Valve is perhaps the most beloved publisher / developer in the world right now, and for good reason. The constant influx of quality games, fabulous customer relations and a business model that does not feel like giving a blowjob to 500 pound rednecks named Buck in the back of a convenience store for games are all very positive things. However, Valve has set themselves up for the biggest backfire in the history of gaming, and it's called Half-Life 3.
Just today we have seen a new stream of rumors concerning the imminent announcement of Half-Life 3 (source), and I wholeheartedly expected my fleshy insides to tingle with excitement. Instead, all I felt was last night's leftover lunch becoming much less solid and much more brown. The truth of the matter is simple - Valve is pushing it. There's only so much teasing that the gaming community is willing to absorb, and giving the rapid (SEVERE UNDERSTATEMENT) decline in overall customer satisfaction with the industry, even the goodwill that Valve has amassed among its fans is starting to wear thin in this particular regard. However, that is not the crux of the issue, a "it's ready when it's ready" mentality is not necessarily a bad thing, and it won't matter once we have a release date and eventually sit down to play the game.
And thus we reached the actual problem - it isn't even theoretically possible for the game to live up to its expectations. As the gaming industry tank is slowly overflowing with EA's and Activition's liquid shit (shit that even gems such as Tomb Raider and Bioshock can't quell, merely slow down), Half-Life 3 is being looked upon as the second coming of Christ, a game that will carry us gently into the bosom of gaming bliss... except it won't. I don't doubt that it'll be a fabulous game, but it most certainly won't be what it's being hyped up to be.
In the unlikely event that it does however somehow pull off and god forbid exceed fan expectations, it will single handedly skyrocket Valve into the gaming throne, marking it forever as the best developer there ever was and will be.
The most likely thing to happen however is that the game will merely be "great". We'll play it, we'll love it, and once it's done we'll realize that we MIGHT have overreacted with our glee for it, and then we'll be bitter about it. Internet boards will be polarized with various opinions, ranging from claims that the game is better than a professional blowjob to claims that the game is the Antichrist. All of this will eventually simmer down, and Half-Life 3 will merely be another game that we spent so much time anticipating, and so little time playing, not unlike Duke Nukem Forever and Diablo 3.
Take this with a grain of salt if you will, but I predict that Half-Life 3 will be the final herald of the now inevitable gamecrash. After all, the way to hell is, as they say, paved with good intentions.