Valve isn't prepared to talk about Half-Life 2: Episode 3, despite the last episodic instalment having been released almost four years ago.
However, boss Gabe Newell does have a history of replying directly to emails from fans, and if the one below is indeed genuine then he appears happy to be cruelly playful about when Episode 3 might release.
Here's the poetic email a Reddit user allegedly sent to Newell, followed by his supposed response.
Do you like haikus?
I like to write them sometimes...
Episode 3 soon?
Haikus are neato
They have a rigid structure
Episode 3 ships in
Earlier this week a Vietnamese beta tester leaked Valve's Dota 2 beta client, leading fans to discover what they believe to be references to Half-Life 2: Episode 3 in the unfinished game's code.
A folder called simply 'ep3' in the Dota client makes reference to a flamethrower, "ice gun", plus "liquid", "concrete" and "metal" "weaponizers".