On the Seven Day Cooldown podcast, Newell is asked a question about Ricochet, a minor and highly obscure title that Valve released in 2000 and which Valve themselves do not acknowledge on their own website. Coming after a series of Half-Life questions, Newell suddenly starts talking about 'Ricochet 2'. Given that the chances of a real Ricochet 2 are non-existent, it seems probable that he was actually talking about Half-Life 3/Episode 3 (the fact that both Newell and the show's presenters keep laughing is a bit of a giveaway).
So based on his comments, the situation seems to be that:
- A team is currently working on Half-Life 3/Ep3 and the freeform work structure at Valve has not been responsible for the delays on it.
- The game has been the subject of several delays resulting to changes in the storyline that came up in development. Some of these unexpected changes have been positive and some have been negative.
- More traditionally, Newell confirms that there will be no firm news until the game has taken on a much more definitive shape and form and is headed for release.