If two images (one and two—warning, shitty language) posted to reddit (via 4chan) are to be believed, Valve CEO Gabe Newell has just revealed in fairly certain terms that they'll be announcing Half-Life 3 next year at E3 2012. If the rumors are true, it will be the biggest E3 announcement in recent memory, and thousands of gamers will finally sleep easy knowing that the game will most likely actually come out in their lifetimes.

In response to an obscene email from 4chan's gaming board, Newell supposedly wrote, "I don't suppose it will ease your wrath if I told you we're announcing all of your favorite things at E3 2012?" and later, "I can see how the wording caused some confusion there. Yes we are announcing something with a three in it."

That said, there's a pretty good chance this is fake. Despite Newell's known propensity for responding personally to emails sent directly to him, this one's particular level of obnoxiousness makes it a little hard for us to believe that he'd bother. On the other hand, maybe that's what it took to realize that the maelstrom-like level of impatience with which some gamers are anticipating the next Half-Life entry is reaching critical mass.

For our three cents, we really hope it's true. What do you think? Another 4chan troll or concrete news (finally)? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.