Left 4 Dead 3 is something that zombie fans have been demanding for a long time now, with over 10 years since the last installment in the Valve series. But is it ever coming? Here’s everything we know.
Valve has been very quiet in regards to a new entry in the zombie survival series, and unsurprisingly, the fanbase is itching for any hint of news.
Is it dead? Is it alive? With no official word or any sort of confirmation in over a decade, players have taken matters into their own hands, and have unearthed all sorts of potential rumors and “leaks” regarding L4D3.
When will Left 4 Dead 3 be released?
The first entry in the series released on November 17, 2008, and its sequel came exactly a year later on November 17, 2009. Many fans hoped that the same date in 2010 would host a third game, but it never came.
In an interview with video game news outlet Eurogamer in 2012, L4D writer Chet Faliszek seemed to hint at the possibility of another sequel, and stated that it would come “some time down the road” – though no time frame or release window was given.
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Faliszek ended up leaving Valve in 2017, and later founded Stray Bombay Company. Since 2012, there’s been no other official hints at 3 – though there have been many unofficial rumors.
If L4D3 does indeed exist, it seems unlikely at this point that it would release on current generation consoles this late in the development cycle.
Both of its predecessors came out on PC and Xbox 360, meaning that if the game was to release on console, it’d probably be exclusive to the Xbox Series X, rather than being available on the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch.
The Series X has no set date yet, but it is due for release between October and the end of December 2020, meaning that if 3 is indeed planned, it could come out after that.
Where will L4D3 be set?
In 2019, Tyler McVicker shared a whole host of screenshots believed to be from an early build of 3 that was later scrapped. The pictures show a desert-like environment that looked like it could be set in a Middle Eastern country.
While it might not seem like much on its own, in 2013, Moby Francke – a concept artist who worked on the franchise – uploaded a series of art to his personal website after he stopped working for Valve. In them, two men holding guns and wearing Middle Eastern-like attire could be seen.
When paired together, the idea of the sequel taking place in another country doesn’t seem so far-fetched – if it’s to be believed, of course.
To add fuel to the fire further, references to L4D3 were found in a 2015 release of Aperture Robot Repair on the Steam Database, alongside a series of game textures.
The reason this is important is that the files were for different faces and clothing items – ones that specifically matched Frencke’s concept art from 2013.
While this could be a coincidence, the fact that the textures are almost identical to garments worn in concept art drawn two years earlier makes for some serious tin-foil hat conspiracy.
Is Left 4 Dead 3 a VR title?
Rumors of the zombie experience being a virtual reality title first emerged back in 2016 when Tyler McVicker from YouTube channel Valve News Network uncovered potential assets from the game in an HTC Vive benchmark tool.
The material included a few assets including a new enemy called The Nocturnal, alongside an unnamed male character, and a day and night cycle.
Despite this, the source material found in the benchmark was never addressed officially, and nothing further ever emerged on the new foe or character.
(Timestamp of 3:00 for mobile viewers.)
On December 8, 2019, the same Tyler McVicker tweeted out that L4D3 would indeed be a virtual reality title.
His “leak” is quite interesting when you take into account that he also said that The Game Awards 2019 would host fresh Half Life: Alyx news – something that was indeed supposed to happen, but didn’t at the last minute.
“Left 4 Dead VR is real. The game awards is in a few days, with new Half-Life Alyx news,” he tweeted. “Get your minds ready, it’s about to blow.”
Videos are finally back tomorrow.
Boneworks is out on Tuesday.
Left 4 Dead VR is real.
The game awards is in a few days, with new Half-Life Alyx news.
Get your minds ready, it’s about to blow.
— Tyler McVicker (@ValveNewsNetwor) December 9, 2019
A month after this on January 17, HTC president Alvin Wang Graylin tweeted some slides from his Golden V presentation in China, with the '2020 VR Trends' one proving to be rather interesting – "L4D3 and Half-Life: Alyx will drive consumer and AAA studio interest,” it read.
After fans got excited, the Vice-Chair for the Industry of VR Alliance then stated that it was “only a personal speculation” and that "all predictions are my own, and not official view of [HTC]."
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Valve also issued a statement to IGN directly, and said that they're "absolutely" not currently developing L4D3. “We did briefly explore some Left 4 Dead next-gen opportunities a few years ago. But we are absolutely not working on anything L4D related now, and haven’t for years," it read – but is this a ruse?
— Alvin Wang Graylin (汪丛青) (@AGraylin) January 17, 2020
Whether Left 4 Dead 3 is real or not, it’s hard to deny that it was once in development, especially since Valve issued that statement to IGN.
It wouldn’t be the first time that developers have tried to throw people off the scent when trying to hide a title, though, so some fans definitely won’t be ruling out that the game will one day come.