Just when you thought that people couldn’t get any more angsty over Half-Life 3 not being at rAge 2014 (and just about everywhere else in the world) a campaign has started up on Indiegogo to crowd-fund an advertising drive to force Valve to talk about or release Half-Life 3 to the public. As of this writing, the campaign has garnered $1089 out of its $150,000 ultimate goal. Say wut?
The campaign was started up by Chris Salem and Kyle Mazzei, two friends who work at McKee wallwork and Company, an advertising agency based in the United States. The two interns decided to pitch the idea for the campaign to the company and got the go-ahead to unleash geekery upon Valve.
“We love Half-Life 3 and Valve and its really unique how much Valve listens to their fans. Its been almost half a decade since Valve last the last version of Half-Life and Valve hasn’t said a single thing and on top of that, they seem to be focused on everything but Half-Life. Now we don’t think Valve is doing anything wrong, we think the fans are not doing enough. We think that we’ve never been truly united and made our voice heard,” the pair says in the video explaining their project.
The end-goal, as the campaign suggests, is to get Gabe Newell to open his mouth and start talking about the game that Valve hasn’t mentioned since they dropped episodic content following the launch of Half-Life 2: Episode 2.
Setting aside the obvious fact that these guys aren’t gamers (“last version of Half-Life”, WTF? Guys, this isn’t Call of Duty) they do have a point. Valve and Gabe Newell have purposely not said anything about Half-Life 3 for years. There have been no leaks that give us game details (other than one project management leak that showed the game was in idle, but active development) and there has not been a single Valve employee that has ever given the game away.
Ubisoft just so much as tells us what the name of their next game is and they can’t help but spell out everything it offers. Valve wants us to know that it’s there, but they’ll make it a surprise for the players and for the world. Its quite possibly the only marketing campaign in the world that works when you don’t spend any money on it and don’t talk about it.
The stretch goals of the campaign are a mixture of bizarre and very silly. Check them out:
- $3000 – A targeted Google Adwords campaign to display a “We want Half-Life 3” message whenever a Valve employee searches themselves or Valve on Google.
- $9000 – An additional mobile billboard that has the “We want Half-Life 3” poster on the sides of a truck that will drive around Valve headquarters for an entire work day.
- $45,000 – A number of Gabe Newell lookalikes will be hired to strut around the Valve building wearing “We want Half-Life 3” t-shirts and the ensuing chaos will be filmed and put up on Youtube.
- $150,000 – The most epic concert ever featuring the music of Half-Life. “Guaranteed to be so fun that your headcrab will fall off.”
Though the stretch goals are a bit weird and I don’t believe there will be anything good to come out of this, the backer’s benefits are equally odd…
- $1 – Good Karma
- $5 – A personalised “Thank You!”
- $15 – A “We want Half-Life 3” pin
- $75 – A “We want Half-Life 3” t-shirt.
- $250 – A personalised, targeted Google name search that shows your name in an advert any time that a Valve employee puts their name into the Google search engine.
- $3000 – JJ Lewis, the singer/songwriter who wrote “Combine Road” will write an original song for you, about you.
You know that I said that Valve’s marketing around Half-Life 3 involves no marketing at all? Yeah, I don’t think its going to happen. Reddit has tried and failed. NeoGAF has tried and failed. 4Chan tried and predictably failed. There have been people picketing the Valve headquarters before to demand the game and that failed as well. The reality is that not only will Valve not talk about the game unless they want to, announcing Half-Life 3 would break the internet and launching the game would involve breaking the Steam servers for at least a week.
Also, Gabe Newell lookalikes? Miklos randomly bumped into Newell himself at Gamescom, walking among the commoners, and he was barely recognised in the crowds. Do these “lookalikes” actually get people asking if they are Newell?
Double-Also: In the time it took me to write this article, an entire Dollar was added into the campaign fund.