked when the citadel when kaboom at the end of Ep 1, but just let us know! I was waiting the whole way through ep 2 for him to spring in and like “hey! here’s that beer I owe you?”

    That is my main gripe. BARNEY NEVER REPAYED THE BEER. Where is the justice in that? What are we teaching the children? Valve is inherrently anti-child. Boycott pls.

  12. Slycne says:

    Brilliant, brilliant I say.

  13. Krellen says:

    Now there’s a boycott I can through my full support behind.

  14. Krellen says:

    Now there’s a boycott I can throw my full support behind.

    EDIT: You’d think that a five-minute load time would give you time to cancel before the comment submitted.

  15. Gentlemen, for the good of the community, I present this to you: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/HL2E3boycott

  16. Eric says:

    Even though it’s a joke, the arguments are compelling enough to join this boycott.

  17. HeadHunter says:

    I, too, join you in boycotting the game until such time as it is released.

    Since Duke Nukem Forever is officially never going to be released, I now have the free time to boycott a different game instead! :)

  18. illiterate says:

    I asked one of my co-workers to join the boycott — “That’s not a boycott! That’s waiting in line

    he just doesn’t understand.

  19. Guido says:

    A worthy cause, I’ll join. Where’s the Steam group?

  20. chabuhi says:

    Count me in, especially since they will not be implementing my demand for interactive soft-serve ice cream machines in-game that I never communicated to them. Dammit, they should just read my mind, right?

  21. gyfrmabrd says:

    1.) So say we all!

    2.) Reading up on the L4D2 (Boy, will it get fun when they start releasing episodes for THAT!) boycott, and being now reminded of the absolute un-speed with which Valve seems to be chipping away on HL2e3 (see what I mean?), I had an epiphany! It’s obvious – Valve is working on Duke Nukem Forever now! Evidence a) the EAish move of releasing a sequel to a game when the bump-mapping hasn’t even dried on the first one yet is an obvious grab for money – money they clearly need to refill their coffers after buying the DNF-license, and covertly eliminating 3D Realms financial backers. Evidence b) their staff clearly is not working on ep.3 – but they must be doing SOMETHING! Clearly, this must mean that they are all on standby, ready to shock and awe DNF into completion at a minute’s notice; or, even more likely, they are hidden away in secret trining-camps, pushing wieghts, chain-smoking steroids… and programming ever more elaborate boob-physics engines, so that when they get that call, they will be ready to do the title so much more justice than it deserves.
    In the face of this irrefutable evidence, it is only a matter of time before Valve must bow to the pressure and leak a halfbaked alpha of the new DNF to some eastern europoean warez-site.
    The only other way to keep up the smokescreen now would be to release ep.3, true to rule No.1 in espionage: If your cover is compromised, distract your enemy with something shiny!

  22. Rutskarn says:

    I can not, in good faith, sign this boycott, because I can not, in good faith, buy Episode 3 in the forseeable future. Why? Because of my PRINCIPLES.

    I am shocked, outraged, betrayed, and made nauseous by Valve’s disgusting corporate behavior. Episode 2 was released in 2007…and there has been no free downloadable content for it whatsoever. No levels, no characters, no weapons…nothing. What the hell, Valve? I’m appalled that you can ever CONSIDER releasing a game and then not giving it massive and superfluous updates!

  23. Darkcraft says:

    SmallFurryMammal made a Steam group for this boycott. So we can stick it to the man. http://steamcommunity.com/groups/HL2E3boycott
    He can’t post on this site for some reason, so I’m posting for him.

    Also, I’m loving the Battlestar Galactica reference.

  24. Volatar says:

    In closing, we, the disgruntled fans of Half-Life, vow to continue boycotting the game until such time as Valve makes good on their promise and stops not releasing it.

    So say I!

    PS: Best end to a boycott petition EVER!

  25. Stark says:

    I’m boycotting HL2EP3 as well! I’m only going to pre-order it once the wildly inaccurate initial release date is made up by somebody who doesn’t even work for Valve! That’ll teach ’em good!

  26. Jeremiah says:

    Only thing missing is a Facebook Group…


    Spread the word! Only through awareness can we succeed!

  27. Neil Polenske says:

    I continue to c wut u did thar.

  28. Vladius says:

    Awesome. Just awesome.

    But wait. If you want them to make it, why are you boycotting it before its announcement of completion?

  29. Yes, boycotting a game because you want it to come out is *exactly* the same as boycotting a game because you don’t want it to come out.

  30. Cadrys says:

    I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  31. Mark says:

    So say we all!

    (I cant believe I’m the first to post that, why no love for BSG?)

  32. Alex says:

    Alex P., I can’t decide if your comment is more tragic if it is or isn’t taken as sarcasm. Oh, and believe it or not, there IS a forest somewhere in all these trees.

