No one has heard from the “Half-Life” videogame series since 2007. Since then, a trilogy has gone unfinished and questions have been left unanswered.
On Feb. 4, thousands of fans worked together, sending a message to Valve, the series’ developer.
The event was called “A Red Letter Day,” and was hosted by the Steam (Valve’s digital distribution software group) “A Call for Communication.” Brett Cunningham, a graduate from Sacramento State University, started the group — More than 52,000 members at the time of this writing — in December.
“Your oldest and longest running fanbase would like better communication,” states the group’s page. The group’s goal is just that: they would like to hear from Valve on the state of the series. In order to make their point, “A Red Letter Day” (a phrase used in the second entry in the series) was organized.
For the event, the group attempted to get as many players as possible to play “Half-Life 2” at the same time on Feb 4. More than 13,000 of the group’s members did so, rocketing “Half-Life 2” into the 11th spot for the most concurrent players that day.
The numbers themselves are clear proof that the “Half-Life” series still has a dedicated fanbase searching for a conclusion to Valve’s epic. While certainly a fan favorite, the series has also contributed greatly to the video game industry at large. Every entry has near universal critical acclaim, and the series is often credited with furthering the first-person shooter genre.
For Cunningham, starting the group had a very personal meaning, having played the game from a very young age.
“’Half-Life’ placed me into a world where I was able to progress and interact with believable characters,” he said. “I think it was the first game to make me really care about what was happening in the strange story I was a part of.”
Thousands of fans across the world joined Cunningham in his communication call to Valve. The jump in numbers for “Half-Life 2” caused a spike that is hard to ignore. Though Valve has yet to make any public statement on the event, many gaming related publication have covered it, causing group membership to continue to climb.
Cunningham is adamant about the group’s purpose. He seeks to peacefully break the silence Valve has kept since 2007.
“People love them because they choose to provide services and community support that keep both developers and fans happy,” he said. “It’s unlike Valve to keep their customers in the dark for years.”
This dedication to answers will not end with “A Red Letter Day.” After this successful outing the group plans to continue to hold events until Valve responds.
“We’ve been toying with a lot of ideas, such as temporarily changing avatars, having a YouTube video contest and prize to support our cause,” Cunningham said.
Now with the efforts of tens of thousands, Valve may find themselves finally put under enough pressure to vent answers to their fans.Amanda Lafond.