Asking for a third sequel of a game from Valve often feels like talking to a brick wall, as we've seen with the elusive Half-Life 3. Since Half-Life 2's conclusion, fans have clamored for a sequel to one of Valve's most successful games. What's more, the Half-Life series isn't the only one that has stalled after the first sequel; Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 are other examples.
Portal is another popular Valve game series. This puzzle-solving platform game has attracted a dedicated fan base since Portal 1's 2007 release. Portal 2, released in 2011, continued the series' success. Nearly 13 years have passed since the last Portal game, and Valve doesn't seem to have any plans for a third installment.
Erik Wolpaw, co-writer of Portal, recently appeared on Simon Parkin's My Perfect Console podcast and discussed Portal 3. Wolpaw is known for joking about Portal 3's release in interviews, and during the podcast, he was asked if he is serious about a third Portal game.
Wolpaw clarified that it has always been a joke, but he would be happy to work on a new Portal if given the opportunity. He stated that in Valve's flat organizational structure, there is an opportunity cost to any project. Valve's current staff is dedicated to maintaining DOTA, CS: GO, and Steam.
Wolpaw explained that Valve's success and assets have created misconceptions about the company, mainly due to Steam's popularity. In reality, Valve isn't a huge company, and its limited staff is already hard at work maintaining its existing properties.
With the new Counter Strike 2 on the horizon and Steam being a primary PC gaming platform, Valve's focus on these projects is understandable. Wolpaw also mentioned that he would choose Steam over Valve's games, as it has significantly democratized the gaming industry, allowing creators to easily develop and distribute games.
Maintaining Steam and other older Valve titles is time-consuming and demanding. In other words, Valve's staff is fully occupied, and with so many titles released in a short time frame, they must now focus on maintaining them all simultaneously.
Wolpaw explained that when he started at Valve in 2004, the release of so many games required considerable time and effort to keep everything running smoothly. Even today, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and the upcoming Counter Strike 2 are highly regarded FPS games played by millions worldwide. These games receive constant support from the development team, meaning that reallocating staff from these projects to focus on something else would risk jeopardizing their current successes.
It remains uncertain whether Valve plans to complete the Portal trilogy or if they will ever have enough time to develop Portal 3. Fans may have to wait another decade or more. However, one thing is certain: if Portal 3 or Half-Life 3 ever receive sequels, they will undoubtedly generate immense excitement and attention.