  33. I’m so whipped by my lust for HL2E3 that I can’t even bring myself to boycott it. Even in jest. :(

    Valve, I’ll buy it before it’s even released!

    Damn it. Just talking about this game reminds me of how much I want to play it. -_-

  34. Davin Valkri says:

    …this is a joke, right?

    (Yeah, I know it’s a joke, but still, where the heck IS Half-Life 2-3?!)

  35. General Karthos says:

    I love this kind of humor, Shamus. One of the reasons I keep coming back to this site is for the witty, sarcastic stuff you put out every now and then.

    (Well, and the fact that you love Master of Orion II as much as I do makes me think you’ve got good taste in games.)

  36. Nefrai says:

    I support this boycott.

    I still believe in Duke Nukem Forever though. I have a poster like Mulder in X-files: “I want to believe”…I just paste Dukes head on it over the spaceship.

  37. BaCoN says:


    Totally behind you all the way on this one, Shamus.

  38. Danath says:

    I think I read somewhere, unofficial, someone who “knows someone that works at Valve” that they hadn’t even started storyboards for HL2: Ep3… if so, I am saddened D:

    This is poking fun at the L4D2 boycott obviously, although I think it falls a little flat in that regard. Then again I posted several times on the last post, so I’m biased perhaps.

  39. Zukhramm says:

    Although the games’ titles contain the word “Episode” the games are not in fact episodic content. “Half-Life Episode” is a series on its own. The way they’re released now, I just can’t call them episodic gaming.

    And am I the only one who does not want to know more about the g-man? Don’t destroy him by informing us!

  40. Bret says:

    Furthermore, I really want to see what Adam Foster will do with the levels. His solo work on that front gives you levels big enough to fit a whole episode sized game into five maps.

    FIVE. And it’s really fun.

    If Valve won’t give us that level of excellence, I am forced not to buy the game until such a time as they release it!

    Although I might play Minerva Metastasis again. Man, that’s good level design.

  41. Wil K. says:

    What, April Fools’ already? Damn, gotta check that calendar more often :P

  42. Blackbird71 says:

    Ok, I have to admit, I’ve been a little confused these past few days. Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that I don’t play L4D (or anything else on Steam, for that matter), so I’m probably missing something. But until I figure out what it is, I have to ask one question:

    Is this site still run by the same Shamus Young? Is this the same Shamus who has often railed against developers for releasing games unfinished, unpolished, ahead of schedule or with incomplete content? Who bemoans the incresing ratio of price point to game content? Is this the same Shamus who opted not to buy a sequel of a game on the grounds that the original used “the same formula”? The same Shamus who has supported maintaining the longevity of a good game? Is this the same Shamus who has frequently advocated developers releasing additional downloadable content, and has encouraged game companies to maintain good relations with their players? Because all this seems just a bit backwards from the usual.

    As I mentioned before, I don’t have any kind of stake in this issue, as I don’t play the games in question. As such, I’m something of an outside observer to the situation. It also means that I’m probably missing something, but just from reading the information on this site, let me tell you what it looks like from my perspective:

    From what I can tell, a company (Valve) made and released a game (L4D). It was released early to hit the Christmas rush. As such, it was released minus some content, which was promised would be added later post-release (and it later was). It also seems that many of those who bought the game believe that the company indicated/promised that they would continue to support the game by realeasing even more “substantial” content. Exactly what this was seems to be up for debate, but at least some portion of the customers believes that a new campaign was specifically promised. The promise of future upgrades and content became a big selling point for many of these customers. Again, I can’t say how much of these “promises” are true, because I haven’t read Valve’s official statements, but for the time being, I’ll just have to assume this is at least partly correct.

    Now, with in a year of this first game’s release, after only releasing one minor piece of additional content (the portion that was supposed to be included at release), the company announces a sequel (L4D2) to be released in a matter of months. Those customers who were counting on further content for the first game are upset, because typically, once a game sequel comes out, support/development for the original stops. These customers feel they will never see the content they were promised. Since they bought the game in good faith that such content would at some point be delivered, they also feel cheated out of a portion of the price they paid for the first game.

    Add to this the fact that based on what has been shown thus far, the new game doesn’t appear to be all that different from the first. It uses the same mechanics, the same engine, the same graphics, and the same general gameplay. All that has been added is a few avatars, a few more weapons, maps, and maybe a couple of new enemies. All of which would be about what one would expect from an expansion, but which hardly amounts to qualifying as a complete game on its own, yet it is being priced as such.

