Aug. 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM ET
Video game fans around the world are excited this morning. Very, very excited.
That's because perhaps the most anticipated game that has ever been, well -- anticipated -- may be at long, long, long, loooooong last about to make its first appearance.
We're talking about "Half-Life 3" -- the third installment in the enormously popular and highly acclaimed "Half-Life" first-person shooter franchise.
The series, developed by Valve (maker of the "Portal" and "Team Fortress" games), saw its last installment in 2004. The "Half-Life" games are considered by many gamers to be among the best games ever made. And so fans have been eagerly awaiting the third installment for eight long years. But if Valve has been working on "Half-Life 3," its have been all Fort Knox with that information because it has never said a word to confirm the second sequel's existence. Which has only made people want it all the more.
But on Tuesday morning, the gaming world was ON FIRE after the organizers of the Gamescom gaming convention -- which gets underway in Germany Wednesday -- listed "Half-Life 3" as one of the new titles scheduled to make an appearance. The list said the unannounced game "Dragon-Age 3" from BioWare would make its debut as well.
But just as mind-blowing levels of excitement were making the rounds on Twitter, both games were removed from the list and the Gamescom organizers told Eurogamer that it was simply "a mistake."
Meanwhile, Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi has now chimed in with the following response to the hubub: "We are not showing any games in Cologne this year," says he.
Though the conspiracy minded might think this is just what they want us to think and while they quietly go about with plans to pull off a big reveal shortly, it's worth noting that the "Half-Life 3" rumors also got going before the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this year. At that time Valve folks insisted they would not be showing off any new games ... and sure enough, they didn't.
But don't worry, if they don't reveal "Half-Life 3" at Gamescom this week, there's also the Penny Arcade Expo coming up later this month. And if not there, the Tokyo Game Show is coming in September. And if not there, there's always...
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.