Usually updates for games cease after two years. That's about the breaking point for most titles unless it's an uber-popular Call of Duty game like Black Ops 3, or an ongoing FPS title that centers around online content. However, in the case of one classic game, it has been updated for the first time in four years, and after being on the market for nearly 20 years.
That's right, the original Half-Life from Valve has been updated. Polygon noted that it's been four years since the game last received an update from Valve. The newest patch has rolled out for everyone who owns the game and has it installed. The Steam client should automatically update the title to the latest release.
Over on the Steam community page the changelog for the update lists five changes. The developers fixed a crash when setting up custom decals. There's also a fix when quickly changing weapons that are consumables. Another fix came in the form of addressing malformed SAV files. There's a fix for a crash when loading a specifically crafted malformed BSP map file; there is no explanation on how something like that happens but if I had to take a guess it could be a poorly compiled map through Source that didn't save correctly in the editor, or maybe ran into a problem while loading in the engine. And last, but not least, there's a fix for a crash that occurs when entering in certain "malformed strings" into the pull-down console menu.
As noted, all of the changes are basically just fixes for the game, and mostly for the multiplayer side of things. The last update for the game from four years ago only fixed one issue, and that was a crash when loading a map with malformed entity data.
Now, some of you might be wondering "Why would Valve even update this 20-year-old game? Doesn't it have better things to do?" Well, technically it may not be entirely related to Half-Life per se. Remember that there are a ton of games, mods, total conversions and fan projects out there that rely on Half-Life as a hook. Many Source Engine projects need either Half-Life 1 or Half-Life 2 mounted in order to make full use of certain assets or resources. Fixing some core properties and functions in the Half-Life games could make it easier for when they're mounted for other projects, such as Garry's Mod.
Even when considering that Valve's titles are used as springboards for other games, you can't help but feel that it's still a bit odd releasing an update for a near 20-year-old game, much less an update that arrives four years after the previous update, which was just a minor fix.
Naturally, some people thought this was just another troll from Valve. The company is known for leading fans on and constantly dropping hints toward things that either don't exist or were never intended to have any meaningful fruition.
But, in this case, there was no troll attempt; Valve is not leading anyone on. The update for the original first-person shooter in the Half-Life series is actually real and you can check out the fixes right now.