    Now, as a frequent and vocal advocate of the consumer’s rights in the gaming industry, I would have expected that the Shamus I know would have been among the first to speak out on this issue. I’d have thought he’d be denouncing Valve first for releasing an incomplete game, and then for failing to live up to commitments made to their customers. I’d have expected to see some points about how Valve is failing to handle the bad PR being generated by this situation, and some suggestions on how to quiet the angry customers. He’d also be attacking them for selling a glorified reskin at a full game’s price point. Regardless of how he approached it, Shamus would be the last person I’d expect to see supporting the actions of the game company while mocking the actions of angry customers.

    As a quick side note: I know that some here (including Shamus himself) have said that they’ve “gotten their money’s worth” out of L4D because they’ve gotten 60-100 hours of gameplay out of it, but I have to ask (because I honestly don’t know), how many hours of actual content are in the game? In my experience, multiplayer games like this get a lot more mileage because you end up replaying all the same content over and over again. Games like this will typically get by with a lot less content, and a lot less development, effort, and resources, yet they still price the same as games with more substance. Personally, when I buy a game, I prefer to pay according to how much material I am actually getting, not how much time I may or may not spend repeating the same material.

    Keep in mind that all the details I’ve gleaned on this issue have come from this site, I haven’t read about it anywhere else, not even so far as to follow links on the subject. My details may be incorrect, but most of what I understand of the situation has come from Shamus’ own words, with some support from descriptions given in the comments. What this amounts to is my perception of the events as I’ve read about them here.

    With all that in mind, I have to ask: Shamus, what gives? Is there some major detail I’m missing that makes this situation so vastly different than all the others you’ve tackled? Are you getting softer and less “spicy”? Are you going easy on Valve because you like their games and/or their work as a company? I hope that no disrespect is perceived here, because I really don’t mean to be rude or offensive, but I know how meanings and intents can be lost or misconstrued in this medium. I’m asking this from a sense of curiosty born of honest confusion at the turn of events and change in tone here, and I really just don’t understand why.

  43. Tuck says:

    I want to read Shamus’s response to Blackbird71! Even if it is just “I like Valve’s games”.

    Don’t care about L4D or HL2E3 or L4OMGWTFBBQ2E3…

  44. illiterate says:

    seconded on Tuck — Blackbird71 has more than a little snark and vitriol, but seems to raise some interesting points.

    Assuming Shamus bought EA games, would he be making the same comment about EA’s Left4Dead 2010 being announced to come out this august?

    — as an aside — if EA made zombie games like they made sports games, would they just edit the population of the small town and maybe update the streetmaps, and then pump about their new procedural zombie outbreak simulation models and fully rendered wound cauterization?

  45. Aergoth says:

    Am I the only one who sees irony in Blackbird71’s avatar there being a :p emote?

  46. Blackbird71 says:

    @illiterate (46)

    No snark or vitriol intended, just surprise and confusion. Sorry if it came out otherwise.

    Edit: @ Aergoth (47)
    Yeah, I actually miss my old avatar, it was a bit more appropriate to my personality. It was a green gear-shaped face with glasses, flat eyebrows, and a wavy sort of grumpy-looking mouth. I do have a reputation for being a bit of a pessimist, and something about the avatar just seemed to fit. I really can’t relate to this purple thing I’ve got now, but I’m too lazy to do anything about it, so there we go. :)

  47. Sam says:

    I see what you did there…

  48. Samopsa says:


    I think you missed something in this post.

  49. Saint Rising says:

    I dare say, Shamus old boy, this idea is positively amazing! Valve shall rue the day in which they did not make good on their promise to release squeals in an orderly fashion!

  50. NBSRDan says:

    Even though this is clearly a joke, I must say:

    I can only pray that some idiot sees this, takes it seriously, and effectively creates an actual HL2:EP3 boycott group, because just the thought of another terrible game netting so much profit makes me cringe.

  51. Sean Riley says:

    I’m sorry, but I can’t join this boycott. I mean, what if it’s released before it’s released and it’s, like, totally awesome? Then I’d feel silly.

    Besides, you’re being totally dogmatic. Just because you can’t buy something is no reason not to buy it, Shamus. Jeeze.

    In other news, I’m refusing to drink rocks.

  52. Alex says:

    Wow, Blackbird, you went on and on like that for 10 paragraphs and not even a tiny bit of current started to trickle into the lightbulb? Did you, perhaps, not read the blog post preceding this one?

  53. Tuck says:

    Well Blackbird71 was actually writing about the previous post, not this one.

  54. Kalbron says:

    I think Blackbird was refering to the fact that this joke is simply open mockery of the L4D2B group or whatever they’re calling themselves. It is unlike Shamus to support a company t-bagging its customers, so I’ll put it down to the fact that Valve is holding Episode 3 hostage.

    I don’t own L4D, but even I can see a company suckerpunch when it comes. Doesn’t matter if it’s Valve or not, a reputation can be destroyed through a single action, and unless they manage some serious damage control here, this’ll possibly be Valve’s.

