Data mine uncovers that a new Half-Life game is in the works

half-life alyx

Counter-Strike 2 has received a major update and data miners found information regarding a new Half-Life game called Half-Life: X.

The VR game Half-Life: Alyx was released for PC in 2020 and stands as the only follow-up to the series since Half-Life 2: Episode 2 dropped in 2007. A year after its release, hidden files related to a new game dubbed HLX, or Half-Life: X, were discovered in a Dota 2 update. After years of quiet, the game has appeared again, this time in the code of the new CS2 update.

25 years deep into the Half-Life series’ existence, fans are wondering if Half-Life 3 will ever become a reality. While it’s unclear what this is, it’s clear that Valve is working on something new for the series. 

Is a new Half-Life game being made?

Data mining suggests that a new Half-Life game has been in the works since 2021. This has been discovered in hidden files in both Dota 2 and Counter-Strike 2.

While this might sound strange, there have been multiple occasions where data miners uncovered details on upcoming Valve projects in hidden files from its existing software.

When Half-Life: Alyx was in development, data mines uncovered that Dota 2 updates had bits of code with the “HLVR” title next to them. This almost certainly became Half-Life: Alyx, a VR game in the Half-Life series. Similarly, there were mentions of something called HLX in Dota 2 update codes released in 2021, along with additional information on how the game is being developed.

After years of quiet, there are mentions of HLX again in the update files for Counter-Strike 2. While fans didn’t get as much information this time compared to when the Dota 2 files mentioned Half-Life: X, this suggests the game is still in development.

Starting work on a game and then never releasing it is normal in the gaming industry, and Valve has discussed doing this on multiple occasions. The fact that this new Half-Life game has now been visibly in the works for three years is a positive sign, though fans still shouldn’t get hopes too high yet.

Is Half-Life: X a VR game?

Half-Life: X was previously built upon the framework of Half-Life: Alyx, but it’s unknown if Half-Life: X will also be a VR game.

The initial findings were packaged together with references to HLVR, suggesting that HLX was previously built as a sequel or expansion on Half-Life: Alyx. Given how the game has been in the works for years now and the fact that VR gaming hasn’t significantly grown in popularity since 2020, it’s unknown if that remains the case.

It’s worth remembering that most of Valve’s recent development of new games is meant to funnel people into other services or products. Artifact was meant to mobilize people toward the Steam Community Market, Half-Life: Alyx was likely intended to be a killer app for the Valve Index, and Aperture Desk Job is a free-to-play game designed for the Steam Deck. Ultimately, it’s unclear whether Half-Life: X will follow that trend, if it will be another VR game, or if it will be something else entirely.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. His writing has also been featured on Fandom Spot, and you can follow him on Twitter / X at @zombiezomz.

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