  55. MadTinkerer says:

    “I think Blackbird was refering to the fact that this joke is simply open mockery of the L4D2B group or whatever they're calling themselves.”

    The L4D2 drama aside, Shamus’ idea is sound, and that’s why I joined the “boycott” group on Steam right away. I’m a loyal Valve fan, but I’m tired of waiting for Ep3 and I want to do something. I see it as a witty way of pointing out that I still pine for the game and look forward to it’s eventual release.

    As for the drama queens whining about L4D2, I actually have more reason than most to be mad at Valve, but I’m laughing it off.

  56. Sean w/o an H says:

    Not sure if this goes here or the post before, but i’ve never heard it mentioned, so I thought i’d get some feedback.

    re: l4d2 boycott, I only have four words: it’s not hellgate: london.

    Seriously, in an industry filled with those sort of fusterclucks, I struggle with people complaining that L4d2 is way too much like l4d … how can rewriting the procedural AI engine for 5 new campaigns be “minor”?

    ::edit:: I also wonder if a lot of people are just angry b/c this is the best way to deliver content to the consoles… let’s all count down to a consolization flamewar…

  57. Danath says:

    Blackbird brings up a good point, I am interested in seeing Shamus response to what he says, as I figured Shamus would be more on the L4D groups side, although perhaps not to the point of boycotting.

    @Sean w/o an H
    They didnt rewrite the engine, they just gave it more tools, its the same engine, just tweaked with new specials and some different events. I’m not saying this is EASY, but its not a fundamental rewrite of the whole thing, they just gave the AI more options to play with. And by the way, people are viewing this move by Valve as EXACTLY one of those clusterfucks that the industry seems to be filled with, thus the complaining.

    Also Hellgate London was bad, and it didnt sell well as a result, and the company went under, poof.

    Nice jackassery.

  58. Sigma says:

    So they refuse to buy the game unless it is released?

  59. Sho says:

    Yes. It is a humorous joke, see?

  60. AFAB says:

    And when the games finally get released, it’s for free but everyone who joined the boycott groups have to pay full price because Valve is out for your souls thought it would be funny.
    On the 1st of April, no less.

    Oh, the lulz to be had!

  61. Kalbron says:


    That’s pretty much what I thought would happen too. I guess it demonstrates the surplus of goodwill Valve built up with the gaming community if even Shamus will join in the “call a whaaaaaambulance” side of the debate after their asshole-ish decision.

  62. Ozonosphere says:

    Anyone else hoping they might do something like the orange box and release EP3 with L4D2, that would be so cool….

  63. ddnnll says:

    Clever, let’s agree to not buy a game because (as #1 states) they didn’t release the game. Then when they *do* release the game, we can agree to *buy* it. That’ll show Valve.

  64. Dan says:

    honestly, are you quite sure how stupid you sound? What you’re basically saying is ‘We refuse to buy it, until it comes out, then we’ll buy it.’
    That is in no way a boycott, and is completely stupid for a game that was predicted to take over 2 years by valve and has only taken about 1.7 years so far. SO basically, stop acting like a child and get over it.

    1. Shamus says:

      Dan: This entire article was satire, and you missed it, thus making a fool of yourself.

      Man, I practically spelled it out for you there at the end.

  65. Jesta says:

    I understood the joke Shamus :)

  66. b1fghs says:

    I’m assuming you don’t what its like making a mod. You cant just put 10 levels into the game and expect it to be done. I’m making a mod myself and I’m not going to release it when ppl tell me to.

  67. Rockcabbage says:

    well have fun boycotting, valve isent gonna relese the game any faster and arent going to give huge spoilers, have fun not playing this game ever, its gonna be fun, and WOW, 7 BILLION PEOPLE SIGNED THIS?? THATS ONLY 1 BILLION MORE THAN THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, HOLY SHIT!!
    damn, you guys are stupid, this game will be out next year, you will be able to fight an advisor, and because there will be a half life 3, i doubt they will get in depth with Gman right away
    and by boycotting this, are you further saying you DONT want half life 2 epsiode 3 to be realesed? i dont understand, THIS GAME IS IN DEVELOPMENT AND IS ALMOST DONE!!! you just havent heard so much about it because there is no european hacker to leak shit this time

  68. Kalakas says:

    So… You’re not going to buy it,but want it to have something… Point of that iS?

  69. darren says:

    Half life make really well polished games, but if they don’t speed it up people will loose interest. I mean at the end of HL2-2 I was really hyped for ep3, now I’m not that bothered.

  70. Humpty Dumpty says:

    Looking at Merle Dandridge’s website on the Portfolio/Games/Half-Life 2 page, theres a pic of Alyx outside of her usual garb from the first HL2 games. Could this be an accidental leak of Episode 3? Or maybe not..



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